Luke 1:41
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
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(41) The salutation of Mary.—The words of the greeting were, we may believe, the usual formula, “Peace be with thee,” or “The Lord be with thee,” possibly united with some special words of gratulation on what she had heard from the angel.

Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.—What had been predicted of the Child (Luke 1:15) was now fulfilled ex abundanti in the mother. The fact related, so far as we look to human sources of information, must obviously have come to St. Luke, directly or indirectly, from the Virgin herself.

1:39-56 It is very good for those who have the work of grace begun in their souls, to communicate one to another. On Mary's arrival, Elisabeth was conscious of the approach of her who was to be the mother of the great Redeemer. At the same time she was filled with the Holy Ghost, and under his influence declared that Mary and her expected child were most blessed and happy, as peculiarly honoured of and dear to the Most High God. Mary, animated by Elisabeth's address, and being also under the influence of the Holy Ghost, broke out into joy, admiration, and gratitude. She knew herself to be a sinner who needed a Saviour, and that she could no otherwise rejoice in God than as interested in his salvation through the promised Messiah. Those who see their need of Christ, and are desirous of righteousness and life in him, he fills with good things, with the best things; and they are abundantly satisfied with the blessings he gives. He will satisfy the desires of the poor in spirit who long for spiritual blessings, while the self-sufficient shall be sent empty away.Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost - The meaning of this seems to be that she was filled with joy; with a disposition to praise God; with a prophetic spirit, or a knowledge of the character of the child that should be born of her. All these were produced by the Holy Spirit. 41. babe leaped—From Lu 1:44 it is plain that this maternal sensation was something extraordinary—a sympathetic emotion of the unconscious babe, at the presence of the mother of his Lord. The motion of the child in the womb of the mother after her time of quickening is past, and the more than ordinary motion of it upon some extraordinary cause of joy, is no unusual thing with women in those circumstances; but doubtless as this motion was more than ordinary, so it had a more than ordinary cause, being caused from the Holy Spirit of God, and so the best interpreters judge: what is afterward said of Elisabeth, that she

was filled with the Holy Ghost, is expounded in the next words, wherein she prophesieth, of the Spirit of prophecy. And it came to pass that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary,.... Which might be before she saw her, and at some little distance from her:

the babe leaped in her womb: which motion was not natural, but supernatural; being made at hearing the voice of Mary, who had now conceived the Messiah, whose forerunner this babe, John the Baptist, was to be; and who, by this motion, gave the first notice of his conception, which his mother Elisabeth took from hence; as he afterwards pointed him out by his finger, and by his baptism made him manifest to Israel:

and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost not with the ordinary graces of the Spirit, for these she had been filled with before, but with extraordinary gifts, with a spirit of prophecy; by which she knew that the Messiah was conceived, and that Mary was the mother of her Lord; that many things had been told her; that she had believed them; and there would be a performance of them; and perhaps it was at this time that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost also; see Luke 1:15.

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe {o} leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

(o) This was no ordinary or usual type of moving.

Luke 1:41. Τὸν ἀσπασμ. τ. Μαρ.] the greeting of Mary. See Luke 1:40; Luke 1:44. This greeting on the part of Mary (not the communication of the angelic announcement, Luke 1:26 ff., as Kuinoel and others import) caused the leaping of the child (comp. Genesis 25:22), and that as an exulting expression of the joy of the latter (Luke 1:44; Luke 6:23) at the presence of the Messiah[30] now in the womb of His mother. Elizabeth immediately through the Holy Spirit recognises the cause of the leaping. Comp. Hofmann, Weissag. u. Erfüll. II. p. 251 f. Calvin, Michaelis, Paulus, Olshausen, and many others reverse the matter, holding that the mental agitation of the mother had operated on the child (comp. also Lange, II. 1, p. 86), and that this circumstance had only afterwards, Luke 1:44, become significant to the mother. Analogous to the conception in our passage is Sohar Ex. f. xxiii. 91 f., xxv. 99: “Omnes Israelitae ad mare rubrum plus viderunt quam Ezechiel propheta; imo etiam embryones, qui in utero matris erant, viderunt id, et Deum S. B. celebrarunt.” A symbolical significance, expressive, namely, of the thought, that at the appearance of a higher Spirit the ideas that lie still unborn in the womb of the spirit of the world and of the people are quickened (Weisse), is foreign to the narrative,—a modern abstraction.

[30] Older Lutherans (see Calovius) have wrongly used this passage as a proof of the fides infantum. There is, in fact, here something unique in character and miraculous. The child of Elizabeth has already in the womb the Holy Spirit, ver. 15.Luke 1:41. ἐσκίρτησε: commentators discuss the connection between the maternal excitement and the quickening of the child—which was cause and which effect. Let this and all other questions in reference to the movement denoted be passed over in respectful silence.41. leaped] The same word is applied to unborn babes in Genesis 25:22, LXX.Luke 1:41. Καὶ ἐπλήσθη, and was filled) The spiritual motions [and emotions] of the embryo and of the mother were conjoined: Luke 1:15.Verse 41. - Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit - that Spirit of prophecy, so often mentioned in the Old Testament - seizes her, and she salutes her young kinswoman, Mary, as the mother of the coming Messiah. The babe (τὸ βρέφος)

See on 1 Peter 2:2.

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