69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
1901 ASV Translation:
69 And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of his servant David
In the Textus Receptus text of verse 69 there are two uses of the definite article "the" before the words "house" and "servant" that the Nestle/Aland 26 does not have. The difference is a very subtle shift of emphasis. The Textus Receptus focuses upon the "singularity" of the house of David the servant while the Nestle/Aland 26 focuses upon the "quality" of both house and servanthood.
I. He records the words of Zacharias as an outburst of exaltation as he focuses upon Yahweh, God of Israel.
II. His praise is based upon Yahweh's "visitation" in "creating a ransom payment" for His people.
III. He then further explains himself by saying that Yahweh has "raised up a horn of salvation for "us" in the house of David His "servant/child".
I. Zacharias addresses Yahweh's actions as the Elohim of Israel by declaring His "raising up" of a "horn of salvation" in the "house of His child/servant David".
A. The word translated "raised up" is a very widely used word that is used in contexts where the person/thing that is "raised up" was, prior to its "rising", in a relatively useless condition.
1. Often the "condition" was pitiable [a dead son on a funeral bier; a lame man who could not walk; a dead daughter; etc.], but sometimes the "condition" was rather natural [a person who was "sitting" down, "arose"; a person was "asleep" and was awakened and told to "arise"; etc.].
2. The point of "arising" is, however, that regardless of the nature of the "condition" from which one "arose", a new and different activity was introduced.
3. The mental picture is that Yahweh brought a "horn" into play in the context of the activities of men.
a. The activities are defined by Zacharias in more than one comment...our enemies were threatening our lives.
b. The nature of the "horn's" deliverance brings up the entire scenario of what kind of "life" is involved and considered crucial.
1) The physical life is not at all in view.
a) There is no "horn" that will keep the majority of us from death (the only reason I say "majority" is that there is a "rapture" generation).
b) The "horn's" work addresses the roots of all of the various kinds of death (physical, relational, spiritual), but it's deliverance-work is not at all concerned with "sparing us from the experience of physical death"...that kind of death is the least significant of all since a resurrection from the dead is underwritten [i.e. "death" that cannot keep its victim is no real threat].
c) Jesus warned us not "to fear them that are able to kill the body...": the implication is that He has made no promises to keep them from doing that.
2) It is the relational life that the creation is to have with its Creator that is always "front and center".
a) The "problem" in "relational life" is the rupture of the relationship.
i. If there is no "rupture", there is no problem to be remedied.
ii. If there is a "rupture", the remedy has to solve the problem.
b) There is only one "cause" of rupture in relationships: evil actions.
c) There is only one "cause" of evil actions: evil motives.
d) There is only one "solution" to evil motives: destruction...of either the person operating on those motives, or of the motives themselves.
c. The focus upon "horn" does little to address the destruction of the motives.
1) The "horn" is an instrument of the destruction of the enemy -- not his motivations.
2) The "horn" follows the "redemption price" in Zacharias' words.
a) It is the proclamation of the redemption paid that addresses the motivations of men.
i. If they "believe" the proclamation, they can be "forgiven" -- a destruction of evil motivations.
ii. If they "disbelieve" the proclamation, their motivations remain.
b) It is the proclamation of the "horn of salvation" that addresses the believer and gives him hope.
i. If he "believes" the proclamation, he finds "rest unto his soul".
ii. If he "disbelieves" the proclamation, he lives in "fear".
B. The "horn" is raised up in the "house" of David as "child/servant".
1. The translation of the word "servant" is "iffy".
a. Luke uses a variation of the very same word in 1:76 where Zacharias addresses John.
b. The question is why the Spirit moved Zacharias to identify David as God's "child"...
1) A very helpful context is Luke 7 where a centurion had a "servant" [bond-servant] who became ill. The centurion sent for help from Jesus. The servant is called "child" in the expression of the centurion's attitude toward this particular "servant". The implication is that the word "child", which can easily refer to a slave, is used when there is a relational bond between the "master/father" and the "slave/child".
2) Zacharias' choice of terms by the Spirit signals a special attitude that God has toward David...one of tender care and deep relational commitment.
3) In Acts 4:27-30 the disciples deliberately call Jesus God's "child".
2. There is this about the word: in God's Kingdom, all are "beloved servants" as well as "beloved children". The Kingdom is "of such"...servant children.
3. The "house" issue is the Davidic dynasty promised in 2 Samuel 7.
a. The statement regarding the house of David is a clear signal that Zacharias has a "king" in mind.
b. That he has a "king" in mind has some implications for the kind of deliverance he is anticipating.
1) King's typically set the agenda of the Kingdom and enforce it: implying that "deliverance" is going to have "justice enforcement" overtones.
2) King's also typically protect the Kingdom from outside forces of evil: implying that "deliverance" is going to have "walls of Jasper" overtones (security from threats from without).
4. That it is "David's" house is the clearest of all signals that Zacharias is speaking of Jesus and not John.
a. "David" seems linked to "Dod", the Hebrew word for "beloved" -- the one who stimulates to extraordinary feelings of pleasure. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says the linkage is "uncertain", but there is nothing uncertain about the fact that David was a person whom God has placed extremely high on the ladder of values...i.e. God loves David so that he is beloved.
b. The reference to the house of David injects the picture of the overall plan into the reality of the on-going minutia of details that fill the ordinary days. This means that everyone really needs to have a big picture framework in which to plug the sense of details. Without the proper big picture, the perspective heads south pretty fast...and when that happens the quality of life begins to head south also.