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Please help me to better understand the Magnificat


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#1 Matthew

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 06:16 PM

The lines from Luke 1:46-55 are very interesting to me, and more so because we sing them during many Orthros services.

I understand the beginning:
Μεγαλύνει ἡ ψυχή μου τὸν κύριον,
καὶ ἠγαλλίασεν τὸ πνεῦμα μου ἐπὶ τῷ θεῷ τῷ σωτῆρι μου,
"My soul magnifies the Lord
"and my spirit rejoices in God my savior"

This is the sort of thing I would imagine the Theotokos saying after the joyful exchange with Elizabeth.

However, some of the following lines are strange, even hard sayings.

διεσκόρπισεν ὑπερηφάνους διανοίᾳ καρδίας αὐτῶν·
"He scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts"

Or:
καὶ πλουτοῦντας ἐξαπέστειλεν κενούς.
"And the rich (man) he has sent away empty."

These are not things I immediately would think that Mary would say. Why is she rejoicing that the proud are scattered? Why the method, of the "imagination of the hearts"? Why sing about rich men being sent away empty?

Any help would be appreciated.

#2 Olga

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 11:33 PM

I would not be surprised if these lines are from OT scripture, particularly the Psalms.

#3 Father David Moser

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 12:42 AM

The Mother of God is quoting scripture here - first the prophetess Hannah when she learned that she was with child (who was to be the prophet Samuel, iirc) and then the later lines are from the psalms.

Fr David Moser




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