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He has shown strength with His arm;

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He has scattered

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those who are proud in the thoughts of their hearts.


He has demonstrated the powerful exercise of His authority over all things; He has done so by thwarting the plans of those who are proud on the inside but may or may not show pride on the outside.


1: “with His arm”

In ancient times the arm was usually a symbol for what someone was capable of accomplishing, i.e. a sign of his strength. Ray VanderLaan points out many times in his videos about Egypt that the Pharaoh was usually depicted with his arm raised and a stick in his hand. This meant “Pharaoh is powerful and he will use his power to punish, so you better obey him.” God’s finger is much more powerful than Pharaoh’s arm, as the OT narrative clearly indicates. Notice here in Luke chapter 2 the contrast between this use of God’s “arm,” where punishment is implied, and that of verse 48 where God “extends” His “long” arm to show favor, to bless.


The reason God has “scattered” them is so they will not be able to carry out their proud schemes. When one is scattered, i.e. running for his life, he is not able to do much beyond survive. The concept of scattering would have reminded the Jews of the scattering that God brought about at the tower of Babel, which was God’s judgement for sinful attitudes.