And behold, thou shalt be dumb, &
c] Or "silent; and not able to speak", if he would. Silence is sometimes voluntary; but this was what he could not help;
until the day that these thing shall be performed;
which he had said concerning the conception and birth of a son, and the imposition of a name on him; for this dumbness remained upon Zachariah, not only until his wife had conceived, and the child was born, but until the eighth day after, when he was circumcised, and his name was given him the angel directed to: "because thou believest not my words": he was struck both deaf and dumb, as appears from his friends making signs to him, ( Luke 1:62 ) which they had no need to have done, could he have heard: he was struck with deafness, because he hearkened not to the angel's words; and with dumbness, because from the unbelief of his heart he objected to them. We learn from hence, what an evil unbelief is, and how much resented by God, and how much it becomes us to take heed, that it prevails not in us: and especially since it easily besets us: "which shall be fulfilled in their season"; first the conception, then the birth; after that the calling him by his name, and in process of time, the doing of his work and office; so that the unbelief Zacharias did not make the faith of God of none effect; for though sometimes the people of God are very unbelieving, yet he abides faithful to his word and promises. Mahomet, in his Alkoran F11, very wrongly makes the angel to say these words to Zacharias;
``thy sign shall be, that thou shalt speak unto no man for three days, otherwise than by gesture.''And elsewhere F12 it is said three nights.
F11 C. 3. p. 40. Ed. Sale.
F12 C. 10. p. 249.