Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 206
Context: Scholars generally contend that the gospel of Luke, traditionally believed to have been written by Luke, the physician friend of Paul, actually was written, along with the book of Acts, by an unknown author. The young virgin Mary of the town of Nazareth in Galilee, betrothed to a carpenter named Joseph, is told by Gabriel, the angel of the Lord, that she will conceive and bear the long-awaited Messiah and that her aged, barren cousin, Elizabeth, will also bear a son. Mary visits Elizabeth, who salutes her as the mother of her Lord, and in reply Mary speaks the familiar words of praise of the Magnificat, which begins:
. . . My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my savior.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his hand-maiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.