Luke 1:24
And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1:5-25 The father and mother of John the Baptist were sinners as all are, and were justified and saved in the same way as others; but they were eminent for piety and integrity. They had no children, and it could not be expected that Elisabeth should have any in her old age. While Zacharias was burning incense in the temple, the whole multitude of the people were praying without. All the prayers we offer up to God, are acceptable and successful only by Christ's intercession in the temple of God above. We cannot expect an interest therein if we do not pray, and pray with our spirits, and are not earnest in prayer. Nor can we expect that the best of our prayers should gain acceptance, and bring an answer of peace, but through the mediation of Christ, who ever lives, making intercession. The prayers Zacharias often made, received an answer of peace. Prayers of faith are filed in heaven, and are not forgotten. Prayers made when we were young and entering into the world, may be answered when we are old and going out of the world. Mercies are doubly sweet that are given in answer to prayer. Zacharias shall have a son in his old age, who shall be instrumental in the conversion of many souls to God, and preparing them to receive the gospel of Christ. He shall go before Him with courage, zeal, holiness, and a mind dead to earthly interests and pleasures. The disobedient and rebellious would be brought back to the wisdom of their righteous forefathers, or rather, brought to attend to the wisdom of that Just One who was coming among them. Zacharias heard all that the angel said; but his unbelief spake. In striking him dumb, God dealt justly with him, because he had objected against God's word. We may admire the patience of God towards us. God dealt kindly with him, for thus he prevented his speaking any more distrustful, unbelieving words. Thus also God confirmed his faith. If by the rebukes we are under for our sin, we are brought to give the more credit to the word of God, we have no reason to complain. Even real believers are apt to dishonour God by unbelief; and their mouths are stopped in silence and confusion, when otherwise they would have been praising God with joy and gratitude. In God's gracious dealings with us we ought to observe his gracious regards to us. He has looked on us with compassion and favour, and therefore has thus dealt with us.Hid herself - Did not go forth into public, and concealed her condition. This might have been done that she might spend her time more entirely in giving praise to God for his mercies, and that she might have the fullest proof of the accomplishment of the promise before she appeared in public or spoke of the mercies of God. 24. hid five months—till the event was put beyond doubt and became apparent.Ver. 24,25. How long after those days the Scripture saith not, but it is probable it was soon after, as in the case of Abraham, and in the case of Manoah’s wife, Judges 13:3, who conceived presently after the revelation.

And hid herself: not that she hid herself from seeing any person, but she concealed from those whom she saw the hopes that she had of her being with child, and perhaps what her husband had let her know by writing of the revelation he had from the angel: not that she herself doubted the thing, that were unreasonable to presume, after the seeing of her husband made dumb for a sign of it, and the next words will let us know the contrary; but to avoid the discourse of people upon so unusual a thing, who might possibly think her too vain in speaking of a thing so improbable and unlikely as this was. In the mean time she did not conceal herself from God, but said,

Thus hath the Lord dealt with me, ascribing it all to the power of God, who keepeth the key of the womb in his hand, and maketh the fruit of it his reward.

In the days wherein he looked upon me: it is the same with Luke 1:48,

He hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. The favour of God to his creatures is oft expressed under this notion, Psalm 25:18 Psalm 84:9 119:132.

To take away my reproach among men. Barrenness is no more than a reproach amongst men; it was more especially a reproach to Jewish women, not only in regard of the expectation of being the mother of the Messias, (for none could expect that but a virgin, Isaiah 7:14, and she of the tribe of Judah, to which the Messiah was promised, and one of the house of David, to whose family he was promised as a branch), but in regard of the special promise to Abraham, to whom a seed was promised, numerous as the dust, and as the stars, to which the barren woman could contribute nothing. It is a great mercy when God favoureth his people with any in evidences which take away their reproach amongst men, and a just cause for his people’s thankful acknowledgment. And after those days,.... The days of his ministration in the temple, quickly after his return home; the Ethiopic version reads, "after two days":

his wife Elisabeth conceived; according to the angels prediction, and notwithstanding her barrenness, and the unbelief of her husband,

and hid herself five months. The Arabic and Persic versions render it, "hid her size"; but there could be no occasion to take any methods to hide this, since, if she said nothing of it herself, and there could be no suspicion of it in one of her years, it could not be much discerned in her by such a time; but she hid herself, or lived retired, that she might be fully satisfied that she was with child, before she said any thing about it; and that she might not discover any pride or vanity on account of it; and to avoid all discourse with others about it, which might be rumoured abroad; and chiefly to shun all ceremonial uncleanness, which one, that bred a Nazarite, was obliged to; see Judges 13:14 and most of all, that she might be retired, and spend her time in meditation upon the goodness of God, and in returning thanks to him for the favour she had received; saying; as in the following verse.

