Verses of Luke 1
Luke 1:39 Commentary - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
§ 5. VISIT OF MARY TO ELISABETH, Luk 1:39-56 .
Elisabeth concealed herself for five months, (Luk 1:24;) and the annunciation was made to Mary in the sixth month, (26;) and Mary visits Elizabeth for three months, making about nine months. The conception of the Messiah, doubtless, took place before Mary’s departure. The revelation of the fact to Joseph took place after her return.
There are many passages in the word of God which modern delicacy desires to avoid, and at which modern scepticism utters its scoffs. But in all such passages, be it noted, the holy word seeks to pander to no impure or sensual passion. On the contrary, the expressions that occur indicate that the sacred writer was unconscious of impurity, and is, as it were, unknowing of the applications and perversions which a depraved heart makes of his words. Its words, therefore, are utterances of highest purity. With the guilty is the guilt. The Holy Spirit need not hesitate to name what the Omnipotent Spirit does not hesitate to create; and that naming and that creating are equally pure.
39. Into the hill country See note on Mat 2:1. See also the map.
With haste The action of eager interest. If we may suppose Hebron to be Elisabeth’s residence, Mary’s journey would be about one hundred miles. Robinson journeyed with camels from Hebron to Jerusalem in an hour and fifteen minutes, and from thence to Nazareth with mules in nearly thirty hours. A camel travels about ten miles an hour; a mule three.
City of Judah The city is by many supposed to be Hebron. In Jos 21:11, is mentioned “Arba,… which is Hebron, in the hill country of Judah.” It was a residence of priests, and so very probably of the priest Zacharias. Modern tradition, traceable back no further, however, than the sixteenth century, finds his residence in Ain Karim. This is a prosperous village within the hill country, where now stands the convent of St. John in the Desert. According to tradition, Mary, in her visit to Elisabeth, found her at Zacharias’s rural abode, one mile from the village, where the interview took place. The place was marked by a chapel built by the Empress Helena, of which the ruins still remain. The spot is called The Visitation. But some of the best scholars suppose that Judah is but a softened name for Juttah, a city mentioned in Jos 15:55; Jos 21:16, and which exists at the present day.
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).