Verses of Luke 1
Luke 1:11 Commentary - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
11. Angel of the Lord See note on Mat 1:20. The appearance of this angel is the opening of the miraculous dispensation of grace.
On the right side of the altar Zacharias at the proper signal ascending the steps behind the Great Altar, passes through the Porch, and walking the gilded floor, (for ceiling, walls, and probably floor, were sheeted with a complete overlay of gold,) approaches the altar upon which the censer has been placed. In this sanctuary no glare of day ever penetrates; but from the golden chandelier, with its seven branches crowned with lamps, pours a blaze of golden light over the golden altar and table, filling the golden room with richest splendour. The column of incense rises to soften the light and fill the air with fragrance. In this scene of dim magnificence a more than mortal form presents itself to the eye of Zacharias. Between the candlestick (8) and the Golden Altar (7) stands the angel Gabriel on the right side of the altar, (not on Zacharias’s right hand,) and, therefore, on the south side of the altar and on the right side of God, whose Shekinah, or Presence, once dwelt between the cherubim in the Most Holy, or Holy of Holies. This is the post of divine honour suitable to the being who announces that the age of Christ has approached, and that his harbinger is now to be born.
Though the system of miraculous revelation ceased with the closing canon, yet, if we may believe the Jewish historians, there were exceptional manifestations made in the Holy of Holies, or in the Holy Place, at this same Altar of Incense, to former priests. Ezra, the inspired Scribe, upon the return from the Captivity, established the Great Synagogue, consisting of one hundred and twenty grave and holy men, among whose presidents are enumerated Haggai, Zechariah, and Zerubbabel, which lasted one hundred and twenty years, terminating with the close of the presidency of the renowned Simon the Just, who died about 320 years before Christ. This was specially the age of the Soferim or Scribes. Simon the Just, it is related, filled the High Priesthood forty-nine years; and in the last year he said, “I shall die this year; for every year that I have entered the Holy of Holies there has been an Ancient One, זקז אהד , clothed in white, and veiled in white, that entered and came out with me; this year he entered but came not out.” Josephus narrates of the High Priest Hyrcanus, that upon the day that his sons fought at Cyzicenus, he was offering incense in the temple alone, and he heard a voice declaring that they had just conquered Antiochus; and this, going forward from the temple, he announced to the people in front. The annunciation was verified by the result.
Verses of Luke 1
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Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Daniel D. Whedon (1808-1885) was a prominent university professor, theologian, and author. He served as Professor of Ancient Languages at Wesleyan University in Connecticut; as Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Michigan; and as editor of the Methodist Quarterly Review from 1856 to1884. He authored numerous books including Commentary on the New Testament (New York: Carlton & Porter, 1860); Commentary on the Old Testament (New York: Nelson & Phillips, 1873); What is Arminianism? (Toronto: W. Briggs, 1879); and Essays, Reviews, and Discourses (New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1887).