The baby leapt for joy (Lk 1:44-1:44)

“As soon as

I heard

The sound

Of your greeting,

The child

In my womb

Leapt for joy.”

 

ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὡς ἐγένετο ἡ φωνὴ τοῦ ἀσπασμοῦ σου εἰς τὰ ὦτά μου, ἐσκίρτησεν ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ μου.

 

Luke seems to indicate that Elizabeth knew the answer to her question.  She said that as soon as she heard with her ears the sound of Mary’s greeting (ἰδοὺ γὰρ ὡς ἐγένετο ἡ φωνὴ τοῦ ἀσπασμοῦ σου εἰς τὰ ὦτά μου), the child or baby in her womb leapt or jumped for joy or exultation (ἐσκίρτησεν ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ μου).  This was a repetition of what was said in verse 41, except that Elizabeth said it here.  John knew Jesus from the very beginning of his existence.

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Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:41-1:41)

“When Elizabeth

Heard

Mary’s greeting,

The child leaped

In her womb.

Elizabeth was filled

With the Holy Spirit.”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤκουσεν τὸν ἀσπασμὸν τῆς Μαρίας ἡ Ἐλεισάβετ, ἐσκίρτησεν τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ αὐτῆς, καὶ ἐπλήσθη Πνεύματος Ἁγίου ἡ Ἐλεισάβετ

 

Luke indicated that somehow John, the six-month old fetus in Elizabeth’s womb, recognized Mary and her pregnancy.  Luke said that the baby or child (τὸ βρέφος) heard Mary’s greeting to Elizabeth (καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤκουσεν τὸν ἀσπασμὸν τῆς Μαρίας ἡ Ἐλεισάβετ).  Then John lept in the womb of Elizabeth (ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ αὐτῆς).  Luke also said that Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit (καὶ ἐπλήσθη Πνεύματος Ἁγίου ἡ Ἐλεισάβετ).  Notice that Elizabeth, like Mary in verse 35, was also filled with the Holy Spirit.  Later in this chapter, Zechariah, in verse 67, will be filled with the Holy Spirit.  Clearly Luke emphasized the importance of the Holy Spirit to these main characters.

The fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah (Mt 1:22-1:23)

“All this took place

To fulfil

What had been spoken

By the Lord

Through the prophet.

‘Look!

The virgin young woman

Shall conceive.

She shall bear a son.

They shall name him

Emmanuel.’

This translated means.

‘God with us.’”

 

Τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον γέγονεν ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑπὸ Κυρίου διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος

Ἰδοὺ ἡ παρθένος ἐν γαστρὶ ἕξει καὶ τέξεται υἱόν, καὶ καλέσουσιν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἐμμανουήλ, ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον Μεθ’ ἡμῶν ὁ Θεός.

 

This dream with the angelic message took place (Τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον γέγονεν), so that the prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 7, would be fulfilled (πληρωθῇ). Matthew said that these were the words spoken by the Lord through the prophet (τὸ ῥηθὲν ὑπὸ Κυρίου διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος), without explicitly naming Isaiah. When you look at the context of this saying in Isaiah, he was talking to King Ahaz and the whole house of David. He said that Yahweh was going to give them a sign that a young woman, who is presumed to be a virgin, would have a child. This child would be called Emmanuel that meant “God is with us.” Christians have used this passage as a prophecy about the virgin birth of Jesus, as here in Matthew. However, the original context in Isaiah seems to indicate that King Ahaz would have a son to carry on his royal name. That son of Ahaz turned out to be the great holy King Hezekiah who ruled Judah from 716-687 BCE. A key to understanding this interpretation of Isaiah is the Greek word ἡ παρθένος. Does this mean a young woman or a virgin? The assumption was that all young women who were not married were virgins, without explicitly saying that this Greek word meant virgin. This young virgin girl had a child in her womb (ἐν γαστρὶ ἕξει). She was going to have a son (καὶ τέξεται υἱόν). They were going to name this son Emmanuel (καλέσουσιν τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Ἐμμανουήλ,). Matthew seems to imply that this Hebrew word Emmanuel needed to be translated (ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον) into Greek for his readers. Thus, he explained that it meant “God is with us.” This actually was in the original Isaiah statement, but Isaiah never used the word translated (μεθερμηνευόμενον). Thus, God will be with us in the person of Jesus, the Savior, Emmanuel. There is no mention of an anointed one or Christ here.

The sudden birth of a nation (Isa 66:7-66:9)

“‘Before she was in labor,

She gave birth.

Before her pain came upon her,

She delivered a son.

Who has heard of such a thing?

Who has seen such things?

Shall a land be born in one day?

Shall a nation be delivered in one moment?

Yet as soon as Zion was in labor

She delivered her children.

Shall I open the womb?

Shall I not deliver?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Shall I,

The one who delivers,

Shut the womb?’

Says your God.”

The birth or rebirth of Jerusalem will be miraculous. It will be like a woman who gives birth to a son before she has labor pains. Has anyone heard or seen such a thing? Can a country or nation come into existence in a moment? Yet Zion will deliver her children. Who would open her womb? Who would try to shut her womb? Yahweh, the great deliverer, will not shut the womb, but deliver Jerusalem and Israel in a new birth.