1Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, 2#1 Jn 1.1; Acts 1.21; Heb 2.3. just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, 3#Acts 1.1. it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely#1.3 Or accurately for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent The-ophilus, 4#Jn 20.31. that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed.
Mt 2.1; 1 Chron 24.10; 2 Chron 31.2. In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,#1.5 Greek Zacharias of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife 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 both were advanced in years.
8Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9#Ex 30.7. according to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 11#Lk 2.9; Acts 5.19. And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13#Lk 1.30,60. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
14And you will have joy and gladness,
and many will rejoice at his birth;
Num 6.3; Lk 7.33. for he will be great before the Lord,
and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink,
and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit,
even from his mother's womb.
16And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God,
Mt 11.14; 17.13; Mal 4.5. and he will 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 for the Lord a people prepared.”
Lk 1.34. And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19#Dan 8.16; 9.21; Mt 18.10. And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stand in the presence of God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring you this good news. 20And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things come to pass, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they wondered at his delay in the temple. 22And when he came out, he could not speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple; and he made signs to them and remained dumb. 23And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
24After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she hid herself, saying, 25#Gen 30.23; Is 4.1. “Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.”
26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”#1.28 Other ancient authorities add “Blessed are you among women!” 29But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. 30#Lk 1.13. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31#Lk 2.21; Mt 1.21. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.
32He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,
Mt 28.18; Dan 2.44. and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Lk 1.18. And Mary said to the angel, “How shall this be, since I have no husband?” 35#Mt 1.20. And the angel said to her,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;
therefore the child to be born#1.35 Other ancient authorities add of you will be called holy,
the Son of God.
36And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37#Gen 18.14. For with God nothing will be impossible.” 38And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
39In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, 40and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit 42#Lk 11.27-28. and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy. 45And blessed is she who believed that there would be#1.45 Or believed, for there will be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” 46#1 Sam 2.1-10. And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
1 Tim 2.3; Tit 2.10; Jude 25. and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
49for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
52he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
53he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
54He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
Mic 7.20; Gen 17.7; 18.18; 22.17. as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”
56And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.
57Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son. 58And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59#Lev 12.3; Gen 17.12. And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechariah after his father, 60but his mother said, “Not so; he shall be called John.” 61And they said to her, “None of your kindred is called by this name.” 62And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called. 63#Lk 1.13. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all marveled. 64And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. 65And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea; 66and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For the hand of the Lord was with him.
67And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
68“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people,
69and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
70as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71that we should be saved from our enemies,
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72to perform the mercy promised to our fathers,
and to remember his holy covenant,
73the oath which he swore to our father Abraham,
74to grant us
that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
75in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.
Lk 7.26; Mal 4.5. And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
Mk 1.4. to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in the forgiveness of their sins,
Mal 4.2; Eph 5.14. through the tender mercy of our God,
when the day shall dawn upon#1.78 Or whereby the dayspring will visit. Other ancient authorities read since the dayspring has visited us from on high
Is 9.2; Mt 4.16. to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Lk 2.40; 2.52. And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel.