The Song of Zacharias

Luke 1:67-80 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Zacharias’s Prophecy{Song}
67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:

68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,
69 And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of David His servant—
70 As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from of old—
71 Salvation from our enemies,
And from the hand of all who hate us;
72 To show mercy toward our fathers,
And to remember His holy covenant,
73 The oath which He swore to Abraham our father,
74 To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies,
Might serve Him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.
76 “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways;
77 To give to His people the knowledge of salvation
By the forgiveness of their sins,
78 Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
79 To shine upon those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80 And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

From Biblehub

  • * The prophetic voice of the Lord had been silent for 400 years. Now, God spoke through Gabriel (Luke 1:13,28), through Elizabeth (Luke 1:41-42), through Mary (Luke 1:46-55), and now through Zacharias. When God spoke again, it was all connected to the theme of Jesus and His work.

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From Zondervan KJV Study Bible

  • * Zacharias song is called the Benedictus because this is Latin for the first words “Blessed be”. It is more like a prophecy, whereas Mary’s Song – the Magnificat – is more like a psalm. {Magnificat is Latin for the first word of this song too – “Magnify”}
  • v76 – John is called the prophet of the Highest, whereas Jesus is called the Son of the Highest. Zacharias not only gave praise for his own son but also for Jesus the coming Messiah(v78-79)
  • John is the prophet crying out in the dessert “Prepare the way of the LORD”(Is 40:3) – the forerunner of Jesus the Messiah.

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From NetBible Lk 1:78

  • God’s tender mercy is seen in the deliverance of those in darkness by Jesus who is the light of dawning day.
    =>2Cor 4:6 NET … For God, who said “Let light shine out of darkness,”  is the one who shined in our hearts to give us the light of the glorious knowledge of God in the face of Christ.
  • Dayspring: The Messiah is pictured as a saving light that shows the way. The Greek term was also used to translate the Hebrew word for “branch” or “sprout”
  • Zec 6:12 NET … Then say to him, ‘The Lord who rules over all says, “Look – here is the man whose name is Branch,  who will sprout up from his place and build the temple of the Lord. =>describes the rise of the Messiah, already referred to in this manner in Zec 3:8 (Is 11:1; 53:2; Jer 33:15). In the immediate context this refers to Zerubbabel, but the ultimate referent is Jesus (Jn 19:5).
  • Jn 19:5 NET … So Jesus came outside, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe.  Pilate  said to them, “Look, here is the man!” =>Pilate’s words constituted an unconscious allusion to Zec 6:12. Pilate (unknowingly and ironically) presented Jesus to the nation under a messianic title.
  • Zec 3:8 NET … Listen now, Joshua the high priest, both you and your colleagues who are sitting before you, all of you are a symbol that I am about to introduce my servant, the Branch. => the placement of servant and Branch side by side looks forward to the thousand year rule of Christ as both King and Priest with His servants who are priests of God {see Rev 20:6;Jer 23:5,33:15}
  • Jer 23:5 NET … I, the Lord, promise that a new time will certainly come when I will raise up for them a righteous branch, a descendant of David. He will rule over them with wisdom and understanding and will do what is just and right in the land. => This passage and the parallel in Jer 33:15 are part of a growing number of prayers and prophecies regarding an ideal ruler to come forth from the Davidic line who will bring the justice, security, and well-being that the continuing line of Davidic rulers did not. Though there were periodic kings like Josiah who did fulfill the ideals set forth in Jer 22:3 (see Jer 22:15), by and large they were more like Jehoiakim who did not (see Jer 22:13). Hence the Lord brought to an end the Davidic rule. The potential for the ideal, however, remained because of God’s promise to David (2 Sam 7:16). The Davidic line became like a tree which was cut down, leaving only a stump. But from that stump God would bring forth a “shoot,” a “sprig” which would fulfill the ideals of kingship. See Isa 11:1-6 and Zech 3:8, 6:12 for this metaphor and compare Dan 4:14-15, 23, 26 for a different but related use of the metaphor.

Related:
The Golden Candlestick – Isaiah 11