Image by Jeff Jacobs from Pixabay

Luke 2:14 KJVGlory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Glory to God – Praise be to God, or honor be to God. That is, the praise of redeeming man is due to God. The plan of redemption will bring glory to God, and is designed to express his glory. This it does by evincing his love to people, his mercy, his condescension, and his regard to the honor of his law and the stability of his own government. It is the highest expression of his love and mercy. Nowhere, so far as we can see, could his glory be more strikingly exhibited than in giving his only-begotten Son to die for people.

In the highest – This is capable of several meanings:

  1. In the highest “strains,” or in the highest possible manner.
  2. “Among” the highest that is, among the angels of God; indicating that “they” felt a deep interest in this work, and were called on to praise God for the redemption of man.
  3. In the highest heavens – indicating that the praise of redemption should not be confined to the “earth,” but should spread throughout the universe.
  4. The words “God in the highest” may be equivalent to “the Most High God,” and be the same as saying, “Let the most high God be praised for his love and mercy to people.”

Which of these meanings is the true one it is difficult to determine; but in this they all agree, that high praise is to be given to God for his love in redeeming people. O that not only “angels,” but “men,” would join universally in this song of praise!

Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible