Luke 1:32
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
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(32) Shall be called the Son of the Highest.—It is noticeable that this name applied to our Lord by the angel, appears afterwards as uttered by the demoniacs (Mark 5:7). On the history of the name, see Note on Mark 5:7.

The throne of his father David.—The words seem at first to suggest the thought that the Virgin was of the house of David, and that the title to the throne was thus derived through her. This may have been so (see Note on Luke 3:23-38), and the intermarriage which had taken place in olden times between the house of Aaron and that of David (Exodus 6:23; 2Kings 11:2) show that this might be quite consistent with the relationship to Elizabeth mentioned in Luke 1:36. On the other hand, it must be remembered that the genealogies, both in St. Matthew and St. Luke, appear, at first sight, to give the lineage of Joseph only, and therefore that, if this were, as many have believed, the Evangelist’s point of view, our Lord, notwithstanding the supernatural birth, was thought of as inheriting from him. The form of the promise, which might well lead to the expectation of a revived kingdom of Israel after the manner of that of David, takes its place among the most memorable instances of prophecies that have been fulfilled in quite another fashion than those who first heard them could have imagined possible. That the Evangelist who recorded it held that it was fulfilled in the Kingdom of Heaven, the spiritual sovereignty of the Christ, is shown by the fact that he records it in the same Gospel as that which tells of the Crucifixion and Ascension.

1:26-38 We have here an account of the mother of our Lord; though we are not to pray to her, yet we ought to praise God for her. Christ must be born miraculously. The angel's address means only, Hail, thou that art the especially chosen and favoured of the Most High, to attain the honour Jewish mothers have so long desired. This wondrous salutation and appearance troubled Mary. The angel then assured her that she had found favour with God, and would become the mother of a son whose name she should call Jesus, the Son of the Highest, one in a nature and perfection with the Lord God. JESUS! the name that refreshes the fainting spirits of humbled sinners; sweet to speak and sweet to hear, Jesus, a Saviour! We know not his riches and our own poverty, therefore we run not to him; we perceive not that we are lost and perishing, therefore a Saviour is a word of little relish. Were we convinced of the huge mass of guilt that lies upon us, and the wrath that hangs over us for it, ready to fall upon us, it would be our continual thought, Is the Saviour mine? And that we might find him so, we should trample on all that hinders our way to him. Mary's reply to the angel was the language of faith and humble admiration, and she asked no sign for the confirming her faith. Without controversy, great was the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh, 1Ti 3:16. Christ's human nature must be produced so, as it was fit that should be which was to be taken into union with the Divine nature. And we must, as Mary here, guide our desires by the word of God. In all conflicts, let us remember that with God nothing is impossible; and as we read and hear his promises, let us turn them into prayers, Behold the willing servant of the Lord; let it be unto me according to thy word.He shall be great - There is undoubted reference in this passage to Isaiah 9:6-7. By his being "great" is meant he shall be distinguished or illustrious; great in power, in wisdom, in dominion on earth and in heaven.

Shall be called - This is the same as to say he "shall be" the Son, etc. The Hebrews often used this form of speech. See Matthew 21:13.

The Highest - God, who is infinitely exalted; called the Highest, because He is exalted over all his creatures on earth and in heaven. See Mark 5:7.

The throne - The kingdom; or shall appoint him as the lineal successor of David in the kingdom.

His father David - David is called his father because Jesus was lineally descended from him. See Matthew 1:1. The promise to David was, that there should "not fail" a man to sit on his throne, or that his throne should be perpetual 1 Kings 2:4; 1 Kings 8:25; 1 Kings 9:5; 2 Chronicles 6:16, and the promise was fulfilled by exalting Jesus to be a Prince and a Saviour, and the perpetual King of his people.

32, 33. This is but an echo of the sublime prediction in Isa 9:6, 7. See Poole on "Luke 1:31"

He shall be great,.... In his person, as God-man; this child born, and Son given, being the angel of the great counsel, the mighty God, and everlasting Father; Isaiah 9:6 which is here referred to; and in his offices, in his prophetic office, being that great and famous prophet Moses spoke of, mighty in word and deed, in his doctrine and miracles; in his priestly office, being a great high priest, both in the oblation of himself, and in his prevalent intercession; and in his kingly office, being the King of kings, and Lord of Lords; and in the whole of his office, as Mediator, being a great Saviour, the author of a great salvation for great sinners; in which is greatly displayed the glory of all the divine perfections: great also in his works, the miracles that he wrought, as proofs of his Deity and Messiahship, the work of redemption, the resurrection of himself from the dead, and of all men at the last day; and in the glory he is now possessed of in human nature, at the Father's right hand, where he is highly exalted above all principality and power:

and shall be called the Son of the Highest; that is, of God, of whose names is "the Most High"; see Genesis 14:18 not by creation, as angels and men, nor by adoption, as saints, nor by office, as magistrates, are called "the children of the Most High", Psalm 82:6 but by nature, being the eternal Son of God; of the same nature with him, and equal to him: for he was not now to begin to be the Son of God, he was so before, even from all eternity; but the sense is, that he should now be known, owned, and acknowledged to be the Son of God, being as such manifested in human nature, and should be proved to be so by the works he wrought, and declared to be the Son of God with power by his resurrection from the dead:

and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David. Christ, as God, is the Son of God, as man, the son of David; a name often given to the Messiah, and by which he was well known among the Jews; and as Christ descended from him as man, in a literal sense, he had a right to the throne of his father David; and the Jews themselves say, that he was , "nearly allied to the kingdom" (w): but here it intends not his throne, in a literal, but in a figurative sense; for as David was a type of the Messiah in his kingly office, hence the Messiah is called "David their king", Hosea 3:5 so his throne was typical of the Messiah's throne and kingdom; which is not of this world, but is in his church, and is set up in the hearts of his people, where he reigns by his Spirit and grace; and this is a throne and kingdom "given" by the Lord God. The kingdom of nature and providence he has by right of nature, as the Son of the Highest; the kingdom of grace, or the mediatorial kingdom, the kingdom of priests, or royal priesthood, is a delegated one; his Father has set him as king over his holy hill of Zion; and he is accountable for his government to him, and will one day deliver it up complete and perfect,

