1Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the thingsa1accomplishedamong us,
2just as they were handeddown to us by those who 2from the beginningbwere 3eyewitnesses and c4servants of 5the dword,
it seemedfitting for me as well, 6having einvestigatedeverythingcarefully from the beginning, to write it out for you 7in consecutiveorder, 8mostexcellent9Theophilus;
4so that you may know the exacttruthabout the things you have been f10taught.
511In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priestnamedgZacharias, of the 12division of hAbijah; and he had a wifeifrom the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
They were both13righteous in the sight of God, walking14blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.
But they hadnochild, becauseElizabeth was barren, and they were bothadvanced in jyears.
8Now it happened that while15he was performing his priestlyservicebeforeGod in the appointed order of his division,
9according to the custom of the priestlyoffice, he was chosen by lot16to enter the temple of the Lord and burnincense.
And the wholemultitude of the people were in prayer17outside at the hour of the incense offering.
And 18an angel of the Lordappeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense.
12Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and 19fearkgripped him.
But the angelsaid to him, "20Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wifeElizabeth will bear you a son, and 21you will lgive him the nameJohn.
"You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.
"For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will 22drinknowineorliquor, and he will be filled with the HolySpiritmwhile yet in his mother'swomb.
"And he will 23turnmany of the sons of Israelback to the Lord their God.
"It is he who will 24go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of 25Elijah, 26TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERSBACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to 27makeready a peopleprepared for the Lord."
18Zachariassaid to the angel, "How will I knowthis for certain? For 28I am an oldman and my wife is advanced in nyears."
The angelanswered and said to him, "I am29Gabriel, who o30stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you thisgoodnews.
"And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speakuntil the daywhenthesethingstakeplace, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their propertime."
The people were waiting for Zacharias, and were wondering at his delay in the temple.
But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them; and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he 31kept pmakingsigns to them, and remainedmute.
23When the days of his priestlyservice were ended, he wentbackhome.
24AfterthesedaysElizabeth his wifebecamepregnant, and she qkeptherself in seclusion for fivemonths, saying,
25"This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the dayswhen He looked with favor upon me, to 32takeaway my disgraceamongmen."
26Now in the sixthmonth the angel33Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galileecalled34Nazareth,
to 35a virginrengaged to a manwhosename was Joseph, 36of the sdescendants of David; and the virgin'sname was tMary.
And coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, ufavored one! The Lordvis with you."
But she 37was veryperplexed at this statement, and kept ponderingwhatkind of salutationthis was.
The angelsaid to her, "38Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have foundfavor with God.
"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you 39shall name Him Jesus.
"He will be great and will be called the Son of 40the MostHigh; and the LordGod will give Him 41the throne of His fatherDavid;
3342and He will reignover the house of Jacobforever, 43and His kingdom will have noend."
34Marysaid to the angel, "Howwcan this be, since I xam a virgin ?"
The angelanswered and said to her, "44The HolySpirit will come upon you, and the power of 45the MostHigh will overshadow you; and for that reason46the yholyChild shall be called47the Son of God.
"And behold, even your relativeElizabeth has alsoconceived a son in her oldage; and zshe who was calledbarren is now in her sixthmonth.
"For aa48nothing will be impossible with God."
And Marysaid, "Behold, the bbbondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word." And the angeldeparted from her.
39Nowccat thistimeMaryarose and went in a hurry to 49the hillcountry, to a city of Judah,
and entered the house of Zacharias and greetedElizabeth.
41WhenElizabethheardMary'sgreeting, the babyleaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was 50filled with the HolySpirit.
And she cried out with a loudvoice and said, "Blessed are you amongwomen, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
"And ddhow has it happened to me, that the mother of 51my Lord would come to me?
"For behold, when the sound of your greetingreached my ears, the babyleaped in my womb for joy.
"And 52blessed is she who eebelieved that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her ffby the Lord."
And Marysaid: "53My soulgg54exalts the Lord,
And 55my spirit has rejoiced in 56God my Savior.
"For 57He has hadregard for the humblestate of His hhbondslave; For behold, from thistime on allgenerations will count me 58blessed.
"For the MightyOne has donegreatthings for me; And holy is His name.
"59AND HIS MERCY IS iiUPON GENERATIONAFTERGENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.
"60He has donejjmightydeeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the kkthoughts of their heart.
"He has broughtdownrulers from their thrones, And has 61exalted those who were humble.
"62HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOODTHINGS; And sentaway the richempty-handed.
"He has givenhelp to Israel His servant, llIn remembrance of His mercy,
5563As He spoke to our fathers, 64To Abraham and his mmdescendantsforever."
And Marystayed with her aboutthreemonths, and then returned to her home.
57Now the timennhad come for Elizabeth to givebirth, and she gavebirth to a son.
Her neighbors and her relativesheard that the Lord had oo65displayed His greatmercytoward her; and they were rejoicing with her.
And it happened that on 66the eighthday they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, ppafter his father.
But his motheranswered and said, "Noindeed; but 67he shall be calledJohn."
And they said to her, "There is nooneamong your relativeswho is called by that name."
And they 68madesigns to his father, as to what he wanted him called.
And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, "69His name is John." And they were allastonished.
6470And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he began to speak in praise of God.
65Fearcame on allthoselivingaround them; and allthesematters were being talkedabout in all71the hillcountry of Judea.
66All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, "Whatthen will thischild turn out to be?" For 72the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.
And his fatherZacharias73was filled with the HolySpirit, and 74prophesied, saying:
"75Blessed be the LordGod of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished76redemption for His people,
And has raised up a 77horn of salvation for us In the house of David78His servant -
7079As He spoke by the mouth of His holyprophets80from of old -
71qq81Salvation82FROM OUR ENEMIES, And FROM THE HAND OF ALL WHO HATE US;
7283To showmercytoward our fathers, 84And to remember His holycovenant,
7385The oathwhich He swore to Abraham our father,
To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him withoutfear,
7586In holiness and righteousnessbefore Him all our days.
"And you, child, will be called the 87prophet of 88the MostHigh; For you will go on 89BEFORE THE LORD TO 90PREPARE HIS WAYS;
To give to His people the knowledge of salvationrrBy 91the forgiveness of their sins,
78Because of the tendermercy of our God, With which92the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
7993TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, To guide our feet into the 94way of peace."
8095And the child continued to grow and to becomestrong in spirit, and he lived in the desertsuntil the day of his publicappearance to Israel.