What does Luke 1:58 mean?
ESV: And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
NIV: Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.
NASB: Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had displayed His great mercy toward her; and they were rejoicing with her.
CSB: Then her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her his great mercy, and they rejoiced with her.
NLT: And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her.
KJV: And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
NKJV: When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they rejoiced with her.
Verse Commentary:
Both Elizabeth (Luke 1:57) and Zechariah are known for their godly lives (Luke 1:5–7). They have struggled with an inability to have children, however. While Zechariah was serving in the temple, he was visited by an angel, Gabriel (Luke 1:11–12). Gabriel declared that Elizabeth would finally have a son, who would be an important prophet (Luke 1:13–17). Zechariah's first response was doubt, so he was temporarily stricken with an inability to speak (Luke 1:19–20).

As expected, Elizabeth was overjoyed with this news (Luke 1:24–25). Also as expected, her friends and family were happy for her, as well. Given the circumstances of his birth and his father's encounter with Gabriel, there would have been more interest than usual. This means that the baby's circumcision and naming were likely attended with great interest. This would have multiplied the number of people who saw the supernatural events which occurred there (Luke 1:63–66).
Verse Context:
Luke 1:57–80 describes the first of two births predicted by the angel Gabriel in this chapter (Luke 1:13, 31). Despite their old age, Elizabeth and Zechariah have had a son, who now needs to be named. Zechariah has been stricken mute for months, after doubting the angel's message. Elizabeth surprises her family by naming the child "John." When asked, Zechariah writes down the same name and is immediately able to speak again. Amid the awestruck reaction of family and neighbors, the legendary reputation of John the Baptist has begun. Zechariah then prophesies about the powerful ministry of his son.
Chapter Summary:
The angel Gabriel predicts two miraculous births. The first is a son born to Zechariah and Elizabeth: an older, childless priest and his wife. Because Zechariah initially doubts this message, he is temporarily made unable to speak. Their child will be known as John the Baptist, a powerful herald of the Messiah. The Promised One whom John will proclaim is the second birth predicted by Gabriel. He tells an engaged virgin, Mary, that God will miraculously conceive His Son in her. The two women meet and rejoice over their blessings. John's arrival sets the stage for Luke's familiar account of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Chapter Context:
Luke was a travelling companion of the apostle Paul (Acts 16:10); his book of Acts is a direct "sequel" to the gospel of Luke (Acts 1:1–3). Those two books make up more than a quarter of the New Testament. Luke begins by explaining how his orderly approach is meant to inspire confidence in Christian faith. His work is based on eyewitness interviews and other evidence. The first chapter details the miraculous conceptions of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ. Chapter 2 continues with Jesus' birth.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
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