Bible: Luke 1:5-18

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 

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