The Psalms of Solomon and Mary’s Magnificat

My special project this week is expanding my previous work on the Psalms of Solomon. While studying the Psalm, I am paying special attention to the connection it has with the New Testament, if any. I believe that there is a connection, not just in the theology (Pauline) words, but in Luke’s Gospel.

And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. AND HIS MERCY IS UPON GENERATION AFTER GENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM. He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, And has exalted those who were humble. HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOOD THINGS; And sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given help to Israel His servant, In remembrance of His mercy, As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his descendants forever.” (Luke 1.46-55 NASB)

There are two points of connection, highlighted above, with the Psalms of Solomon:

And the Lord remembers his servants in mercy. (10.4)

But upon the pious is the mercy of the Lord, and upon them that fear Him His mercy (13.12)

It is not long after Mary’s song that Zacharias begins to speak for the first time in nine month with language which I see as connected to the 10th and 17th Psalm in this Psalter,

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us In the house of David His servant– (Luke 1:68-69 NASB)

Compare with:

For the testimony (is) in the law of the eternal covenant. The testimony of the Lord (is) on the ways of men in (his) visitation. (Pss 10:4 OPE)

See, Lord, and raise up for them their king, the son of David, to rule over Israel, your servant, in the time which you chose, o God, (Pss 17:21 LXE)

When this goes into my paper, it will be Greek…no worries. I am not looking for direct quotes – those are used to justify a position held by the New Testament writers; instead, I am looking for theological thought connections.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

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