71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
1901 ASV Translation:
71 Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
There are no textual variations between the Textus Receptus and the Nestle/Aland 26 in this verse. The translation in the AV is really "elastic" in that there is no verb to be translated "that we should be saved".
Luke has recorded Zacharias' "prophecy" regarding why Yahweh, the Elohim of Israel ought to be "highly spoken of" (i.e., "blessed") in terms of His "visitation": His "visitation" has brought about two highly significant things. The first of these is the "production of a ransom price" for His people; and the second is the "raising up of a Horn of Salvation" in the House of David, His "beloved child". These two consequences of the "visitation" encompass what we now know as the results of the First Coming and the Second Coming. At the first coming, the Ransom was paid; when He comes again, He will use His "horns" to deliver His people from the impact of unrighteousness that pervades the present world. And, Zacharias claims, this was all done "just as He spoke through the mouth of His holy prophets from time past."
I. At this point, Zacharias' words return to the specific theme of "salvation" after injecting the reality of continuous prophetic teaching over the ages regarding it.
A. The "return" is abrupt. There is no "verb" in verse 71 (except the participle "all who hate us"): the statement is designed to be a description of the impact of the "horn of salvation". That impact is: "Salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us."
B. This issue of "salvation" has already been raised in 1:69 in reference to the "horn of salvation".
1. In that phrase, the issue has to do with "salvation" as it has to do with the kind of deliverance that is accomplished by the "protective horn(s) of the herd bull".
a. This puts the focus of "salvation" pretty much upon "external threats".
b. There is little, if any, focus upon the internal threats to "salvation".
2. In that phrase, the singular use of "horn" is fascinating if one has the symbolism of the ancient "herd bull" in mind.
a. In the ancient symbolism, the horns of the herd bull pointed in two directions.
1) One of the horns "pricked the heel" of the Good Shepherd.
2) The other pointed to the "club" of the Lion Killer.
b. Thus, the "horns" specified both of the activities of "salvation" in that the death of the Good Shepherd "saved" all who would trust in that death to redeem them, and, thus, save them from themselves (the internal threat), and the "club" of the Lion Killer slew the "adversary who walks about as a roaring lion seeking some to devour" (the external threat).
c. That the word "horn" is singular in Zacharias' mind indicates that, though he has mentioned both the "redemption price" as well as the "horn of salvation", his attention, as far as the "horn" is concerned, is focused upon the deliverance from the external threats.
C. In this text, Zacharias' return to the issue of "salvation" is clearly that aspect which deals specifically with Yahweh's deliverance of His people from the external threats.
1. The first statement is that the "salvation" is "from our enemies".
a. We have more than one kind of "enemy": there is the enemy who is manifest in the external world; and there is the enemy who, though unseen, is not absent or idle ("...we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces of wickedness in high places...").
b. There is nothing specified about these "enemies" in respect to why they are "enemies"...do they seek a different agenda and we are in their way?
2. The second statement is that the "salvation" is "from the hand of all those who hate us".
a. As "mouth" was singular in 1:70, here "hand" is singular -- as if all of the "hands" of our enemies are one: a "hand" devoted to our destruction.
b. The particular issue here is "those who think us unworthy of any effort on their part to bring us good".
II. This Issue of Deliverance From the External Threats is a Very Prominent Theme in the Doctrine of Salvation.
A. It is, as of yet, future.
B. It has, for the most part, "Second Coming" ramifications.
1. 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10 speaks directly to Zacharias' sense of "salvation".
2. The greater part of the Revelation of Jesus Christ is dedicated to the nature of God's "deliverance" of the saints as it records in detail the kinds of judgments that God is going to execute in order to prepare the world for the Kingdom of His Son.
C. It is enormously instructive for us to take into account that neither of the aspects of "salvation" to which Zacharias points were "current realities" as he spoke. The "redemption price" was not to be paid for over 30 years from the time of his words, and the "horn of deliverance" would not be exercised for the next 2000 years. One of the greatest problems for men in understanding God is that they think that if He has made a commitment, He must fulfill it as they insist in their time and His commitments cannot be forced in the directions of human application and timing.