(w) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 43. 1.

He shall be great, and shall be {d} called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

(d) He will be declared to be so, for he was the Son of God from everlasting, but was made manifest in the flesh in his time.

Luke 1:32 f. Μέγας] Comp. Luke 1:15. And what greatness belonged to this promised One, appears from what is said in the sequel of His future!

υἱὸς ὑψίστου κληθήσ.] Description of His recognition as Messiah, as whom the angel still more definitely designates Him by καὶ δώσει κ.τ.λ. The name Son of God is not explained in a metaphysical reference until Luke 1:35.

τὸν θρόνον Δαυ. τοῦ πατρ. αὐτοῦ] i.e. the royal throne of the Messianic kingdom, which is the antitypical consummation of the kingdom of David (Ps. 132:11, 110), as regards which, however, in the sense of the angel, which excludes the bodily paternity of Joseph, David can be meant as ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ only according to the national theocratic relation of the Messiah as David’s son, just as the historical notion of the Messiah was once given. The mode in which Luke (and Matthew) conceived of the Davidic descent is plain from the genealogical table of ch. 3, according to which the genealogy passed by way of Joseph as foster-father.

εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας] from Isaiah 9:6; Daniel 7:13 f. The conception of an everlasting Messianic kingdom (according to Psalm 110:4) is also expressed in John 12:34; comp. the Rabbins in Bertholdt, Christol. p. 156. The “house of Jacob” is not to be idealized (Olshausen, Bleek, and others: of the spiritual Israel); but the conception of the kingdom in our passage is Jewish-national, which, however, does not exclude the dominion over the Gentiles according to the prophetic prediction (“quasi per accessionem,” Grotius).

βασιλ. ἐπί] as Luke 19:14; Romans 5:14.

Luke 1:32 foreshadows the future of the child.—μέγας, applied also to John, Luke 1:15.—κληθήσεται, shall be called = shall be.—τὸν θρόνον Δ. τ. πατρὸς α.: the Messiah is here conceived in the spirit of Jewish expectation: a son of David, and destined to restore his kingdom.

32. shall be called] i. e. shall be. The best comment on this verse is furnished by the passages of Scripture in which we find the same prophecy (Micah 5:4; 2 Samuel 7:12; Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 16:5; Jeremiah 23:5; Jeremiah 30:9; Ezekiel 34:24; Hosea 3:5; Psalm 132:11) and its fulfilment (Php 2:9-11; Revelation 22:16).

the throne of his father David] according to Psalm 132:11.

Luke 1:32. οὗτος, He) The Messiah is clearly described, even as at Luke 1:68, etc., and ch. Luke 2:30, etc.—μέγας, great) The greatness of John, described at Luke 1:15, is far exceeded by the greatness of Jesus, described here. [See Luke 1:33, and comp. Daniel 2:35; Ephesians 4:10.—V. g.]—Υἱὸς Ὑψίστου κληθήσεται, He shall be called the Son of the Highest) Jesus, even in a point of view distinct from His Divine nature, and from His personal union with God the Father, is, in a sense transcendentally above all angels and men, the Son of the Highest, on account of the extraordinary nature [rationem, principle of His conception and nativity.—τὸν θρόνον Δαυὶδ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ, the throne of David His father) Christ was promised to the fathers, especially to Abraham, as the Seed. He was promised by Moses, a prophet, as the Prophet. He was promised to David, a king, as the King. Even the temporal kingdom of Israel belonged to Jesus Christ by hereditary right. Massecheth Sanhedrin, ch 4, says, that Jesus is nearest to the kingdom, קרוב למלכות.

Verse 32. - The Son of the Highest. It is singular that this title, given by the angel to the yet unborn child, was the one given to the Redeemer by the evil spirit in the case of the poor possessed (see Mark 5:7). Is this the title, or one of the titles, by which our Master is known in that greater world beyond our knowledge? The throne of his father David; clearly indicating that Mary herself was of royal lineage, although this is nowhere definitely stated (see Psalm 132:11). These words of the angel are as yet unfulfilled. They clearly speak of a restoration of Israel, still, as far as we can see, very distant. Nearly nineteen centuries have passed since Gabriel spoke of a restored throne of David, of a kingdom in Jacob to which should come no end. The people, through all the changing fortune of empires, have been indeed strangely kept distinct and separate, ready for the mighty change; but the eventful hour still tarries. It has been well observed how St. Luke's report of the angel's words here could never have been a forgery - as one school of critics asserts - of the second century. Would any writer in the second century, after the failure of Jesus among the Jews was well known, when the fall of Jerusalem had already taken place, have made an angel prophesy what is expressed here? Luke 1:32
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