And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 1:24 f. Μετὰ δὲ ταύτ. τ. ἡμέρ.] in which this vision had occurred, and he had returned at the end of the service-week to his house. Between the return and the conception we are not to place an indefinite interval.

περιέκρυβεν ἑαυτήν] she hid herself, withdrew her own person completely (περί, see Valckenaer) from the view of others.

μῆνας πέντε] is of necessity to be understood of the first, not of the last five months of pregnancy (in opposition to Heumann). See Luke 1:26; Luke 1:36; Luke 1:56-57.

λέγουσα· ὅτι κ.τ.λ.] the reason which was uttered by her for this withdrawal; hence ὅτι is not recitative, but to be rendered because, as at Luke 7:16 : because thus hath the Lord done to me in the days, in which He was careful to take away my reproach among men. Her reflection, therefore, was to this effect: “seeing that her pregnancy was the work of God, whose care, at the setting in of this state of hers, had been directed towards removing from her the reproach of unfruitfulness, she must leave to God also the announcement of her pregnancy, and not herself bring it about. God would know how to attain His purpose of taking away her reproach.” And God knew how to attain this His purpose. After she had kept herself concealed for five months, there occurred in the sixth month, Luke 1:26 ff., the annunciation to Mary, in which the condition of Elizabeth was disclosed to Mary, so that she rose up (Luke 1:39 ff.), etc. Hence the opinions are not in accordance with the text, which represent Elizabeth as having kept herself concealed from shame at being with child in her old age (Origen, Ambrose, Beda, Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus), or in order that she might first assure herself of her condition (Paulus), and might in the meantime apply herself to devotion (Kuinoel), or to afford no handle to curiosity (Schegg), or “quo magis appareret postea repente graviditas” (Bengel), or even because it was necessary to keep herself quiet during the first months of pregnancy (de Wette). No; it was because with resignation and confidence she awaited the emerging of the divine guidance.

αἷς] without repetition of the preposition. See Bernhardy, p. 203; Bornemann, Schol. p. 5; Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. ii. 1. 32.

ἐπεῖδεν] looked to it, i.e. took care for it. So more frequently ἐφοράω is used of the providence of the gods in the classical writers; Herod. i. 124; Soph. El. 170. Comp. Acts 4:29τὸ ὄνειδός μου] Comp. Genesis 30:23. Unfruitfulness was a disgrace, as being a token of the divine disfavour (Psalm 113:9; Isaiah 4:1; Isaiah 44:3; Isaiah 47:9; Hosea 9:11); the possession of many children was an honour and blessing (Psalms 127, 128). Comp. the view of the Greeks, Herod. vi. 86; Müller, Dor. II. p. 192.

ἐν ἀνθρώποις] belongs to ἀφελεῖν; among men she had dishonour.Luke 1:24. περιέκρυβεν: hid herself entirely (περὶ), here only; ἔκρυβον: a late form of 2nd aorist. Why, not said, nor whether her husband told her what had happened to him.—μῆνας πέντε: after which another remarkable event happened. Whether she appeared openly thereafter is not indicated. Possibly not (J. Weiss).—ἐπεῖδεν: here and in Acts 4:29 = took care, the object being ἀφελεῖν τὸ ὄν. μ. = to remove my reproach: keenly felt by a Jewish woman. ἐν is understood before αἷς (Bornemann, Scholia).24. hid herself] We can only conjecture her motive. It may have been devotional; or precautionary; or she may merely have wished out of deep modesty to avoid as long as possible the idle comments and surmises of her neighbours.Luke 1:24. Ταύτας, these) the days of which Luke 1:23 makes mention [the days of his ministration].—περίεκρυβεν, She hid herself) that her pregnancy might be unobserved: owing to which, subsequently her pregnancy was suddenly made the more apparent.—λέγουσα, saying) to the partakers of [those who sympathized in] her joy.Verse 24. - And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months. Various reasons have been suggested for this retirement. It seems most probable that, amazed at the angelic announcement, the saintly woman went into perfect retirement and isolation for a considerable period, to prove well the words of the angel, and to consider how she best could do her part in the training of the expected child, who was to play so mighty a part in the history of her people. Conceived (συνέλαβεν)

Mr. Hobart ("Medical Language of Luke") says that the number of words referring to pregnancy, barrenness, etc., used by Luke, is almost as large as that used by Hippocrates. Compare Luke 1:31; Luke 1:24; Luke 2:5; Luke 1:7; Luke 20:28. All of these, except Luke 1:24, are peculiar to himself, and all, of course, in common use among medical writers.

Hid (περιέκρυβεν)

Only here in New Testament. Περί signifies completely; entire seclusion.

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