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Verses 49-51

Luke 1:49-51. He that is mighty Beyond all our conceptions, even the Almighty God, to whom this strange event is not only possible, but easy; hath done to me great things Miracles, as the words μεγαλα and μεγαλεια often signify in the Old Testament, being applied by the LXX. to the miracles wrought in Egypt, and in the wilderness. Probably, Mary had now in her eye her miraculous conception of the Messiah, being astonished that God should have chosen her, a person of the meanest condition, to be his mother. Yet from her belief of the divine perfections, she was convinced that all was done in wisdom and truth, and therefore she adds, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him It always has been so; he has ever looked on them with an eye of peculiar favour, who have looked up to him with an eye of filial fear. But he hath manifested his mercy, so as he had never done before, in sending his Son to bring in an everlasting righteousness, and work out an everlasting salvation for them that fear him, and this from generation to generation: for there are gospel privileges, transmitted by entail, and intended for perpetuity. Those that fear God, as their Creator and Judge, are encouraged to hope for mercy from him, through their Mediator and Advocate; and in him mercy is settled upon all such, while the world stands. In Christ he keepeth mercy for thousands. He hath showed strength with his arm That is, he hath shown the exceeding greatness of his power. She speaks prophetically of those things as already done which God was about to do by the Messiah. Grotius observes, that God’s great power is represented by his finger, his greater by his hand, and his greatest by his arm. The production of lice was by the finger of God, Exodus 7:18; and the other miracles in Egypt were done by his right hand, Exodus 3:20. But the destruction of Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea was brought to pass by his arm, Exodus 15:16. Wherefore the virgin’s meaning is, that in this dispensation of his providence, God mightily manifested his sovereign power. He hath scattered the proud, &c. In the course of God’s providence it is his usual method to cross the expectations of men, and proceed quite otherwise than they promise themselves. Proud men expect with ease to effect their purposes, and carry all before them; but he scatters them in the imagination of their hearts; breaks their measures, blasts their projects; nay, and brings them low by those very counsels, with which they thought to advance and establish themselves. Some read this clause, He hath scattered those that prided themselves in the imagination, or thought, of their heart. But the words will better bear the translation which we give them, which certainly expresses a more emphatical sense, and one “peculiarly applicable to the gospel, in which God doth not only cast down imaginations and every high thing, &c., (2 Corinthians 10:5,) by the humbling scheme of his recovering grace, but hath remarkably confounded his most insolent enemies in their own most elaborate projects, and established his sacred cause by the violent attempts they have made to suppress it: compare Psalms 2:1-3; a triumph of divine wisdom, of which succeeding ages furnish out memorable and frequent instances.” Doddridge.

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