51In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,a2of 3the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
And they were both 4righteous before God, walking 5blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
But they had no child, because 6Elizabeth was barren, and 7both were advanced in years.
Now 8while he was serving as priest before God when 9his division was on duty,
according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot 10to enter 11the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
And the whole multitude of the people 12were praying 13outside at the hour of incense.
And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of 14the altar of incense.
And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and 15fear fell upon him.
But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for 16your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and 17you shall call his name John.
And you will have joy and gladness, and many will 18rejoice at his birth,
for he will be 19great before the Lord. And 20he must not drink wine or strong 21drink, and 22he will be 23filled with the Holy Spirit, 24even from his mother's womb.
And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,
and 25he will go before him 26in the spirit and power of Elijah, 27to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and 28the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, 29to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."
And Zechariah said to the angel, 30"How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years."
And the angel answered him, "I am 31Gabriel. 32I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
And behold, 33you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time."
And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in 34the temple.
And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in 35the temple. And 36he kept making signs to them and remained mute.
And 37when his time of 38service was ended, he went to his home.
After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying,
"Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, 39to take away my reproach among people."