Luke 1:70
As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(70) His holy prophets, which have been since the world began.—The words were probably more than a lofty paraphrase of the more usual language, “of old time,” “of ancient days,” and imply a reference to the great first Gospel, as it has been called, of Genesis 3:15, as well as to those made to Abraham, who is the first person named as a prophet (Genesis 20:7).

1:67-80 Zacharias uttered a prophecy concerning the kingdom and salvation of the Messiah. The gospel brings light with it; in it the day dawns. In John the Baptist it began to break, and increased apace to the perfect day. The gospel is discovering; it shows that about which we were utterly in the dark; it is to give light to those that sit in darkness, the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. It is reviving; it brings light to those that sit in the shadow of death, as condemned prisoners in the dungeon. It is directing; it is to guide our feet in the way of peace, into that way which will bring us to peace at last, Ro 3:17. John gave proofs of strong faith, vigorous and holy affections, and of being above the fear and love of the world. Thus he ripened for usefulness; but he lived a retired life, till he came forward openly as the forerunner of the Messiah. Let us follow peace with all men, as well as seek peace with God and our own consciences. And if it be the will of God that we live unknown to the world, still let us diligently seek to grow strong in the grace of Jesus Christ.His holy prophets ... - All the prophets are said to have referred to the Messiah, from the beginning of the world. The most striking of these were Jacob Genesis 49:10; Moses Deuteronomy 18:15; Isaiah Isa 9:6-7; Isaiah 53:1-12.

Since the world began - This is not to be taken literally, for there were no prophets "immediately after" the creation. It is merely a general expression, designed to denote that all the prophets had predicted the coming of the Messiah. Compare the Luke 24:27 note; Revelation 19:10 note.

70. since the world began—or, "from the earliest period." See Poole on "Luke 1:68" As he spake, by the mouth of his holy prophets,.... Which shows not only the veracity and faithfulness of God in his promises, but the early intimations that were given by him concerning the Messiah: for it follows,

which have been since world began; or from the beginning of the world; ever since the first hint of the Messiah, as the seed of the woman, that should bruise the serpent's head, was given, he was more or less spoken of. Adam, the first prophet, seems to have respect to him, when he calls his wife Eve, which signifies life; and because she should be the mother of all living. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of him, of his second coming, which supposes his first; and Lamech may be thought to have some regard to him, when he named his son Noah, and said what he did concerning him: Christ was spoken of to Abraham, as his seed, in whom all nations of the earth should be blessed; and God spake of him by the patriarch Jacob, under the name of Shiloh, as who should spring from the tribe of Judah, before the sceptre and lawgiver were departed from it. Moses foretold that there should arise a prophet from the midst of his brethren like unto him, to whom the Israelites were to hearken. David, the prophet, often speaks of him, particularly of his death, his resurrection from the dead, his ascension to heaven, and session at God's right hand; and the evangelical prophet Isaiah predicts his birth of a virgin, and testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Micah points out the very place of his birth; and Zechariah describes the manner of his entrance into Jerusalem, as riding on an ass: to say nothing of what Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and others, have prophesied of him, It is a common saying of the Jews (x), that "all the prophets, all of them prophesied not, "but of the days of the Messiah."

The men, by whom God spoke of the Messiah, of the mission of him, and of raising up this horn of salvation, for his people, were "prophets"; men endued with a spirit of prophecy; "holy", men, who were sanctified by the Holy Ghost, and spake, as they were moved by him; and these all spake as if it were with one "mouth"; they all agree in their accounts concerning Christ, though they lived in different periods of time, from the beginning of the world,

(x) T. Bab, Beracot, fol. 34. 2. & Sabbat, fol. 63. 1. Maimon. Hilchot Teshuva, c. 8. sect. 7.

As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 1:70. No parenthesis.

τῶν ἁγίων] not used substantivally (Bornemann), but see Bernhardy, p. 322; Krüger, § 50. 9. 7.

ἀπʼ αἰῶνος] not absolutely, as though there had been prophets even ab orbe condito (“imo per os Adami,” Calovius), but relatively; when the oldest prophets emerged (and Moses already was such an one), was the commencement of prophecy since the beginning of the world. Comp. Genesis 6:4; Acts 3:21; Longin. 34: τοὺς ἀπʼ αἰῶνος ῥήτορας.Luke 1:70. ἁγίων: a predicate applied in reverence to the prophets, as to the apostles in Ephesians 3:5.70. by the mouth of his holy prophets] namely “in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms,” see on Luke 24:44.

since the world began] Rather, of old (ἀπ' αἰῶνος). “At sundry times and in divers manners” (Hebrews 1:1) but even “in old time” (2 Peter 1:21) and dating back even to the promises to Eve and to Abraham (Genesis 3:15; Genesis 22:18; Genesis 49:10) and the sceptre and the star of Balaam Numbers 24:17).Luke 1:70. Καθὼς ἐλάλησε, as He spake) The point at which Mary left off, Luke 1:55, is the same as that at which Zacharias now begins.—διὰ στόματος, by the mouth) To prophesy cost the prophets no labour in so far as they received the power from God; whatever it cost them, was merely in so far as they had to put forth their prophecies to men hostile to them. They needed merely to lend their mouth [for God to supply the words]: nay, even “a mouth” was given tham, Luke 21:15.—ἁγίων, holy) There was no prophet that was not holy:[18] 2 Peter 1:21; Hebrews 11:32-33.—ἈΠʼ ΑἸῶΝΟς, since the world began) Even from the very beginning there were prophets.

[18] Balaam seems an exception. But perhaps Beng. means by ‘sanctus’ consecrated to God, and set apart from other men by God to His service.—Ed. and Transl.Verse 70. - By the mouth of his holy prophets. Zacharias looked on all that was then happening as clearly foretold in those sacred prophetic writings preserved in the nation with so much care and reverence. Which have been since the world began. He considered Messianic prophecy as dating from the first intimation after the fall in Eden (Genesis 3:15), and continuing in an intermittent but yet unbroken line from Genesis to Malachi. That have been since the world began (ἀπ' αἰῶνος)

A needlessly verbose rendering, retained by Rev. The American Rev. insists on of old.

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