Luke 1:68-79

Note: I have reset this passage after discussion to preserve parallelisms and to draw attention to the centre that embodies the meanings of the names of Zechariah and Elisabeth. 

A  (68a)  Blessed be the Lord God of Israel;
for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
(69)  And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David;

B (70)  As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets,
which have been since the world began:

C  (71)  That we should be saved from our enemies,
and from the hand of all that hate us;

D  a. (72)  To perform the mercy promised to our fathers,
b. and to remember (see the meaning of Zechariah) his holy covenant;
a’. (73)  The oath (see meaning of Elizabeth) which he sware to our father Abraham,

C’  (74-75)  That he would grant unto us,
that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

B’  (76)  And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;

A’  (77)  To give knowledge of salvation  unto his people
by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God;
whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To gi
ve light to them that sit in darkness
and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

One thought on “Luke 1:68-79”

  1. Throughout Luke, Zacharias and Elisabeth are often spoken of in language first used of Abraham and Sarah eg “just, barren and had no child, well stricken in years” to name but a few. They are to bring up John the Baptist who is to turn the hearts of the disobedient children to the wisdom of their just fathers, ie Abraham. Their whole life, and that of their son, was looking forward to the fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham, the seed who would be given the land forever.
    It’s therefore amazing that in the chiastic focus of his words, Zaharias, speaking by the Holy Spirit, refers in G to God remembering his covenant to Abraham, and in F and F’ to God’s oath to the fathers, particularly Abraham.
    He is quoting from, among other places, Psalm 105:8,9, which speak of God “remembering” that covenant and “oath”. The Hebrew for “remember” is “zakar” (cp Zacharias, “Yah has remembered”) and the Hebrew for “oath” is “sebua” (cp Elisabeth, “the oath of God/El”). The focus of the chiasm is used to show once again who the lives of John’s parents are so deeply intertwined with God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah.

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