Luke 1:5-25

5 When Herod was king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the division of priests named after Abijah. Zechariah's wife Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron.
6 Zechariah and Elizabeth had God's approval. They followed all the Lord's commands and regulations perfectly.
7 Yet, they never had any children because Elizabeth couldn't become pregnant. Both of them were too old to have children.
8 Zechariah was on duty with his division of priests. As he served in God's presence,
9 he was chosen by priestly custom to go into the Lord's temple to burn incense.
10 All the people were praying outside while he was burning incense.
11 Then, to the right of the incense altar, an angel of the Lord appeared to him.
12 Zechariah was troubled and overcome with fear.
13 The angel said to him, "Don't be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife Elizabeth will have a son, and you will name him John.
14 He will be your pride and joy, and many people will be glad that he was born.
15 As far as the Lord is concerned, he will be a great man. He will never drink wine or any other liquor. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.
16 He will bring many people in Israel back to the Lord their God.
17 He will go ahead of the Lord with the spirit and power that Elijah had. He will change parents' attitudes toward their children. He will change disobedient people so that they will accept the wisdom of those who have God's approval. In this way he will prepare the people for their Lord."
18 Zechariah said to the angel, "What proof is there for this? I'm an old man, and my wife is beyond her childbearing years."
19 The angel answered him, "I'm Gabriel! I stand in God's presence. God sent me to tell you this good news.
20 But because you didn't believe what I said, you will be unable to talk until the day this happens. Everything will come true at the right time."
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah. They were amazed that he was staying in the temple so long.
22 When he did come out, he was unable to speak to them. So they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. He motioned to them but remained unable to talk.
23 When the days of his service were over, he went home.
24 Later, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and didn't go out in public for five months. She said,
25 "The Lord has done this for me now. He has removed my public disgrace."

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Luke 1:5-25 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO LUKE

The writer of this Gospel, Luke, has been, by some, thought, as Origen {a} relates, to be the same with Lucius, mentioned in Ro 16:21, but he seems rather to be, and without doubt is, Luke the beloved physician, who was a companion of the Apostle Paul in great part of his travels in the Gentile world: he came with him to Jerusalem, and from thence accompanied him to Rome, and continued with him when in prison, and was with him to the last; see Ac 16:10,11 \Col 4:14 2Ti 4:11 Phm 1:24\. Jerom {b}, and others, say, he was a physician of Antioch in Syria; where it may be the Apostle Paul met with him, and might be the happy instrument of his conversion; so that he seems to be, by nation, a Syrian, as Jerom {c} calls him. Grotius thinks his name is Roman, and that it is the contraction of Lucilius. It is not an Hebrew name, but might be in common use in Syria; for though the Jews reckon owqwl, "Lukus", among foreign names, yet say {d} a it was a very illustrious one, and well known to them, as it may well be thought to be if Syriac, the language being spoke by them: and many Jews lived in Syria, and particularly in Antioch. Some say that this Gospel was written by the advice, and assistance, and under the direction of the Apostle Paul, as the Gospel according to Mark was by that of Peter; though the following preface does not seem so well to accord with this. Eusebius says {e} that it was the sense of the ancients, that whenever the Apostle Paul makes mention of his Gospel, he intends this according to Luke. The time of the writing of it is not certain; some say it was written in the fifteenth year after the ascension of our Lord; others in the twenty second; and others in the twenty seventh. It is commonly thought to have been written after the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, according to the order in which it stands; but this is rejected by some learned men, who rather think that Luke wrote first of all: and indeed, there are some things in his preface which look as if there had not, as yet, been any authentic account published, at least which was come to the knowledge of this evangelist. The place where he wrote it is also uncertain. Jerom says {f}, he wrote it in the parts of Achaia, perhaps at Corinth: according to the titles prefixed to the Syriac and Persic versions, he wrote it in Alexandria: the former of these runs thus;

``the Gospel of Luke, the Evangelist, which he spake and published in Greek in Alexandria the great.''

And the latter thus;

``the Gospel of Luke, which he wrote in the Greek tongue in Alexandria of Egypt.''

However, it is agreed on all hands, that it is genuine, and of divine inspiration. Eusebius {g} relates, that it was affirmed by some, that this Gospel, together with those of Matthew and Mark, were brought to the Apostle John, who approved of them, and bore witness to the truth in them.

{a} In Rom. xvi. 21. {b} Catalog. Script. Eccles. sect. 17. fol. 91. Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 4. {c} Praefat in Luc. {d} T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 11. 2. & Gloss. in ib. {e} Ubi supra. (Hist. Eccl. l. 3. c. 39.) {f} Praefat in Luc. {g} Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 24.

Luke 1:5-25 In-Context

3 I, too, have followed everything closely from the beginning. So I thought it would be a good idea to write an orderly account for Your Excellency, Theophilus.
4 In this way you will know that what you've been told is true.
5 When Herod was king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the division of priests named after Abijah. Zechariah's wife Elizabeth was a descendant of Aaron.
6 Zechariah and Elizabeth had God's approval. They followed all the Lord's commands and regulations perfectly.
7 Yet, they never had any children because Elizabeth couldn't become pregnant. Both of them were too old to have children.
8 Zechariah was on duty with his division of priests. As he served in God's presence,
9 he was chosen by priestly custom to go into the Lord's temple to burn incense.
10 All the people were praying outside while he was burning incense.
11 Then, to the right of the incense altar, an angel of the Lord appeared to him.
12 Zechariah was troubled and overcome with fear.
13 The angel said to him, "Don't be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife Elizabeth will have a son, and you will name him John.
14 He will be your pride and joy, and many people will be glad that he was born.
15 As far as the Lord is concerned, he will be a great man. He will never drink wine or any other liquor. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.
16 He will bring many people in Israel back to the Lord their God.
17 He will go ahead of the Lord with the spirit and power that Elijah had. He will change parents' attitudes toward their children. He will change disobedient people so that they will accept the wisdom of those who have God's approval. In this way he will prepare the people for their Lord."
18 Zechariah said to the angel, "What proof is there for this? I'm an old man, and my wife is beyond her childbearing years."
19 The angel answered him, "I'm Gabriel! I stand in God's presence. God sent me to tell you this good news.
20 But because you didn't believe what I said, you will be unable to talk until the day this happens. Everything will come true at the right time."
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah. They were amazed that he was staying in the temple so long.
22 When he did come out, he was unable to speak to them. So they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. He motioned to them but remained unable to talk.
23 When the days of his service were over, he went home.
24 Later, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and didn't go out in public for five months. She said,
25 "The Lord has done this for me now. He has removed my public disgrace."
26 Six months after Elizabeth had become pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee.
27 The angel went to a virgin promised in marriage to a descendant of David named Joseph. The virgin's name was Mary.
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