Luke 1:57
Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
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Luke 1:57-66. Now Elisabeth’s full time came — Exactly according to the prediction of the angel; that she should be delivered — Though this child was conceived in the womb by a miracle, he continued in the womb according to the ordinary course of nature, as did our Saviour also. Promised mercies are to be expected when the full time for them is come, and not before. And her neighbours and cousins rejoiced with her — Having heard that the Lord, in so illustrious and remarkable a manner, had magnified his mercy to her, they came together to testify their joy, and sincerely congratulated her on the happy occasion. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child — According to the appointment in the law: not before that day, because the mother was considered as unclean seven days, Leviticus 12:1-2; and so was the child, by touching her, and therefore was not then fit to be admitted into covenant: moreover, till that time he was weak, and could not well endure the pain of circumcision. And they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father — The law did not enjoin that the child should have his name given him at circumcision; but it was customary to do it then, because at the institution of the rite, God changed the names of Abraham and Sarah, Genesis 17:5; Genesis 17:16. And his mother said, Not so; but he shall be called John — In this she might be influenced by revelation; or Zacharias might have explained the whole affair to her in writing. They said, There is none of thy kindred — None of the relations of thy family that is called by this name; and therefore, if he may not have his father’s name, yet let him have the name of some of his kindred, who will consider it as a token of respect to have such a child named from them. And they made signs to his father, &c. — Wishing to know his mind in the matter, for it was properly his office to name the child. From their inquiring of him by signs, we may conclude with certainty he was deaf as well as dumb. He asked for a writing-table — Πινακιδιον, either a tablet, or little book. The ancients frequently wrote on a thin board, smeared over with wax. And he wrote, His name is John — The name which the angel had commanded him to give the child; a name very proper for him who was to be the first preacher of the kingdom of grace, and who was to point out him from whose fulness we receive grace for grace, John 1:16. See note on Luke 1:13. And his mouth was opened immediately — He had no sooner done writing than he recovered his speech; the angel’s prediction being then fully accomplished. Accordingly, with an audible, articulate voice, he praised God in holy raptures, to the astonishment of all present. And fear — That is, a religious awe and fear of offending God; came on all that dwelt round about them; and all these sayings (or rather things, as τα πηματα here signifies, and as it frequently does elsewhere) were noised abroad, &c. — Being very extraordinary events, they were much talked of in that country, and people formed many conjectures concerning the child. And the hand of the Lord was with him — Here, by the hand of the Lord, we are not to understand the spirit of prophecy, which is frequently the meaning of the expression in the book of Ezekiel; but that he was remarkable, even from his infancy, for the qualities both of his body and mind; and was favoured in an eminent degree with the grace, protection, and blessing of God. It is of importance to observe here, that the extraordinary circumstances above mentioned, namely, “the appearing of the angel to Zacharias in the temple; Zacharias’s dumbness; Elisabeth’s pregnancy when past the age of child-bearing; and the restoration of Zacharias’s speech on the day of his son’s circumcision; were all wisely ordered by Providence to accompany the conception and birth of John, that he, who was the Messiah’s forerunner, might not seem an obscure and ordinary man, but one that was the peculiar object of the decrees and counsels of heaven. He was introduced into the world in this magnificent manner, that the attention of his countrymen being awakened, and high expectations of him raised, he might execute the duties of his ministry with greater advantage, and effectually prepare the people for receiving the Messiah, who was soon to appear in person.” — Macknight.

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.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.

Lu 1:57-80. Birth and Circumcision of John—Song of Zacharias and Progress of the Child.Ver. 57,58. The angel told Mary, Luke 1:36, that it was then the sixth month with her; after this Mary was with her about three months, which made up her full time; so she was delivered, and brought forth a son, to show the truth of God’s promises, that we may all learn to give credit to his word. For the neighbours and kinswomen of Elisabeth to come, and to rejoice with her, was but according to the ordinary custom of friends to this day, like enough to hold to the end of the world. But the religion of persons in that age possibly is not in so ordinary a practice, I mean in the taking notice of the influence and goodness of God to those who receive such mercies. We are fallen into an age where congratulations made to friends upon any good things happening to them are ordinary, and meetings also to make merry (as they call it) upon such occasions; but ah, how little is that God, who openeth the womb, and a reward from whom children are, taken notice of! How little is his power and goodness in such providences taken notice of in such meetings, and made the subject of the discourses there had! Elisabeth’s neighbours and cousins take notice

how the Lord had showed great mercy unto her. The mercy of a child, of a safe delivery in the birth of a child, are great mercies, and ought to be the first and principal things taken notice of in such rejoicing meetings; otherwise the meeting is more like a meeting of pagans than of Christians.

Now Elisabeth's full time came,.... The nine months, which is the full time of a woman's going with child, were now complete; for in the sixth month of Elisabeth's pregnancy, or when she had been gone six months with child, the angel acquainted Mary with it, and she had stayed about three months with her; but now had left her, to shun the company which would be at the delivery of her; though some think, she stayed till that time was over, which is not so probable; and so her reckoning being out, and the time come,

that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son, according to the angel's prediction both to Zacharias and Mary, Luke 1:13.

{6} Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.

(6) John's birth is accompanied by new miracles.

Luke 1:57 f. Τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτ.] genitive governed by ὁ χρόνος: the time, which had to elapse until her delivery. Comp. Luke 2:7; Luke 2:22; Genesis 25:24.

ἵτι ἐμεγάλυνε κ.τ.λ.] that He has magnified (Matthew 23:5; 2 Corinthians 10:15; 1 Samuel 12:24), namely, by this birth still bestowed, contrary to all expectation, in which they saw a proof of especially great divine compassion. The expression is quite as in Genesis 19:19.

συνέχαιρον] they rejoiced together with her. Others, like Valckenaer (following the Vulgate): they congratulated her (see on Php 2:17). The former is more appropriate on account of Luke 1:14; and comp. Luke 15:6; Luke 15:9.

Luke 1:57-66. Birth of John.

57–80. The Birth of John the Baptist

58. her cousins] Rather, her kinsfolk, which was the original meaning of the word cousins (con-sobrini). See Luke 1:36.

Verses 57-80. - John, afterwards called the Baptist, the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth, is born. The Benedictus. Luke 1:57
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