Luke 1:26-38

Luke 1:26-38
Feast of the Ever-Blessed Virgin Mary – A Women’s Lectionary


26 In the sixth month the angelA GabrielB was sentC by GodD

Notes on verse 26a

A “angel” = aggelos. Probably from ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide) + agele (flock, herd, drove); {also from ago (see above)}. This is angel or messenger. Properly, it is one sent with news or to perform a specific task. This messenger can be human or an angel from heaven. More commonly, it is used for angels in the New Testament.
B “Gabriel” = Gabriel. 2x in NT. From Hebrew Gabriel (Gabriel “man of God”; an archangel); {from geber (man, warrior, a person generally, or a valiant person); {from gabar (to be strong or mighty; to prevail or to be insolent)} + el (God, a god)}. This is Gabriel, “man of God,” an archangel.
C “sent” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.
D “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

to a townE in GalileeF calledG Nazareth,H 

Notes on verse 26b

E “town” = polis. This is a city or its inhabitants. It is a town of variable size, but one that has walls. This is where “metropolis” and “police” come from.
F “Galilee” = Galilaia. From Hebrew galil (cylinder, circuit, district); from galal (to roll in a literal or figurative sense, roll away, roll down, wallow, remove, trust). This is Galilee, meaning perhaps region or cylinder.
G “called” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.
H “Nazareth” = Nazareth. 12x in NT. Perhaps from netser (branch) OR from natsar (to watch, guard, protect). This is Nazareth, meaning perhaps branch or protected. It is a city in Galilee. See

27 to a virginI engagedJ to a manK whose nameL was Joseph,M

Notes on verse 27a

I “virgin” = parthenos. 15x in NT. This is virgin, chaste, unmarried. It can also refer to a woman past puberty who is not yet married, since she was presumed to be a virgin.
J “engaged” = mnesteuo. 3x in NT – all in reference to Mary and Joseph. From mnaomai (to remember; by implication give reward or consequence); perhaps from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). OR from massaomai (to chew, gnaw); from masso (to knead, squeeze). This is to betroth, be engaged.
K “man” = aner. This is man, male, husband, or fellow. It can also refer to an individual.
L “name” = onoma. Same as “called” in v26. See note G above.
M “Joseph” = Ioseph. From Hebrew Yoseph (he increases; Joseph); from yasaph (to add, increase, continue, exceed). This is Joseph, meaning “he increases.”

of the houseN of David.O The virgin’s name was Mary.P 

Notes on verse 27b

N “house” = oikos. This is house – the building, the household, the family, descendants, the temple.
O “David” = Dauid. From Hebrew David (David); from the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”
P “Mary” = Mariam. From Hebrew Miryam (Aaron and Moses’s sister); from marah (to be contentious, rebellious, bitter, provoking, disobedient; to be or make bitter or unpleasant; figuratively, to rebel or resist; causatively to provoke). This is Miriam or Mary.

28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings,Q favored one!R The LordS is with you.”T 

Notes on verse 28

Q “greetings” = chairo. From char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting. This is the root verb that the Greek word for “grace” comes from (charis).
R “favored one” = charitoo. Related to “greetings” in v28. 2x in NT. From charis (grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks; being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit; literal, figurative, or spiritual; grace as abstract concept, manner, or action); {from chairo (see note Q above)}}. This is favored, to make graceful, bestow freely. It is to grace – shown special honor.
S “Lord” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
T Some manuscripts add “blessed are you among women.” “Blessed” = eulogeo. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; by implication, a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); {from lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. Properly, this is speaking well of – speaking so that the other is benefited. It can mean praise, bless, thank, or call for a blessing. This is where “eulogy” comes from. “Women” = gune. Perhaps from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.

