26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
1. The time is reckoned from the beginning of the pregnancy of Elizabeth -- in the sixth month.
2. The angel is identified by name.
3. The angel is sent from the God.
4. The angel is sent into a city of Galilee.
5. The name of the city is Nazareth.
6. The angel is sent to a virgin.
7. The virgin is betrothed to a man.
8. The man's name is Joseph.
9. The man is of the house of David.
10. The virgin's name is Mary.
1. The word name is used three times in these two verses.
a. The names given in the text are: Gabriel, Galilee, Nazareth, Joseph, David, Mary.
b. The meanings of the names are [as gleaned from Strong's concordance]:
1) Gabriel -- a mighty warrior of EL (the Executor of Power)
2) Galilee -- a circuit or district (known as a Gentile stronghold -- Galilee of the Gentiles)
3) Nazareth -- unknown derivation, Strong's suggests "the guarded one" (Matthew says He was from Nazareth to fulfill the prophecy that "He shall be called a Nazarene")
4) Joseph -- Yahweh has added; but it is a future tense ("let Him add")
5) David -- beloved
6) Mary -- rebellion [she is completely out of character: a pregnant virgin and a rebel who is immediately submissive]
2. The word virgin is used twice in verse 27.
3. The reckoning of time is deliberately in respect to Elizabeth as verse 36 clearly indicates.
4. One overall issue that exists in this text is that the words of God are empowered so that none of them fail.
a. The announcement of Elizabeth's pregnancy to Mary is deliberately tied to her barrenness.
b. The response to Mary's question in regard to her virginity is fundamentally answered by "for no word from God shall be void of power" after the reference to Elizabeth.
1. Gabriel is sent to a despised region to a virgin who is betrothed to an heir of David.
2. There are many contrasts/parallels to the preceding record of 1:5-25:
a. John's arrival was entrenched within the concept of prayer; Jesus' is entrenched within the concept of rejection by 'status-givers' [echo of Elizabeth's focus on deliverance from the shame heaped up by men].
b. John's arrival was announced within the background of barrenness; Jesus' arrival is announced within the background of virginity.
c. John's arrival was announced to an elderly, disbelieving, man; Jesus' arrival is announced to a young, submissive, woman.
d. John's arrival was announced as a fulfillment of long-term desire; Jesus' arrival is announced in respect to the Davidic Covenant's "house of David" thesis.
e. John's birth was announced as a great surprise; Jesus' birth was announced as a great surprise.
f. Both births were miraculous and required the Power of Yahweh.
g. The reactions of Zacharias and Mary were similar -- the term used to describe Mary's initial reaction ('troubled') is an intensified version of the same word used to describe Zacharias' reaction in 1:12.
AND THE LIST CONTINUES:
The Issue Before Us:
The focus is upon the timing and setting of Gabriel's second message. There are these questions:
What is the significance of the forerunner being born 6 months before "the Lord" before Whom he goes?
What is the significance of the deliberate emphasis upon being "despised"?
What is the significance of the focus upon Mary's virginity in light of her connection to the House of David?