1In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zacharias, of the 2division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
They were both 3righteous in the sight of God, walking 4blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.
But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years.
Now it happened that while 5he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division,
according to the custom of the priestly office, he was chosen by lot 6to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
And the whole multitude of the people were in prayer 7outside at the hour of the incense offering.
And 8an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense.
Zacharias was troubled when he saw the angel, and 9fear gripped him.
But the angel said to him, "10Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and 11you will give him the name John.
"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 12drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb.
"And he will 13turn many of the sons of Israel back 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 FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to 17make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
Zacharias said to the angel, "How will I know this for certain? For 18I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years."
The angel answered and said to him, "I am 19Gabriel, who 20stands in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
"And behold, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day when these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time."
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 making signs to them, and remained mute.
When the days of his priestly service were ended, he went back home.
After these days Elizabeth his wife became pregnant, and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying,
"This is the way the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor upon me, to 22take away my disgrace among men."