Luke 1:39-45

Luke 1:39-57
Second Sunday of Advent – A Women’s Lectionary


39 In those days MaryI set outII and wentIII with hasteIV to a JudeanV townVI in the hill country, 

Notes on verse 39

I “Mary” = Maria. 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.
II “set out” = anistemi. From ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + histemi (to make to stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand by, stand still, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is to raise up, rise, appear. It is to stand up literally or figuratively. Can also mean to resurrect.
III “went” = poreuomai. From poros (ford, passageway). This is to go, travel, journey, or die. It refers to transporting things from one place to another and focuses on the personal significance of the destination.
IV “haste” = spoude. 12x in NT. From speudo (to hurry, urge on, await); probably from pous (foot in a figurative or literal sense). This is haste, diligence, earnestness, effort. It is being swift to demonstrate one’s enthusiasm. It is doing what one is told right away and with full effort.
V “Judean” = Iouda. 8x in NT. From the same as Ioudas (Judah, Juadas); from Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judah, Judas, or Jude.
VI “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.

40 where she entered the houseVII of ZechariahVIII and greetedIX Elizabeth.X 

Notes on verse 40

VII “house” = oikos. This is house – the building, the household, the family, descendants, the temple.
VIII “Zechariah” = Zacharias. 11x in NT. From Hebrew Zekaryah (Zechariah, “the Lord has remembered”); {from zakar (to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention) + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; God, Lord; the self-existent or eternal one); from havah (to become) or hayah (to be, become, happen)}}. This is Zechariah, Zacharias, meaning “the Lord has remembered.”
IX “greeted” = aspazomai. Perhaps from a (with, together with) + a form of spao (to draw, draw out, pull). This is to welcome, salute, or greet. It can also be to embrace or acclaim.
X “Elizabeth” = Elisabet. 9x in NT. From Hebrew Elisheba (Elisheba, “God is an oath”); {from el (God or god) + sheba (seven – the number of perfection/sacred fullness); {from shaba (to swear, curse, vow, make a covenant; properly, to be complete; this is 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.”

41 XIWhen Elizabeth heardXII Mary’s greeting,XIII the childXIV leapedXV in her womb.XVI

Notes on verse 41a

XI {untranslated} = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
XII “heard” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
XIII “greeting” = aspasmos. Related to “greeted” in v40. 10x in NT. From aspazomai (see note IX above). This is a greeting whether face to face or in a letter.
XIV “child” = brephos. 8x in NT. This is used of a fetus (as when the child leapt in Elizabeth’s womb on seeing Mary in Luke 1:41) or a newborn (as the child found in the manger in Luke 2:12). It is a young child or an infant in a literal or figurative sense.
XV “leaped” = skirtao. 3x in NT. From skairo (to skip). This is to leap or jump, to bound. It can refer to a quickening.
XVI “womb” = koilia. From koilos (hollow). This is belly or organs in the abdomen. So, it could be stomach, womb, or heart. Figuratively, this refers to one’s inner self.

 And Elizabeth was filledXVII with the HolyXVIII SpiritXIX 

Notes on verse 41b

XVII “filled” = pleitho. This is to fill to the highest level possible – to accomplish, supply, or complete.
XVIII “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.
XIX “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.

42 and exclaimedXX with a loudXXI cry,XXII

Notes on verse 42a

XX “exclaimed” = anaphoneo. 1x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, anew) + phoneo (to call out, summon, shout, address; making a sound whether of an animal, a person, or an instrument); {from phone (voice, sound, tone or noise; also a language or dialect); probably from phemi to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)}. This is to exclaim, cry out, shout.
XXI “loud” = megas. This is big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.
XXII “cry” = krauge. 6x in NT. From krazo (to cry out, scream, shriek; onomatopoeia for the sound of a raven’s call; figuratively, this is means crying out urgently without intelligible words to express something that is deeply felt). This is a very emotional shout or cry generally or clamor against someone else. It can express alarm, trouble, or grief.

“Blessed areXXIII you among women,XXIV and blessed is the fruitXXV of your womb. 

Notes on verse 42b

XXIII “blessed are” = 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.
XXIV “women” = gune. Related to {untranslated} in v41. Perhaps from ginomai (see note XI above). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.
XXV “fruit” = karpos. Perhaps from harpazo (to seize by force, snatch away); from haireo (to choose, take). This is a fruit or vegetable, through sometimes it refers to an animal. Figuratively, it is deeds, results, profits, or gain.

43 And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my LordXXVI comes to me? 44 XXVIIFor as soon as I heardXXVIII the soundXXIX of your greeting,XXX the child in my womb leaped for joy.XXXI 

Notes on verses 43-44

XXVI “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.
XXVII {untranslated} = 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.
XXVIII “heard” = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v41. See note XI above.
XXIX “sound” = phone. Related to “exclaimed” in v42. See note XX above.
XXX Literally “as soon as the voice of your greeting came to my ears.”
XXXI “joy” = agalliasis. 5x in NT. From agalliao (joy that prompts you to jump up. It is a full body experience of joy: exulting, rejoicing, or even boasting from joy); from agallomai (to exalt, make glorious) {from agan (much, very) + hallomai (to leap or leap up; when referring to water, springing up or bubbling up; to jump or figuratively to gush)}. This is exultation, wild joy, exhilaration, gladness, or welcome.

45 And blessedXXXII is she who believedXXXIII that there would be a fulfillmentXXXIV of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Notes on verse 45

XXXII “blessed” = makarios. From makar (happy); from mak– (to become long or large). This is blessed, happy, fortunate. It is when God’s grace/abundance is extended.
XXXIII “believed” = pisteuo. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.
XXXIV “fulfillment” = teleiosis. 2x in NT. From teleioo (to finish, accomplish, bring to an end, complete, reach a goal, finish a race, to consummate; completing stages or phases to get to an ultimate conclusion; to consecrate or fulfill); from teleios (going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one; reaching an end and so being complete or “perfect”; also full grown or mature); from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax). This is completion, consummation, fulfillment, perfection, absolution.

Image credit: “Two Miraculous Babies” by Didier Martin.

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