Καὶ εἶπεν Μαριάμ Μεγαλύνει ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν Κύριον,
Next Luke has a series of canticles or songs. This first canticle of Mary is modeled on that of Hannah in 1 Samuel, chapter 2:1-10, that praised Yahweh. Hannah had prayed for a son. Thus, she had a semi-miracle son called Samuel. She wanted him to be dedicated like a Nazirite. This prayer of Hannah took place after she had dedicated her 3-year-old son to Yahweh. Thus, Samuel grew up with the prophet Eli. Hannah and Samuel then became the prototypes for Mary and Jesus. Luke indicated that Mary said (Καὶ εἶπεν Μαριάμ) that her soul magnified, extended, or enlarged the Lord (ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν Κύριον). Thus, this Marian canticle became known as the “Magnificat,” after the Latin translated word used here.
“Here is my servant!
I have chosen him.
My soul is well pleased
I will put my Spirit
He shall proclaim justice
To the gentile nations.”
Ἰδοὺ ὁ παῖς μου ὃν ᾑρέτισα, ὁ ἀγαπητός μου ὃν εὐδόκησεν ἡ ψυχή μου· θήσω τὸ Πνεῦμά μου ἐπ’ αὐτόν, καὶ κρίσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἀπαγγελεῖ.
A series of scholarly debates has risen about who this servant of Yahweh is in Isaiah, chapter 42:1. Is it the country and people of Israel or is it an individual prophetic person? Sometimes the reference is singular as here, but is that also symbolic? There are many chants or songs about the servant in Second Isaiah. This oracle has Yahweh speak directly about his servant, who he will uphold, since he is the chosen one. Yahweh’s soul delights in him. He puts his Spirit upon him. This servant of Yahweh will bring about justice for all the nations. At first take, this appears to be an individual that Yahweh really likes. Mathew made a clear choice about this servant of Yahweh. Jesus is the servant of God (Ἰδοὺ ὁ παῖς μου). God has chosen him (ὃν ᾑρέτισα). He is God’s beloved (ὁ ἀγαπητός μου). The soul of God has delighted in Jesus (ὃν εὐδόκησεν ἡ ψυχή μου). God would put his Spirit on Jesus (θήσω τὸ Πνεῦμά μου ἐπ’ αὐτόν). Jesus would proclaim a just judgment to the gentile nations (καὶ κρίσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ἀπαγγελεῖ). The text that Matthew used is not an exact copy of the Greek or Hebrew text, but close enough.