Luke 1:9

His lot was (elace). Literally, he obtained the lot. Second aorist active indicative of lagcanw, to obtain by lot, a very old verb from Homer on. It is used either with the genitive as here, or the accusative as in Acts 1:17 ; 2 Peter 1:1 . Papyri show examples with the accusative. It was only once in a lifetime that a priest obtained the lot of going (eiselqwn, here nominative aorist active participle agreeing with the subject of elace) into the sanctuary (ton naon, not to ieron, the outer courts) and burning incense on the golden altar. "It was the great moment of Zacharias's life, and his heart was no doubt alert for the supernatural" (Ragg). The fortunate lot was "a white stone" to which Revelation 2:17 may refer. Burn incense (tou qumiasai). Here only in the N.T. Occurs on inscriptions. Hobart finds it used by medical writers for fumigating herbs. "Ascending the steps to the Holy Place, the priests spread the coals on the golden altar, and arranged the incense, and the chief operating priest was then left alone within the Holy Place to await the signal of the president to burn the incense. It was probably at this time that the angel appeared to Zacharias" (Vincent).

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