Luke 1:51
He has showed strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
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1:39-56 It is very good for those who have the work of grace begun in their souls, to communicate one to another. On Mary's arrival, Elisabeth was conscious of the approach of her who was to be the mother of the great Redeemer. At the same time she was filled with the Holy Ghost, and under his influence declared that Mary and her expected child were most blessed and happy, as peculiarly honoured of and dear to the Most High God. Mary, animated by Elisabeth's address, and being also under the influence of the Holy Ghost, broke out into joy, admiration, and gratitude. She knew herself to be a sinner who needed a Saviour, and that she could no otherwise rejoice in God than as interested in his salvation through the promised Messiah. Those who see their need of Christ, and are desirous of righteousness and life in him, he fills with good things, with the best things; and they are abundantly satisfied with the blessings he gives. He will satisfy the desires of the poor in spirit who long for spiritual blessings, while the self-sufficient shall be sent empty away.Hath showed strength with his arm - The "arm" is the symbol of strength. The expression in this and the subsequent verses has no particular reference to his mercy to Mary. From a contemplation of His goodness to her, she enlarges her views to a contemplation of His goodness and power in general, and to a celebration of the praises of God for all that he has done to all people. This is the nature of true piety. It does not terminate in thinking of God's mercy toward ourselves. It thinks of others, and praises God that others also are made partakers of His mercy, and that His goodness is manifested to all His works.

He scattereth the proud - He hath often done it in time of battle and war. When the proud Assyrian, Egyptian, or Babylonian had come against the people of God, He had often scattered them and driven away their armies.

In the imagination of their hearts - Those who were lifted up or exalted in their own view. Those who "thought themselves" to be superior to other men.

He hath showed strength with his arm,.... Of almighty power, in the business of the incarnation, and in working out salvation for his people; which is done by his own arm, he being mighty to save, and travelling in the greatness of his strength; see Isaiah 63:1.

He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts; whom he always resists, and both in providence and grace, takes such methods, as tend to humble and confound them: here particularly, it may regard the proud and haughty Jews; who imagined nothing less, than that the Messiah would be born of one of the rich and noble families in Judea; that he would appear as a temporal prince, and set up a temporal kingdom in great state and splendour, and make them a free and flourishing people: when instead of this, he was to be born of a poor virgin, of whom they disdainfully say, is not his mother called Mary? who was of Nazareth in Galilee, of which it is said, shall Christ come out of Galilee? or any good thing out of Nazareth? A virgin betrothed to a carpenter, and her son of that business also, with which both were flouted; and because of this meanness, the Messiah was rejected by them; and thus were they scattered and confounded in their imaginations.

He hath shewed strength with his {t} arm; he hath {u} scattered the proud in the {x} imagination of their hearts.

(t) Here many more words than necessary are used, which the Hebrews use very much: and arm here is taken for strength.

(u) Even as the wind does to the chaff.

(x) He has scattered them, and the imagination of their hearts; or, by and through the imagination of their own hearts; so that their wicked counsel turned to their own destruction.

Shewed strength (ἐποίησεν)

Lit., made strength. So Wyc., made might. A Hebrew form of expression. Compare Psalm 118:15, Sept.: "The right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly" (ἐποίησε δύναμιν, made strength).

In the imagination (διανοίᾳ)

The faculty of thought, understanding, especially moral understanding. Wyc. refers the word here to God: with mind of his heart. Some prefer to render "by the imagination," thus making the proud the instrument of their own destruction. Compare 2 Corinthians 10:5.

47. my Saviour—Mary, poor heart, never dreamt, we see, of her own "immaculate conception"—in the offensive language of the Romanists—any more than of her own immaculate life.He hath showed strength - Or, He hath gained the victory, εποιησε κρατος. The word κρατος is used for victory, by Homer, Hesiod, Sophocles, Euripides, and others.

With his arm - Grotius has well observed, that God's efficacy is represented by his finger, his great power by his hand, and his omnipotence by his arm. The plague of lice was the finger of God, Exodus 7:18. The plagues in general were wrought by his hand, Exodus 3:20, And the destruction of Pharaoh's host in the Red Sea, which was effected by the omnipotence of God, is called the act of his arm, Exodus 15:16.

He hath scattered - Διεσκορπισεν, hath scattered abroad; as a whirlwind scatters dust and chaff.

The proud - Or haughty, ὑπερηφανους; from ὑπερ above, and φαινω I show - the haughty men, who wish to be noticed in preference to all others, and feel sovereign contempt for all but themselves. These God scatters abroad - instead of being in his sight, as in their own, the most excellent of the earth, he treats them as straw, stubble, chaff, and dust.

In the imagination of their hearts - While they are forming their insolent, proud, and oppressive projects - laying their plans, and imagining that accomplishment and success are waiting at their right hand, the whirlwind of God's displeasure blows, and they and their machinations are dissipated together.

1:51 He hath wrought strength with his arm - That is, he hath shown the exceeding greatness of his power. She speaks prophetically of those things as already done, which God was about to do by the Messiah. He hath scattered the proud - Visible and invisible.
Luke 1:50
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