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50 from[a] generation to generation he is merciful[b] to those who fear[c] him.
51 He has demonstrated power[d] with his arm; he has scattered those whose pride wells up from the sheer arrogance[e] of their hearts.
52 He has brought down the mighty[f] from their thrones, and has lifted up those of lowly position;[g]
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,[h] and has sent the rich away empty.[i]
54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering[j] his mercy,[k]
55 as he promised[l] to our ancestors,[m] to Abraham and to his descendants[n] forever.”

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  1. Luke 1:50 tn Grk “and from.” Here καί (kai) has been translated by a semicolon to improve the English style.
  2. Luke 1:50 sn God’s mercy refers to his “loyal love” or “steadfast love,” expressed in faithful actions, as the rest of the psalm illustrates.
  3. Luke 1:50 tn That is, “who revere.” This refers to those who show God a reverential respect for his sovereignty.
  4. Luke 1:51 tn Or “shown strength,” “performed powerful deeds.” The verbs here switch to aorist tense through 1:55. This is how God will act in general for his people as they look to his ultimate deliverance.
  5. Luke 1:51 tn Grk “in the imaginations of their hearts.” The psalm rebukes the arrogance of the proud, who think that power is their sovereign right. Here διανοίᾳ (dianoia) can be understood as a dative of sphere or reference/respect.
  6. Luke 1:52 tn Or “rulers.”
  7. Luke 1:52 tn Or “those of humble position”sn The contrast between the mighty and those of lowly position is fundamental for Luke. God cares for those that the powerful ignore (Luke 4:18-19).
  8. Luke 1:53 sn Good things refers not merely to material blessings, but blessings that come from knowing God.
  9. Luke 1:53 sn Another fundamental contrast of Luke’s is between the hungry and the rich (Luke 6:20-26).
  10. Luke 1:54 tn Or “because he remembered mercy,” understanding the infinitive as causal.
  11. Luke 1:54 tn Or “his [God’s] loyal love.”
  12. Luke 1:55 tn Grk “as he spoke.” Since this is a reference to the covenant to Abraham, ἐλάλησεν (elalēsen) can be translated in context “as he promised.” God keeps his word.
  13. Luke 1:55 tn Grk “fathers.”
  14. Luke 1:55 tn Grk “his seed” (an idiom for offspring or descendants).