|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:57-66 In these verses we have an account of the birth of John the Baptist, and the great joy among all the relations of the family. He shall be called Johanan, or Gracious, because he shall bring in the gospel of Christ, wherein God's grace shines most bright. Zacharias recovered his speech. Unbelief closed his mouth, and believing opened it again: he believers, therefore he speaks. When God opens our lips, our mouths must show forth his praise; and better be without speech, than not use it in praising God. It is said, The hand of the Lord was working with John. God has ways of working on children in their infancy, which we cannot account for. We should observe the dealings of God, and wait the event.
Verse 58. - How the Lord had showed great mercy upon her. No doubt the vision of Zacharias in the temple, and his subsequent dumbness, had excited no little inquiry. That the reproach of Elisabeth should be taken away, no doubt few really believed. The birth of her son, however, set a seal upon the reality of the priest's vision. The rejoicings of her family were due to more than the birth of her boy. The story of the angel's message, coupled with the unnsual birth, set men thinking and asking what then would be the destiny of this child. Could it be that he was the promised Messiah?
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And her neighbours, and her cousins,.... That lived in Hebron, and the parts adjacent, whether of the house of Aaron, or of the tribe of Judah; to both which she was related, and who dwelt near her, the priests in the city of Hebron, and the children of Judah in the places about it:
heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her; or "had magnified his mercy with her"; see Genesis 19:19 in removing her barrenness, and so taking away her reproach from among men; in giving her strength to conceive, and bring forth a son, that was to be so great, as the prophet of the Highest; and more than a prophet, and greater than any born of women:
and they rejoiced with her: as the angel had foretold they should, Luke 1:14 The Persic version reads, "with him, Zacharias"; having rendered the other clause thus, though wrongly, "hearing that God had poured out his mercy on the house of Zacharias"; see Romans 12:15.
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