29 But she was much perplexedU by his wordsV and ponderedW what sort of greetingX this might be. 

Notes on verse 29

U “was much perplexed” = diatarasso. 1x in NT. From dia (through, for the sake of, across, thoroughly) + tarasso (trouble, agitate, stir up; motion back and forth, creating inner turmoil or confusion, roiling water). This is to agitate or trouble greatly. It can also refer to thorough distress.
V “words” = logos. Related to {untranslated} in v28. See note T above.
W “pondered” = dialogizomai. Related to {untranslated} in v28 & “words” in v29. 16x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + logizmai (to compute or reckon up, to count; figuratively, it is coming to a conclusion or decision using logic; taking an inventory in a literal or figurative sense); {from logos (see note T above)}. This is to consider, have a back and forth debate with an uncertain conclusion. It can be multiple confused minds reinforcing a faulty conclusion.
X “greeting” = aspasmos. 10x in NT. From aspazomai (to welcome, salute, or greet. It can also be to embrace or acclaim); {perhaps from a (with, together with) + a form of spao (to draw, draw out, pull)}. This is a greeting whether face to face or in a letter.

30 The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid,Y Mary, for you have foundZ favorAA with God. 

Notes on verse 30

Y “be afraid” = phobeo. From phobos (panic flight, fear, fear being caused, terror, alarm, that which causes fear, reverence, respect); from phebomai (to flee, withdraw, be put to flight). This is also to put to flight, terrify, frighten, dread, reverence, to withdraw or avoid. It is sometimes used in a positive sense to mean the fear of the Lord, echoing Old Testament language. More commonly, it is fear of following God’s path. This is where the word phobia comes from.
Z “found” = heurisko. This is to find, learn, or obtain. It is to discover something, which generally implies a period of searching for it. This is to find in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the word “heuristic” comes from.
AA “favor” = charis. Related to “greetings” and “favored one” in v28. See note R above.

31 And now,BB you will conceiveCC in your wombDD and bearEE a son, and you will nameFF him Jesus.GG 

Notes on verse 31

BB “now” = idou. From eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
CC “conceive” = sullambano. 16x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + lambano (active acceptance/taking of what is available or what has been offered; emphasizes the choice and action of the individual). This is to take, take part in, conceive, help. It can also be clasp or seize as to arrest or take hold of someone.
DD “womb” = gaster. 9x in NT. This is belly or womb. It can be used specifically to mean pregnant. This is one of the roots of the word “gastronomy.”
EE “bear” = tikto. 18x in NT. This is used of creating new life whether as a mother or a plant or the earth as a whole. It can be rendered bright forth, bear, give birth, labor, produce, or yield. It can also refers to the pains of childbirth.
FF “name” = kaleo + ho + onoma + autos. Literally “call his name.” Kaleo is related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on). This is to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud. Onoma is the same as “called” in v26. See note G above.
GG “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone). This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.

32 He will be great,HH and will be calledII the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throneJJ of his ancestorKK David. 

Notes on verse 32

HH “great” = megas. This is big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.
II “called” = kaleo. Same as “name” in v31. See note FF above.
JJ “throne” = thronos. Probably from thanos (bench); from thrao (to sit). This is throne or seat – the place where the king sits. So, it is used figuratively to mean power, dominion, or a potentate. This is where the word “throne” comes form.
KK “ancestor” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.

33 He will reignLL over the house of JacobMM forever,NN and of his kingdomOO there will be no end.”PP 

Notes on verse 33

LL “reign” = basileuo. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is to reign as king, to rule in a literal or figurative sense.
MM “Jacob” = Iakob. From Hebrew Yaaqov (Jacob); from the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is James, meaning heel grabber or usurper.
NN “forever” = eis + ho + aion. Literally “to the ages.” Aion is from the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is an age, cycle of time, course, continued duration. It is also used to describe the eternal or forever. This is the word used to discuss the present age or the messianic age.
OO “kingdom” = basileia. Related to “reign” in v33. From basileus (see note LL above). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
PP “end” = telos. From tel– (to reach a goal or aim); This is an end, aim, purpose, completion, goal, consummation, or tax. It is completing a stage of something and everything that results from that completion. It can be literal or figurative.

