5 In the days of King Herodg of Judea, there was a priest of Abijah’s divisionh named Zechariah. His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both were righteous in God’s sight,i living without blamej according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord. 7 But they had no children because Elizabeth could not conceive, and both of them were well along in years.k
8 When his division was on dutyl and he was serving as priest before God, 9 it happened that he was chosen by lot,m according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense.n 10 At the hour of incense the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 An angel of the Lordo appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense.p 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified and overcome with fear.q 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid,r Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard.s Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John.t 14 There will be joy and delight for you, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord and will never drink wine or beer.u He will be filled with the Holy Spiritv while still in his mother’s womb.w 16 He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.x 17 And he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of fathers to their children,y and the disobedient to the understanding of the righteous, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.”z
19 The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel,aa who stands in the presence of God,ab and I was sent to speak to you and tell you this good news. 20 Now listen. You will become silent and unable to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. 22 When he did come out, he could not speak to them. Then they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He was making signs to themac and remained speechless. 23 When the days of his ministry were completed, he went back home.
24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived and kept herself in seclusion for five months. She said, 25 “The Lord has done this for me. He has looked with favor in these days to take away my disgracead among the people.”
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