Wednesday, 12 June 2019
Luke 1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people
These words start Zechariah's prophetic words spoken at the circumcision and naming ceremony for his son, John the Baptist.
Zechariah speaks of these events - God's visitation and the redemption of Israel - in the past tense. Why? One reason is because of a technique in biblical Hebrew called the "Affix of Certainty". From the speaker's perspective, the future events are so certain that they can be spoken of in past tense even though they have not yet happened. Zechariah expresses faith in the certainity of God fulfilling His promises to Israel.
A second possibility is because Zechariah speaks rightly about God visiting His people Israel in the supernatural events of John's conception and birth - this has already happened - and prophetically about the redemption that will come starting with John's ministry, even though John himself will not accomplish it but simply be the forerunner or herald.