34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”QQ 

35 The angel said to her, “The HolyRR SpiritSS will come upon you, and the powerTT of the Most High will overshadowUU you; therefore the child to be bornVV will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 

Notes on verses 34-35

QQ “am a virgin” = aner + ou + ginosko. Literally “a man I do not know.” Aner is the same as “man” in v27. See note K above. Ginosko is perhaps related to “called” in v26. See note G above.
RR “Holy” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
SS “Spirit” = pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
TT “power” = dunamai. This is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
UU “overshadow” = episkiazo. 5x in NT – 3x in the Transfiguration, 1x of the annunciation, 1x of Peter healing the sick with his shadow. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + skia (shadow, thick darkness, outline; figurative for a spiritual situation that is good or bad). This is to envelop, cast a shadow on.
VV “child to be born” = gennao. Perhaps related to {untranslated} in v28. From genna (descent, birth); from genos (family, offspring, kin – in a literal or figurative sense); from ginomai (see note T above). This is to beget, give birth to, or bring forth. Properly, it refers to procreation by the father, but was used of the mother by extension. Figuratively, this can mean to regenerate.

36 And now, your relativeWW ElizabethXX in her old ageYY has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren.ZZ 37 For nothingAAA will be impossibleBBB with God.” 

Notes on verses 36-37

WW “relative” = suggenes. Perhaps related to {untranslated} in v28 & “child to be born” in v35. 12x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + genos (see note VV above). This is relative, kinsman, offspring, or otherwise someone from the same stock. It can also be used for a fellow countryman.
XX “Elizabeth” = Elisabet. Related to “Gabriel” in v26. 9x in NT. From Hebrew Elisheba (Elisheba, “God is an oath”; Aaron’s wife); {from el (see note B above) + sheba (seven – the number of perfection/sacred fullness); {from shaba (to swear, curse, vow, make a covenant; properly, to be complete; to seven oneself – as in affirming something so strongly it is as though it were said seven times)}}. This is Elizabeth or Elisabet, meaning “God is an oath.”
YY “old age” = geras. 1x in NT. Perhaps related to geron (old man, old). This is old age or senility.
ZZ “barren” = steira. 5x in NT. From steiros (barren) OR from stereos (hard, solid, steadfast, sure, stable; solid in a literal or figurative sense). This is barren or sterile. It may be from the root as stiff or not natural. This is the root that “sterile” comes from.
AAA “nothing” = oupas + rhema. Literally “not…all things.” Rhema is from rheo (to speak, command, make, say, speak of); from ereo (to all, say, speak of, tell; denotes ongoing speech). This is word, which implies a matter or thing spoken, a command, report, promise, thing, or business. Often used for narration, commands, or disputes.
BBB “be impossible” = adunateo. Related to “power” in v35. 2x in NT. From adunatos (powerless, unable, impotent, or impossible; weak in a literal or figurative sense); {from a (not, without) + dunatos (mighty or powerful; ability of persons, possibility of things; what can be given the power or ability that the subject exhibits); {from dunamai (see note TT above)}}. This is to be unable or impossible.

38 Then Mary said, “Here am I,CCC the servantDDD of the Lord; let it beEEE with me according to your word.”FFF Then the angel departed from her.

Notes on verse 38

CCC “here am I” = idou. Same as “now” in v31. See note BB above.
DDD “servant” = doule. 3x in NT – 2x of Mary, 1x of Pentecost. From doulos (a servant or for a slave, enslaved; someone who belongs to someone else, but could be voluntary to pay off debt or involuntary – captured in war and enslaved; a metaphor for serving Christ); perhaps from deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is female slave or bondservant.
EEE “be” = ginomai. Perhaps related to {untranslated} in v28 & “child to be born” in v35 & “relative” in v36. See note T above.
FFF “word” = rhema. Same as “nothing” in v37. See note AAA above.

Image credit: “The Annunciation” at Our Lady of Pity in Swaffham, United Kingdom, 1950.

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