1In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,2of 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."
In the sixth month the angel 40Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named 41Nazareth,
42to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, 43of the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary.
And he came to her and said, "Greetings, 44O favored one, 45the Lord is with you!"
But 46she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for 47you have found favor with God.
And behold, 48you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and 49you shall call his name Jesus.
He will be great and will be called the Son of 50the Most High. And the Lord God 51will give to him the throne of 52his father David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob 53forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."
And Mary said to the angel, "How will this be, since I am a virgin?"
And the angel answered her, 54"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of 55the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called 56holy--57the Son of God.
And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her 58who was called barren.
For 59nothing will be impossible with God."
And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And 60the angel departed from her.
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into 61the hill country, to a town in Judah,
and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth 62was filled with the Holy Spirit,
and she exclaimed with a loud cry, 63"Blessed are you among women, and 64blessed is 65the fruit of your womb!
And why is this granted to me that the mother of 66my Lord should come to me?
For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
And 67blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."
And Mary said, 68"My 69soul 70magnifies the Lord,
71and my 72spirit rejoices in 73God my Savior,
for 74he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations 75will call me blessed;
for 76he who is mighty 77has done great things for me, and 78holy is his name.
And 79his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
80He has shown strength with his arm; 81he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
82he has brought down the mighty from their thrones 83and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled 84the hungry with good things, and the rich 85he has sent away empty.
He has 86helped 87his servant Israel, 88in remembrance of his mercy,
89as he spoke to our fathers, 90to Abraham and to his offspring forever."
And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.