Luke 1:58
And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had showed great mercy on her; and they rejoiced with her.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(58) Her neighbours and her cousins.—Better, her kindred, as including a wider range of relations than that which comes within our definition of cousinship. The words imply that they had heard something of the vision in the Temple, and of what had been foretold of the future greatness of the child then born.

Had shewed great mercy upon her.—Literally, had magnified His mercy. The verb is the same as that which opens the Magnificat, and may well be looked upon as a kind of echo of it. The phrase is essentially a Hebrew one. (Comp. 1Samuel 12:24.)

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. See Poole on "Luke 1:57" And her neighbours, and her cousins,.... That lived in Hebron, and the parts adjacent, whether of the house of Aaron, or of the tribe of Judah; to both which she was related, and who dwelt near her, the priests in the city of Hebron, and the children of Judah in the places about it:

heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her; or "had magnified his mercy with her"; see Genesis 19:19 in removing her barrenness, and so taking away her reproach from among men; in giving her strength to conceive, and bring forth a son, that was to be so great, as the prophet of the Highest; and more than a prophet, and greater than any born of women:

and they rejoiced with her: as the angel had foretold they should, Luke 1:14 The Persic version reads, "with him, Zacharias"; having rendered the other clause thus, though wrongly, "hearing that God had poured out his mercy on the house of Zacharias"; see Romans 12:15.

And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 1:58. περίοικοι (περί, οἶκος), dwellers around, neighbours, here only in N. T., several times in Sept[11] Named first because nearest; some of the relatives would be farther away and would arrive later. This gathering of neighbours and kinsfolk (συγγενεῖς) presents a “gracious tableau of Israelite life,” Godet.—μετʼ αὐτῆς: a Hebraism = πρὸς αὐτήν.—συνέχαιρον α., they congratulated her: congratulabantur ei, Vulg[12]; or, better, they rejoiced with her (Luke 1:14).

[11] Septuagint.

[12] Vulgate (Jerome’s revision of old Latin version).Luke 1:58. Μετʼ αὐτῆς, had showed great mercy upon her [dealt in great mercy with her]) So ἔλεος μετὰ τῶν πατέρων, to perform mercy upon our father [to deal in mercy with our fathers]: ch. Luke 10:37, note.[16]

[16] Hellenistic construction, as in LXX. 2 Samuel 9:1, etc.—ED. and TRANSL.Verse 58. - How the Lord had showed great mercy upon her. No doubt the vision of Zacharias in the temple, and his subsequent dumbness, had excited no little inquiry. That the reproach of Elisabeth should be taken away, no doubt few really believed. The birth of her son, however, set a seal upon the reality of the priest's vision. The rejoicings of her family were due to more than the birth of her boy. The story of the angel's message, coupled with the unnsual birth, set men thinking and asking what then would be the destiny of this child. Could it be that he was the promised Messiah? Had shewed great mercy upon her (ἐμεγάλυνεν τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ μετ' αὐτῆς)

Lit., magnified his mercy with her. So Wyc. A Hebrew expression. See 1 Samuel 12:24, Sept.

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