68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
1901 ASV Translation:
68 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; For he hath visited and wrought redemption for his people,
69 And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of his servant David
In the Textus Receptus text of verse 69 there are two uses of the definite article "the" before the words "house" and "servant" that the Nestle/Aland 26 does not have. The difference is a very subtle shift of emphasis. The Textus Receptus focuses upon the "singularity" of the house of David the servant while the Nestle/Aland 26 focuses upon the "quality" of both house and servanthood.
I. He records the words of Zacharias as an outburst of exaltation as he focuses upon Yahweh, God of Israel.
II. His praise is based upon Yahweh's "visitation" in "creating a ransom payment" for His people.
III. He then further explains himself by saying that Yahweh has "raised up a horn of salvation for "us" in the house of David His "servant/child".
I. Zacharias immediately focuses upon the actions of Yahweh, God of Israel, in "making a ransom payment for His people."
A. Interestingly, the text from 1:68-75 is entirely focuses upon what Yahweh has done in regard to Mary's baby, not Elizabeth's. In 1:76-79 he turns to his own son's place in Yahweh's "visitation".
B. The translation "He...has redeemed..." is flawed in that it takes a statement in Greek that consists of both a verb and a direct object ("He has made a ransom payment") and reduces it to a simple verb that does not carry the meaning properly.
C. The translation "He has wrought redemption" is better, but it still gives the impression that Yahweh has already achieved the redemption...i.e. He has already paid the ransom price.
1. This is not the case and should only be so translated if it is understood that the actions of Yahweh are "in process" (i.e. "...He has begun to produce a redemption for His people...").
2. Zacharias clearly sees Mary, as she visits in his home while his wife is coming to full term, as Elizabeth characterized her -- "the mother of my Lord" (1:43). His words are about what Yahweh has done by His Spirit in impregnating Mary and, by so doing, has "produced" the "ransom payment" that was required for the fulfillment of the promised "salvation" ["...He has raised up a horn of salvation in the house of David..."].
II. Zacharias uses the terminology of "a horn of salvation" to further describe the impact of Yahweh's "visit".
A. The "horn" is a long-held metaphor that was applied for centuries to the concept of a "powerful, destructive, instrument of protection". The "destructive" element had to do with the bull's ability to gore its adversary in order to vanquish it. The "protective" aspect had to do with the adversary's intent to injure/kill some member of the bull's herd. The herd bull would turn his "horn(s)" upon that which would seek the injury/death of any member of his "family". In this way, the long-known imagery of Taurus was called to the fore according to the prophecies of Deuteronomy 33:17. The "horns" of Joseph, son of Israel, would defeat the adversary. Also was recalled the words of Balaam in Numbers 23:22 where the "visiting God" is "for them like the horns of the wild ox" [this thesis is repeated in Numbers 24:8]. The contrast is, of course, that the "redemption payment" was "death" for the "herd bull". In a violent "disconnect" from the expectations of men (who believe victory is won through power and a mighty force of destruction), the "Ransom Payment" submitted to the death of the Cross that He might actually defeat the adversaries.
B. As we know after the fact, the "victory" will have both of the elements of meek submission and powerful avenging judgment; but, each will be in its own time and according to the terms required.
C. In the rest of Zacharias' outburst of praise, there is a strong theme of "deliverance from those who hate us". This is the major thesis of the "horn" of salvation: that the "horn" will vanquish the enemies so that we may "serve Him without fear".
III. Summary: Yahweh, Executor of Power for the Seeker of Blessing, "has visited"... . He has "made" a "redemption price" and, simultaneously, raised up a "horn" of salvation from our enemies. There are two major issues in "salvation": one is the forgiveness of sins (1:77); the other is deliverance from the enemies (1:71, 74). The "creation" of the Son of Mary is both the Redemption Price as well as the Powerful Horn Who will destroy the adversaries of "His people".