Dedication to Theophilus
1Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those #John 20:31things which have been fulfilled among us, 2just as those who #Mark 1:1; John 15:27; Acts 1:21, 22from the beginning were #Acts 1:2eyewitnesses and ministers of the word #Acts 1:3; 10:39; Heb. 2:3; 1 Pet. 5:1; 2 Pet. 1:16; 1 John 1:1delivered them to us, 3it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, #Acts 1:1most excellent Theophilus, 4#(John 20:31)that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
John’s Birth Announced to Zacharias
5There was #Matt. 2:1in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, #1 Chr. 24:1, 10of the division of #Neh. 12:4Abijah. His #Lev. 21:13, 14wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both well advanced in years.
8So it was, that while he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9according to the custom of the priesthood, his lot fell #Ex. 30:7, 8; 1 Chr. 23:13; 2 Chr. 29:11to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 10#Lev. 16:17And the whole multitude of the people was praying outside at the hour of incense. 11Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of #Ex. 30:1the altar of incense. 12And when Zacharias saw him, #Judg. 6:22; Dan. 10:8; Luke 2:9; Acts 10:4; Rev. 1:17he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and #Luke 1:57, 60, 63you shall call his name John. 14And you will have joy and gladness, and #Luke 1:58many will rejoice at his birth. 15For he will be #(Luke 7:24–28)great in the sight of the Lord, and #Num. 6:3; Judg. 13:4; Matt. 11:18shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, #Jer. 1:5; Gal. 1:15even from his mother’s womb. 16And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17#Mal. 4:5, 6; Matt. 3:2; 11:14; Mark 1:4; 9:12He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
18And Zacharias said to the angel, #Gen. 17:17“How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is well advanced in years.”
19And the angel answered and said to him, “I am #Dan. 8:16; (Matt. 18:10); Heb. 1:4Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad #Luke 2:10tidings. 20But behold, #Ezek. 3:26; 24:27you will be mute and not able to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”
21And the people waited for Zacharias, and marveled that he lingered so long in the temple. 22But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.
23So it was, as soon as #2 Kin. 11:5; 1 Chr. 9:25the days of his service were completed, that he departed to his own house. 24Now after those days his wife Elizabeth conceived; and she hid herself five months, saying, 25“Thus the Lord has dealt with me, in the days when He looked on me, to #Gen. 30:23; Is. 4:1; 54:1, 4take away my reproach among people.”
Christ’s Birth Announced to Mary
26Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27to a virgin #Matt. 1:18; Luke 2:4, 5betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28And having come in, the angel said to her, #Dan. 9:23“Rejoice, highly favored one, #Judg. 6:12the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
29But when she saw him, #Luke 1:12she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found #Luke 2:52favor with God. 31#Is. 7:14; Matt. 1:21, 25; Gal. 4:4And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and #Luke 2:21; (Phil. 2:9–11)shall call His name Jesus. 32He will be great, #Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Mark 5:7; Luke 1:35, 76; 6:35; Acts 7:48and will be called the Son of the Highest; and #2 Sam. 7:12, 13, 16; Ps. 132:11; (Is. 9:6, 7; 16:5; Jer. 23:5)the Lord God will give Him the #2 Sam. 7:14–17; Acts 2:33; 7:55throne of His #Matt. 1:1father David. 33#(Dan. 2:44; Obad. 21; Mic. 4:7); John 12:34; (Heb. 1:8); 2 Pet. 1:11And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
34Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
35And the angel answered and said to her, #Matt. 1:20“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called #Ps. 2:7; Matt. 3:17; 14:33; 17:5; Mark 1:1; John 1:34; 20:31; Acts 8:37; (Rom. 1:1–4; Heb. 1:2, 8)the Son of God. 36Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37For #Gen. 18:14; Jer. 32:17; Matt. 19:26; Mark 10:27; Rom. 4:21with God nothing will be impossible.”
38Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, #Josh. 21:9to a city of Judah, 40and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was #Acts 6:3filled with the Holy Spirit. 42Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, #Judg. 5:24“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 45#John 20:29Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”
The Song of Mary
46And Mary said:
#1 Sam. 2:1–10; Ps. 34:2, 3; Hab. 3:18“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47And my spirit has #Ps. 35:9; Hab. 3:18rejoiced in #1 Tim. 1:1; 2:3; Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4; Jude 25God my Savior.
48For #1 Sam. 1:11; Ps. 138:6He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth #Luke 11:27all generations will call me blessed.
49For He who is mighty #Ps. 71:19; 126:2, 3has done great things for me,
And #Ps. 111:9; Rev. 4:8holy is His name.
50And #Gen. 17:7; Ex. 20:6; 34:6, 7; Ps. 103:17His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.
51#Ps. 98:1; 118:15; Is. 40:10He has shown strength with His arm;
#Ps. 33:10; (1 Pet. 5:5)He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52#1 Sam. 2:7, 8He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
And exalted the lowly.
53He has #(Matt. 5:6)filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
54He has helped His #Is. 41:8servant Israel,
#Ps. 98:3; (Jer. 31:3)In remembrance of His mercy,
55#Gen. 17:19; Ps. 132:11; (Gal. 3:16)As He spoke to our #(Rom. 11:28)fathers,
To Abraham and to his #Gen. 17:7seed forever.”
56And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her house.
Birth of John the Baptist
57Now Elizabeth’s full time came for her to be delivered, and she brought forth a son. 58When her neighbors and relatives heard how the Lord had shown great mercy to her, they #(Rom. 12:15)rejoiced with her.
Circumcision of John the Baptist
59So it was, #Gen. 17:12; Lev. 12:3; Luke 2:21; Phil. 3:5on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. 60His mother answered and said, #Luke 1:13, 63“No; he shall be called John.”
61But they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” 62So they made signs to his father—what he would have him called.
63And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying, “His name is John.” So they all marveled. 64Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, praising God. 65Then fear came on all who dwelt around them; and all these sayings were discussed throughout all the hill country of Judea. 66And all those who heard them #Luke 2:19kept them in their hearts, saying, “What kind of child will this be?” And #Gen. 39:2; Acts 11:21the hand of the Lord was with him.
67Now his father Zacharias #Joel 2:28was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:
68“Blessed#1 Kin. 1:48; Ps. 106:48 is the Lord God of Israel,
For #Ex. 3:16He has visited and redeemed His people,
69#2 Sam. 22:3; Ps. 132:17; Ezek. 29:21And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of His servant David,
70#Jer. 23:5; Rom. 1:2As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
Who have been #Acts 3:21since the world began,
71That we should be saved from our enemies
And from the hand of all who hate us,
72#Lev. 26:42To perform the mercy promised to our fathers
And to remember His holy covenant,
73#Gen. 12:3; 22:16–18; (Heb. 6:13)The oath which He swore to our father Abraham:
74To grant us that we,
Being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
Might #(Rom. 6:18; Heb. 9:14)serve Him without fear,
75#Jer. 32:39; (Eph. 4:24; 2 Thess. 2:13)In holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
76“And you, child, will be called the #Matt. 3:3; 11:9; Mark 3:2, 3; Luke 3:4; John 1:23prophet of the Highest;
For #Is. 40:3; Mal. 3:1; Matt. 11:10you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
77To give #(Jer. 31:34; Mark 1:4); Luke 3:3knowledge of salvation to His people
By the remission of their sins,
78Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
79#Is. 9:2; Matt. 4:16; (Acts 26:18; 2 Cor. 4:6; Eph. 5:14)To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To #(John 10:4; 14:27; 16:33)guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80So #Luke 2:40the child grew and became strong in spirit, and #Matt. 3:1was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel.