“The inner thoughts
Will be revealed.
Your own soul too.”
καὶ σοῦ δὲ αὐτῆς τὴν ψυχὴν διελεύσεται ῥομφαία, ὅπως ἂν ἀποκαλυφθῶσιν ἐκ πολλῶν καρδιῶν διαλογισμοί.
Luke explained that Simeon warned Mary about her future suffering. This is often thought of as the beginning of the many sorrows that Mary will endure because of her son, Jesus. Luke said that a sword would pierce or go through the soul of Mary (καὶ σοῦ δὲ αὐτῆς τὴν ψυχὴν διελεύσεται ῥομφαία). Simeon said that the inner thoughts of many would be revealed (ὅπως ἂν ἀποκαλυφθῶσιν ἐκ πολλῶν καρδιῶν διαλογισμοί). Thus, the later medieval devotion to the Sorrowful Mother Mary is based on this passage and further developed in this gospel of Luke.
By the Spirit,
Into the temple.
Their child Jesus,
To do for him
What was customary
Under the law.”
καὶ ἦλθεν ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι εἰς τὸ ἱερόν· καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς τὸ παιδίον Ἰησοῦν τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ,
Luke said that Simeon, guided by the Holy Spirit (ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι), went into the Jerusalem Temple (καὶ ἦλθεν…εἰς τὸ ἱερόν). Then the parents of the child Jesus brought him into the Temple (καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς τὸ παιδίον Ἰησοῦν τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς) for the customary actions under the Law (κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ). Unfortunately, there were no ordinary customs for the children, since the purification ritual was for the mother. It was rare for a mother to offer up her son to God. Normally, the 2 birds were sufficient as an offering for the first-born male child. Nevertheless, Simeon was there in the Temple when Mary, Joseph, and the child Jesus came into the Jerusalem Temple.
With good things.
He has sent
The rich away
πεινῶντας ἐνέπλησεν ἀγαθῶν καὶ πλουτοῦντας ἐξαπέστειλεν κενούς.
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:4, that praised Yahweh for her son the prophet Samuel. Luke had Mary elaborate on Hannah’s thought about how the mighty and the rich would stumble, but the low and the poor would succeed. Mary said that God had filled or satisfied the needy hungry people with good things (πεινῶντας ἐνέπλησεν ἀγαθῶν), while at the same time he had sent away (ἐξαπέστειλεν) the rich people (καὶ πλουτοῦντας) empty handed (κενούς.). God was going to reverse the human order of rich and poor as far as food was concerned. The rich would have nothing, but the poor would be satisfied.
“God has brought down
From their thrones.
He has lifted up
καθεῖλεν δυνάστας ἀπὸ θρόνων καὶ ὕψωσεν ταπεινούς
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:4, that praised Yahweh for her son, the prophet Samuel. Just like here, Hannah said that the mighty and the rich would stumble, but the lowly and the poor would succeed. Luke indicated that Mary said that God had brought down the powerful (καθεῖλεν δυνάστας) from their thrones (ἀπὸ θρόνων), while he has lifted up the lowly (καὶ ὕψωσεν ταπεινούς). There is almost an exact equivalency between Hannah and Mary. Mary had mentioned nothing about lowly people until now. Luke emphasized this theme of the poor or lowly as important throughout his gospel.
Has shown strength
With his arm.
He has scattered
The proud thinking
In their hearts.”
Ἐποίησεν κράτος ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ, διεσκόρπισεν ὑπερηφάνους διανοίᾳ καρδίας αὐτῶν·
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:3-4, that praised Yahweh for her son, Samuel the prophet. Hannah said that the mighty and the rich would stumble but the low and the poor would succeed. Here Luke indicated that Mary said that God had shown strength with his arm (Ἐποίησεν κράτος ἐν βραχίονι αὐτοῦ). Thus, he has scattered the proud thinking in their hearts (διεσκόρπισεν ὑπερηφάνους διανοίᾳ καρδίας αὐτῶν). The power of God would scatter the proud people.
Is for those
Who fear him
καὶ τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ εἰς γενεὰς καὶ γενεὰς τοῖς φοβουμένοις αὐτόν.
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:1-10, that praised Yahweh for her son, the prophet Samuel. Luke indicated that Mary said that God’s mercy (καὶ τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ) was from generation to generation (εἰς γενεὰς καὶ γενεὰς) to those who feared him (τοῖς φοβουμένοις αὐτόν). Fear of the Lord was the first step towards seeking mercy from God, no matter when you lived.
“The Mighty One
Has done great things
Is his name.”
ὅτι ἐποίησέν μοι μεγάλα ὁ δυνατός. καὶ ἅγιον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ,
This canticle of Mary was modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:2-6, that praised Yahweh for the birth of her son, the prophet Samuel. Yahweh was the rock of Hannah’s knowledge. Luke indicated that Mary said that the Mighty One (ὁ δυνατός) had done great things for Mary (ὅτι ἐποίησέν μοι μεγάλα). Thus, Holy is his name (καὶ ἅγιον τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ). Mary appreciated that the powerful holy God had gone great things for her.
Had no marital relations
Until she had borne
He named him
καὶ οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν ἕως οὗ ἔτεκεν υἱόν· καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν
Joseph did not have sex or martial relations with Mary until after the birth of his son. The Greek text has the euphemistic term, he did not know her (οὐκ ἐγίνωσκεν αὐτὴν). This of course brings up the question of Mary’s virginity. Clearly, the text indicates that nothing sexual happened prior to the birth or coming forth of her son (οὗ ἔτεκεν υἱόν). Thus, Jesus was clearly born of the virgin Mary. The real questions concerned the word ἕως that means “until the birth of the son”. In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, the child was called the firstborn child (τὸν πρωτότοκον). The tradition of the Christian community, since the second century, has been that Mary was always a virgin. There is nothing here in this text of Matthew to preclude that. Joseph called the child by the name of Jesus (ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἰησοῦν), just as the angel had asked him to do.
“Meanwhile Anna sat looking intently down the road by which her son would come. When she caught sight of him coming, she said to his father.
Your son is coming!
So is the man who went with him!’”
Anna, the mother of Tobias, was in her usual position of looking down the road where Tobias had left. This time, she actually saw him with the other man. She cried out to her husband Tobit to look to make sure she was right.