The hungry are filled (Lk 1:53-1:53)

“God

Has filled

The hungry

With good things.

He has sent

The rich away

Empty.”

 

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.

The mighty and the lowly (Lk 1:52-1:52)

“God has brought down

The powerful

From their thrones.

He has lifted up

The lowly.”

 

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.

The strength of God (Lk 1:51-1:51)

“God

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.

The second eagle was Egypt (Ezek 17:15-17:16)

“But the new king

Rebelled against him.

He sent ambassadors

To Egypt.

He hoped

That they might

Give him

Horses

With a large army.

Will he succeed?

Can one escape

Who does such things?

Can he break the covenant?

Can he yet escape?

As I live,

Says Yahweh God!

‘Surely in the place

Where the king resides,

Who made him king,

Whose oath he despised,

Whose covenant

With him

He broke,

He shall die

In Babylon.’”

The explanation of the riddle of the eagles continued with the assertion that the second eagle was Egypt. This new king, King Zedekiah, rebelled against the king of Babylon. King Zedekiah sent ambassadors to Egypt in order to get horses and a large army. Would he succeed? What happens to people who do things like this? Would he be able to break the covenant and escape? Yahweh had a different idea. The king of Judah had broken his agreement with the king of Babylon, the same one who put him on the throne. The result was that the king of Judah would die in Babylon.

The great fire (Lam 2:3-2:3)

Gimel

“He has cut down,

In fierce anger,

All the might

Of Israel.

He has withdrawn

His right hand

From them

In the face

Of the enemy.

He has burned

Like a flaming fire

In Jacob,

Consuming all around.”

Yahweh was so angry that he cut down the might of Israel. He withdrew his supporting hand so that the enemy was able to succeed. He destroyed everything that belonged to Jacob by burning it up. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Gimel. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

 

Jeremiah complains about his persecutors (Jer 20:10-20:11)

“I hear many whispering.

‘Terror is all around!

Denounce him!

Let us denounce him!’

All my close friends

Are watching for me

To stumble.

‘Perhaps he can be enticed.

Then we can prevail against him.

We can take our revenge on him.’

But Yahweh is with me

Like a dreaded warrior.

Therefore my persecutors

Will stumble.

They will not prevail.

They will be greatly shamed.

They will not succeed.

Their eternal dishonor

Will never be forgotten.”

Jeremiah has heard the whispers about terror all around. They want to denounce him. Even his close friends are watching to see if he stumbles. They think that they might be able to prevail over him. They want to take out revenge on him. However, Yahweh is near, like a dreaded warrior, to protect him. Instead, his persecutors will stumble, fall, not prevail, and be greatly shamed. They will not succeed. In fact, their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.