51In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priestnamedaZacharias, of the 2division of bAbijah ; and he had a wifecfrom the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
They were both3righteous in the sight of God, walking4blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.
But they hadnochild, becauseElizabeth was barren, and they were bothadvanced in dyears.
8Now it happened that while5he was performing his priestlyservicebeforeGod in the appointed order of his division,
9according to the custom of the priestlyoffice, he was chosen by lot6to enter the temple of the Lord and burnincense.
And the wholemultitude of the people were in prayer7outside at the hour of the incense offering.
And 8an angel of the Lordappeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense.
12Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and 9fearegripped him.
But the angelsaid to him, "10Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wifeElizabeth will bear you a son, and 11you will fgive 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 12drinknowineorliquor, and he will be filled with the HolySpiritgwhile yet in his mother'swomb.
"And he will 13turnmany of the sons of Israelback to the Lord their God.
"It is he who will 14go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of 15Elijah, 16TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERSBACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to 17makeready a peopleprepared for the Lord."
18Zachariassaid to the angel, "How will I knowthis for certain? For 18I am an oldman and my wife is advanced in hyears."
The angelanswered and said to him, "I am19Gabriel, who i20stands 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 21kept jmakingsigns to them, and remainedmute.
23When the days of his priestlyservice were ended, he wentbackhome.
24AfterthesedaysElizabeth his wifebecamepregnant, and she kkeptherself 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 22takeaway my disgraceamongmen."
26Now in the sixthmonth the angel23Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galileecalled24Nazareth,
to 25a virginlengaged to a manwhosename was Joseph, 26of the mdescendants of David ; and the virgin'sname was nMary.
And coming in, he said to her, "Greetings, ofavored one! The Lordpis with you."
But she 27was veryperplexed at this statement, and kept ponderingwhatkind of salutationthis was.
The angelsaid to her, "28Do not be afraid, Mary ; for you have foundfavor with God.
"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you 29shall name Him Jesus.
"He will be great and will be called the Son of 30the MostHigh ; and the LordGod will give Him 31the throne of His fatherDavid ;
3332and He will reignover the house of Jacobforever, 33and His kingdom will have noend."
34Marysaid to the angel, "Howqcan this be, since I ram a virgin ?"
The angelanswered and said to her, "34The HolySpirit will come upon you, and the power of 35the MostHigh will overshadow you; and for that reason36the sholyChild shall be called37the Son of God.
"And behold, even your relativeElizabeth has alsoconceived a son in her oldage ; and tshe who was calledbarren is now in her sixthmonth.
"For u38nothing will be impossible with God."
And Marysaid, "Behold, the vbondslave of the Lord ; may it be done to me according to your word." And the angeldeparted from her.
39Nowwat thistimeMaryarose and went in a hurry to 39the hillcountry, to a city of Judah,
and entered the house of Zacharias and greetedElizabeth.
41WhenElizabethheardMary'sgreeting, the babyleaped in her womb ; and Elizabeth was 40filled 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 xhow has it happened to me, that the mother of 41my Lord would come to me?
"For behold, when the sound of your greetingreached my ears, the babyleaped in my womb for joy.
"And 42blessed is she who ybelieved that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her zby the Lord."
And Marysaid : "43My soulaa44exalts the Lord,
And 45my spirit has rejoiced in 46God my Savior.
"For 47He has hadregard for the humblestate of His bbbondslave ; For behold, from thistime on allgenerations will count me 48blessed.
"For the MightyOne has donegreatthings for me; And holy is His name.
"49AND HIS MERCY IS ccUPON GENERATIONAFTERGENERATION TOWARD THOSE WHO FEAR HIM.
"50He has doneddmightydeeds with His arm ; He has scattered those who were proud in the eethoughts of their heart.
"He has broughtdownrulers from their thrones, And has 51exalted those who were humble.
"52HE HAS FILLED THE HUNGRY WITH GOODTHINGS ; And sentaway the richempty-handed.
"He has givenhelp to Israel His servant, ffIn remembrance of His mercy,
5553As He spoke to our fathers, 54To Abraham and his ggdescendantsforever."
And Marystayed with her aboutthreemonths, and then returned to her home.
57Now the timehhhad come for Elizabeth to givebirth, and she gavebirth to a son.
Her neighbors and her relativesheard that the Lord had ii55displayed His greatmercytoward her; and they were rejoicing with her.
And it happened that on 56the eighthday they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to call him Zacharias, jjafter his father.
But his motheranswered and said, "Noindeed ; but 57he shall be calledJohn."
And they said to her, "There is nooneamong your relativeswho is called by that name."
And they 58madesigns to his father, as to what he wanted him called.
And he asked for a tablet and wrote as follows, "59His name is John." And they were allastonished.
6460And 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 all61the hillcountry of Judea.
66All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, "Whatthen will thischild turn out to be?" For 62the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.
And his fatherZacharias63was filled with the HolySpirit, and 64prophesied, saying :
"65Blessed be the LordGod of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished66redemption for His people,
And has raised up a 67horn of salvation for us In the house of David68His servant -
7069As He spoke by the mouth of His holyprophets70from of old -
71kk71Salvation72FROM OUR ENEMIES, And FROM THE HAND OF ALL WHO HATE US;
7273To showmercytoward our fathers, 74And to remember His holycovenant,
7375The oathwhich He swore to Abraham our father,
To grant us that we, being rescued from the hand of our enemies, Might serve Him withoutfear,
7576In holiness and righteousnessbefore Him all our days.
"And you, child, will be called the 77prophet of 78the MostHigh ; For you will go on 79BEFORE THE LORD TO 80PREPARE HIS WAYS ;
To give to His people the knowledge of salvationllBy 81the forgiveness of their sins,
78Because of the tendermercy of our God, With which82the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
7983TO SHINE UPON THOSE WHO SIT IN DARKNESS AND THE SHADOW OF DEATH, To guide our feet into the 84way of peace."
8085And the child continued to grow and to becomestrong in spirit, and he lived in the desertsuntil the day of his publicappearance to Israel.