Luke 1:55
As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
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(55) As he spake to our fathers.—As the sentence stands in English, the words “Abraham and his seed” seem in apposition with “forefathers,” and to be added as explaining it. In the Greek, however, they are in a different connection, and belong to what had gone before, the construction being as follows: “To remember His mercy (as He spake unto our forefathers) to Abraham and his seed for ever.” The mercy that had been shown to Abraham was, as it were, working even yet.

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.As he spake to our fathers ... - That is, He has dealt mercifully with the children of Israel, according as He promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The promise particularly here referred to is that respecting the Messiah which was now about to be fulfilled; but there is no doubt that there was also included the promises respecting all the other mercies which had been conferred on the children of Israel. See Genesis 22:17-18.

Forever - These words are to be referred to the preceding verse - "in remembrance of His mercy" forever, "as he spake," etc. They denote that the "mercy of God" manifested to His people should be had in everlasting remembrance.

There is a striking similarity between this song of praise by Mary and that spoken by "Hannah," 1 Samuel 2:2-10. There are few pieces of "poetry" - for this is poetry, and almost the only poetry in the New Testament - more beautiful than this. It is the language of a humble, thankful, pious, female heart praising God:

1. For his mercy to her, Luke 1:46-49;

2. For his mercy to all people - his "general" goodness, Luke 1:50-53; and,

3. His special goodness to his people, Luke 1:54-55.

55. As he spake to our fathers—The sense requires this clause to be read as a parenthesis. (Compare Mic 7:20; Ps 98:3).

for ever—the perpetuity of Messiah's kingdom, as expressly promised by the angel (Lu 1:33).

See Poole on "Luke 1:54"

As he spake to our fathers,.... To David, of whose family Mary was; and to Jacob, or Israel, of whose stock she was; and to Isaac, in whom the seed was to be, called; and particularly,

to Abraham and to his seed for ever: not his natural, but his spiritual seed; both among Jews and Gentiles, to the end of the world; to these God promised this mercy of a Saviour and Redeemer, and to these he performs it, and will to all generations.

As he {c} spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

(c) Promised.

Luke 1:55. Ἐλάλησε, He spake) with an oath, especially to David.—πατέραςἓως αἰῶνος, our father—even to all ages) Mary comprises the past and future.—τῷ) Construe thus,—μνησθῆναι ἐλέους τῷ Ἀβραάμ [not ἐλάλησεντῷ Ἀβραάμ]. Micah 7:20, LXX. δώσεις (εἰς) ἀληθείαν τῷ Ἰακὼβ, ἔλεον τῷ Ἀβραὰμ, καθότι ὤμοσας τοῖς πατράσιν ὑμῶν κατὰ τὰς ἡμέρας τὰς ἔμπροσθεν.[14] Psalm 98:3, ἐμνήσθη τοῦ ἐλέους αὐτοῦ τῷ Ἰακώβ. Also Psalm 119:49.—ἕως, even to) Construe with τῷ σπέρματι, to his seed.[15]

[14] The Vatican LXX. reads δώσει εἰς ἀλήθειαν, etc.—πατράσιν ἡμῶν. Engl. Vers. from Hebrew, “Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.”—ED. and TRANSL.

[15] ABD omit ἕως αἰῶνος. C supports it, as also A in the Psalms, bc Vulg. “in sæcula.”—ED. and TRANSL.

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