Chapter # 1 Paragraph # 4 Study # 1
39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
1901 ASV Translation:
39 And Mary arose in these days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah;
40 and entered into the house of Zacharias and saluted Elisabeth.
There are no textual variations between the Textus Receptus and the Nestle/Aland 26. There is a difference, in Greek, between "these" and "those" and the ASV correctly translates Luke as writing "in these days..." [see 2:1, where "those" is correctly translated].
February 29, 2004
- 1. Mary is pictured as "having arisen" (automatically implying that she was either sitting, or lying, down). The implication is that she was involved in the conversation with Gabriel in a reclining position: i.e., mayhap in her sleep he came and she awoke with him standing near her.
- 2. Mary, having arisen, "went" (aorist indicative) "in these days" into the "hill country" that was a part of Judea (where Zacharias lived -- see verse 65).
- 3. Mary went "with haste" ... no particular reason given for this.
- 4. The "city of Judah" is, and remains, unnamed (very much unlike the deliberate identification of Mary's Galilean village of Nazareth).
- 5. Mary "entered into" the house of Zacharias.
- 6. She "saluted" Elizabeth (the words of the salutation go unrecorded).
- 1. The verb "arose" is an aorist participle that is being treated by the translators as an indicative. Luke uses this configuration in 17 verses of this treatise...multiple times to refer to someone getting up off of some kind of chair or bed.
- 2. Luke says "Mary went in these days in haste..." This is the only time in Luke-Acts that we are told that anyone did anything "in haste". The word so translated is used twelve times in the New Testament and it's overtones are those of someone who is "mentally focused upon some task so that it might be executed correctly (in terms of time and methodology)". Thus, though "haste" may well have been involved, what was really involved was Mary's sense that Elizabeth really needed her ministrations. The possibility of Gabriel's purpose in mentioning Elizabeth being her need for Mary is here made probable, for it is without question that Mary got a sense of urgency from whatever may have been said that was not recorded for us. Interestingly, a greater detail of the narrative's picture is gained by the suggestions made by all of the words used in respect to each other. What one word might have as a suggestion is actually made clearly "more than a suggestion" when a second word is put into the narrative...as in this case, the "due diligence" Mary exercised makes what was only a bare hint in Gabriel's recorded statement an actual fact. Luke makes Mary's actions "focused due diligence" by the participle-verb linkage and the "in these days" terminology.
- 3. Because Mary's town was named earlier in the text, it is the more remarkable that Zacharias' town remains deliberately unknown. The Galilean-Nazarethite thesis [a nobody from nowhere] becomes more important by this fact, and the lack of identification beyond "a city of the hill country of Judah" remains interesting. If the Old Testament form is present (and we cannot say if it is from the text), the "city" is a Levitical enclave within Judah. Only by contrast (the hill country is not Jerusalem) do we get a sense that God is at work in those areas which are not humanly appreciated (can any good thing come out of Nazareth? and isn't Jerusalem of Judah far more impressive than the hill country?).
- 4. Hebrews 11:13 and Luke's other reference to "salute" in 10:4 are the most helpful uses of the term translated "saluted": the word carries the idea of a significant relationship between persons...and very often the one "being saluted" is seen as the superior in the interaction...which makes the numerous salutations by Paul all the more remarkable in respect to his self-identification as "least of the saints" and "bondservant" to be "spent" for others (2 Corinthians 12:15).