Luke 2:14 Commentary - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
14. Glory to God in the highest In the highest heavens. Commentators understand this as a reference to the Jewish threefold heavens. This glory ascends to the highest. This glory among the highest is placed in contrast to the peace on earth. See note on Mat 21:9.
Good will to men Rather good will among men. The first clause represented what takes place between God and men from the mediation of Christ. Glory ascends to heaven, peace descends to earth. Such is the reconciliation between God and men. Good will among men represents men’s reconciliation among each other. Is it a fallacy to suppose that here is a parallel clause for each one of the Holy Trinity? There is God, to whom accrues glory in the highest; there is Christ, who is our peace; there is the Holy Ghost, through whose communion there is good will among men.
It is not clear whether these clauses were sung as a continuous strain, or whether they were heard in single floating fragments, or whether by alternate responses. The last would give them most of the character of the Hebrew choral service. So they would be truly an angel choir in the gallery of the firmament.
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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).