And he asked for a writing table
That is, he made signs for one, for as yet he could not speak. The Persic version renders it "ink", and the Ethiopic, a book, and the Vulgate Latin, a notebook. The word signifies "a little table", such as they used to write not only "upon", but "in"; and was sometimes of brass F20, sometimes of wood, and sometimes of wax F21, on which they wrote with a style or pen;
and wrote, saying, his name is John:
not that he must be, or shall be, so called; but this is his name, and no other; being what the angel had given him before his conception, and Zacharias now confirms:
and they marvelled all;
they were astonished, not so much at the new name brought into the family, as at the agreement between Elisabeth and Zacharias in this point, when the latter was both deaf and dumb; they knowing nothing, as yet, of the angel's message to him.
F20 Haryocration. Lex. p. 244.
F21 Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 2. c. 30.