Greek Study Luke 1:39-56
v39 Luke recounts this story with an eye toward the Old Testament, which is, of itself a bit unusual as Luke’s audience is obviously Gentile, and so likely not well versed in OT theology. Is this perhaps part of the “borrowed” material that Luke received? The three months may allude to Numbers 10:35, but the story of Hannah more likely runs in the background (2 Sam.6 ff). Of course, the baby leaping in the womb may allude to Rebekah's experience of Gen.25:22 as the same Gk. word is used in the LXX translation.
αναστασα (ανιστημι) aor. part. "got ready" (having arisen). This word is often used to express the commencement of an ongoing action.
μετα σπουδησ + gen. "with haste” Adverbial use expressing manner, so "eagerly".
Ιουδα (ας ου) gen. "[to a town in the hill country] of Judea" The destination is unknown. Some suggest reference is to an actual town but the text was corrupted.
v41 ηκουσεν (ακουω) aor. + acc. "she/he heard [Mary's greeting]"
εσκιρτησεν (σκιρταω) aor. "leaped" - nothing unusual in a baby moving, it’s the timing that is considered miraculous (another OT view, most miracles in the OT - especially those connected to the Exodus, were miracles of timing not content, i.e. while they were unusual, they could be explained away naturally (which explains Pharaoh hardened heart – he was both stubborn and pragmatic!)
επλησθη (πιμπλημι) aor. pas πνευματος αγιου gen. "was filled with the Holy Spirit" the aorist verb indicates immediate action; typical of Luke/Acts, a person filled with the Spirit proclaims and preaches, this once again reflects OT theology, the Judges were “filled by the spirit” in much this same way.
v42 κραυγη μεγαλη dat. "in a loud voice [she cried out] often portrayed as a hymn, more likely an enthusiastic (and loud) response – she ululates.
ευλογημενη perf. pas. part. "blessed" may express a wish but more likely a fact.
της κοιλιας (α) gen. "[the one you] will bear" an ablative of source (a rather unusual grammatical construct, even for Luke).
v43 τοθεν "why" - interrogative particle introduces a question or expresses surprise.
ου κυριου (ος) gen. "[my] Lord" genitive is adjectival, relational, while μου,"of me", is possessive, "my Lord" or of subordination, "Lord over me." Expressing respect, not status.
προς εμε "to me?" - emphatic by position.
v44 ιδου behold. Idiom, "I tell you ως "as soon as" - temporal conjunction.
του ασπασμου (ος) gen. "[the sound] of [your] greeting" - Mary's voice stirs the fetus, not the greeting itself.
εν αγαλλιασει (ις εως) "for joy" - exultation – not that this emotion is attributed to the fetus, not than the mother.
v45 μακαρια adj. "blessed" – happy, favored, fortunate.
η πιστευσασα aor. part. "she who has believed" - participle serves as a substantive, refers to Mary's response as an example of faith for taking God at His word.
τοις λαλαλημενοις perf. pas. part. "has said [to her]/[his] promises [to her]" to the things having been spoken - participle serves as a dative of reference; "with respect to the things that have been spoken…”
τελειωσις (ις εως) "[will be] accomplished" as in the execution of a plan, completion as in nothing need be added.
v46 The Magnificat, v46-55. This Song of Mary is in the form of a hymn and is directed to God for his kindness toward her with particular reference to sh’er sh’uv “remnant Israel”.
μεγαλυνει η ψυχη μου "my soul glorifies" – a technical term expressing an act of praise that emerges from deep within one’s being. Following Hebrew parallelism, the thought is repeated in v47.
v47 ηγαλλιασεν (αγαλλιαω) aor. "rejoices" - unlike "glorifies" in v46 which uses the present tense, the verb here is aorist and therefore ingressive - the emphasis falls on the beginning of the action; "my spirit has begun to delight".
v48 επεβλεψεν (επιβλεπω) aor. "he has been mindful" – a phrase used as a loving preference toward another, so another way of saying that God has favored Mary.
την ταπεινωσιν (ις εως) "humiliation, lowliness, afflicted state likely referring to Mary's low social position - she is favored in spite of her social position and her difficult social circumstances..
της δουλης (ος) gen. "[his] servant" - bondmaid - further underlining Mary's lowliness.
μακαριουσιν (μακαριζω) fut. "will call me blessed" - because of the "great things" God is about to do through her (which at this point are all proleptic!)
v49 μεγαλα ο δυνατος "the Mighty One" – literally "the one who enacts great power".
αγιον το ονομα αυτου "holy is his name" – the set-apart God – another OT allusion to the second commandment.
v50 Here an allusion to Psalm 103:17. το ελεος (ος) "mercy" – reflects the Old Testament idea of God's covenant loyalty, his hesed or “everlasting love”.
τοις φοβουμενοις (φοβεω) dat. pres. pas. part. "to those who fear" - a dative of advantage - "fear" here does not mean fright but rather those who acknowledge God's position and authority, so ‘reverence”.
εις γενεας και γενεας "from generation to generation" – idiom; God’s fidelity is forever; i.e. historically timeless.
v51 εποιησεν (ποιεω) aor. "he has performed" - gnomic, expressing a universal truth.
βραχιονι (ων ονος) "[his] arm" – an anthropomorphism to state that he "performs mighty deeds" as would be expected of any king.
διεσκορπισεν (διασκορπιζω) aor. "scattered" - refers to the scattering of Israel's enemies (over and against the ingathering of Israel – sh’uv).
υπερηφανους adj. "those who are proud" - presumptuous.
διανοια (α) dat. "in [their inmost] thoughts" – a dative of reference; - so “deep seated thoughts, an ingrained arrogance?
v52 καθειλεν (καθαιρεω) aor. "he has brought down" - verb expresses vigorous action.
υψωσεν (υψοω) aor. "has lifted up" - "Exalted" the ταπεινους (ος) "humble" - those of low estate; once again remnant Israel is the subject.
v53 πεινωντας (πειναω) pres. part. "the hungry" - αναρτηρουσ (the participle) serves as a substantive. Is this an actual or spiritual reversal? Probably we have a typical Jewish motif of national reversal realized in the blessings of the Promised Land, which Jesus reinterprets in eschatological terms (cf. Danker).
πλουτουντας (πλουτεω) pres. part. "the rich" – lit. the ones who are already full.
κενους acc. adj. "empty" - accusative complement of "rich."
v54 αντελαβετο (αντιλαμβανω) aor. "he has helped" - in the sense of to lay hold of to assist or support.
μνησθηναι (μιμνησκομαι) aor. pas. inf. "remembering" – the infinitive is verbal, forming a result clause, - i.e. the divine action is motivated by the divine love.
ελεους (ος) gen. "to be merciful" - genitive of direct object after the infinitive; the content of the divine action.
v55 τω Αβρααμ dat. "to Abraham" – a dative of indirect object. The Lord remembers his remnant, He remembers Abraham, He remembers his servant Israel, and we share in that merciful remembering through Christ (do this in remembrance of me…).
εις τον αιωνα "forever" – a temporal phrase for common to Matthew than to Luke.
v56 ως "about" – idiom; "approximately three month” indicating Mary stayed until the birth of John, although Luke doesn't confirm this.