Before his face (enwpion autou). Not in the ancient Greek, but common in the papyri as in LXX and N.T. It is a vernacular Koin word, adverb used as preposition from adjective enwpio, and that from o en wpi wn (the one who is in sight). Autou here seems to be "the Lord their God" in verse Numbers 16 since the Messiah has not yet been mentioned, though he was to be actually the Forerunner of the Messiah. In the spirit and power of Elijah (en pneumati kai dunamei Eleia). See Isaiah 40:1-11 ; Malachi 3:1-5 . John will deny that he is actually Elijah in person, as they expected ( John 1:21 ), but Jesus will call him Elijah in spirit ( Mark 9:12 ; Matthew 17:12 ). Hearts of fathers (kardia paterwn). Paternal love had died out. This is one of the first results of conversion, the revival of love in the home. Wisdom (pronhsei). Not sopia, but a word for practical intelligence. Prepared (kateskeuasmenon). Perfect passive participle, state of readiness for Christ. This John did. This is a marvellous forecast of the character and career of John the Baptist, one that should have caught the faith of Zacharias.