Luke 1:56

ESV And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.
NIV Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
NASB Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her home.
CSB And Mary stayed with her about three months; then she returned to her home.
NLT Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back to her own home.
KJV And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

What does Luke 1:56 mean?

The prior verses form an extended series of quotes and references tied to the Old Testament (Luke 1:46–55). These were spoken by Mary, who is currently bearing the Son of God in her womb (Luke 1:31–33). She received this news from the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:26–27) before coming to visit her relative, Elizabeth (Luke 1:39–42). In her song, Mary has praised God for His power, mercy, and faithfulness in keeping His promises.

Elizabeth was elderly and childless (Luke 1:5–7) until given a miraculous announcement (Luke 1:13–17). When Mary comes to visit, Elizabeth is six months pregnant (Luke 1:37). Given that Mary stays with her for another three months, it's likely she stayed until Elizabeth's son was born. This child will be known as John the Baptist (Luke 3:2–3). He will be an important herald of Jesus Christ (Malachi 3:1; 4:6; Isaiah 40:3).

Matthew's gospel points out that Joseph did not know about Mary's angelic encounter—or did not believe it—until he was visited by an angel, himself (Matthew 1:18–21). He and Mary are "betrothed," which is as binding as marriage but does not yet include living together or intercourse. It's possible he did not learn that Mary was pregnant until she returned from visiting Elizabeth and began to show signs of carrying the unborn Jesus.

After this, Luke will focus on the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:57–80). This is followed by the well-known and often-recited narrative of Jesus' birth, recorded in Luke chapter 2.
What is the Gospel?
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