From the Commentary on the Whole Bible (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, 1871).
Lu 1:26-38. Annunciation of Christ.
(See on Mt 1:18-21).
26. sixth month—of Elisabeth's time.
Joseph, of the house of David—(See on Mt 1:16).
28. highly favoured—a word only once used elsewhere (Eph 1:6, "made accepted"): compare Lu 1:30, "Thou hast found favour with God." The mistake of the Vulgate's rendering, "full of grace," has been taken abundant advantage of by the Romish Church. As the mother of our Lord, she was the most "blessed among women" in external distinction; but let them listen to the Lord's own words. "Nay, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it." (See on Lu 11:27).
31. The angel purposely conforms his language to Isaiah's famous prophecy (Isa 7:14) [Calvin].
32, 33. This is but an echo of the sublime prediction in Isa 9:6, 7.
34. How, &c.—not the unbelief of Zacharias, "Whereby shall I know this?" but, taking the fact for granted, "How is it to be, so contrary to the unbroken law of human birth?" Instead of reproof, therefore, her question is answered in mysterious detail.
35. Holy Ghost—(See on Mt 1:18).
power of the highest—the immediate energy of the Godhead conveyed by the Holy Ghost.
overshadow—a word suggesting how gentle, while yet efficacious, would be this Power [Bengel]; and its mysterious secrecy, withdrawn, as if by a cloud, from human scrutiny [Calvin].
that holy thing born of thee—that holy Offspring of thine.
therefore … Son of God—That Christ is the Son of God in His divine and eternal nature is clear from all the New Testament; yet here we see that Sonship efflorescing into human and palpable manifestation by His being born, through "the power of the Highest," an Infant of days. We must neither think of a double Sonship, as some do, harshly and without all ground, nor deny what is here plainly expressed, the connection between His human birth and His proper personal Sonship.
36. thy cousin—"relative," but how near the word says not.
conceived, &c.—This was to Mary an unsought sign, in reward of her faith.
37. For, &c.—referring to what was said by the angel to Abraham in like case (Ge 18:14), to strengthen her faith.
38. Marvellous faith in such circumstances!
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