Bible: Lk 1:5-25

Birth Announcement of John the Baptist

1:5 During the reign 1  of Herod 2  king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah who belonged to 3  the priestly division of Abijah, 4  and he had a wife named Elizabeth, 5  who was a descendant of Aaron. 6  1:6 They 7  were both righteous in the sight of God, following 8  all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. 9  1:7 But they did not have a child, because Elizabeth was barren, 10  and they were both very old. 11 

1:8 Now 12  while Zechariah 13  was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 14  1:9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, 15  to enter 16  the holy place 17  of the Lord and burn incense. 1:10 Now 18  the whole crowd 19  of people were praying outside at the hour of the incense offering. 20  1:11 An 21  angel of the Lord, 22  standing on the right side of the altar of incense, appeared 23  to him. 1:12 And Zechariah, visibly shaken when he saw the angel, 24  was seized with fear. 25  1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, 26  and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son; you 27  will name him John. 28  1:14 Joy and gladness will come 29  to you, and many will rejoice at 30  his birth, 31  1:15 for he will be great in the sight of 32  the Lord. He 33  must never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 34  1:16 He 35  will turn 36  many of the people 37  of Israel to the Lord their God. 1:17 And he will go as forerunner before the Lord 38  in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, 39  to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.”

1:18 Zechariah 40  said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? 41  For I am an old man, and my wife is old as well.” 42  1:19 The 43  angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands 44  in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring 45  you this good news. 1:20 And now, 46  because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, 47  you will be silent, unable to speak, 48  until the day these things take place.”

1:21 Now 49  the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they began to wonder 50  why he was delayed in the holy place. 51  1:22 When 52  he came out, he was not able to speak to them. They 53  realized that he had seen a vision 54  in the holy place, 55  because 56  he was making signs to them and remained unable to speak. 57  1:23 When his time of service was over, 58  he went to his home.

1:24 After some time 59  his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, 60  and for five months she kept herself in seclusion. 61  She said, 62  1:25 This is what 63  the Lord has done for me at the time 64  when he has been gracious to me, 65  to take away my disgrace 66  among people.” 67 

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