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1 Since many have attempted to compile an account concerning the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as those who were eyewitnesses and servants of the word from the beginning passed on to us, 3 it seemed best to me also—because I* have followed all things carefully from the beginning—to write them* down in orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty concerning the things about which you were taught.
5 It happened that in the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a certain priest, Zechariah by name, of the division of Abijah. And ⌊he had a wife⌋a from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous in the sight of God, living blamelessly in all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. 7 And ⌊they did not have⌋b a child, because Elizabeth was barren. And they were both advanced ⌊in years⌋.c
8 And it happened that while* he was serving as priest before God in the order of his division, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood he was chosen by lot to enter into the temple of the Lord to burn incense. 10 And the whole crowd of the people were praying outside at the hour of the incense offering. 11 And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was terrified when he* saw the angel,* and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him,
“Do not be afraid, Zechariah,
because your prayer has been heard,
and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
and you will call his name John.
14 And ⌊you will experience joy and exultation⌋,d
and many will rejoice at his birth.
and he must never drink wine or beer,
and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit
while he is* still in his mother’s womb.
to the Lord their God.
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 righteous,
to prepare for the Lord a people made ready.”
18 And Zechariah said to the angel, “By what will I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced ⌊in years⌋!”e 19 And the angel answered and* said to him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. 20 And behold, you will be silent and not able to speak until the day these things take place, ⌊because⌋f you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”
21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and began to wonder* when* he was delayed in the temple. 22 And when he* came out he was not able to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them, and remained unable to speak. 23 And it happened that when the days of his service came to an end, he went away to his home.
24 Now after these days, his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days in which he has concerned himself with me,* to take away my disgrace among people.”
26 Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee ⌊named⌋g Nazareth, 27 to a virgin legally promised in marriage to a man ⌊named⌋h Joseph of the house of David. And the name of the virgin was Mary. 28 And he came to her and* said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was greatly perplexed at the statement, and was pondering what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
and you will call his name Jesus.
and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David.
33 And he will reign over the house of Jacob ⌊forever⌋,i
and of his kingdom there will be no end.
34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” 35 And the angel answered and* said to her,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore also the one to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth—she also has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For ⌊nothing will be impossible with God⌋.”j
39 Now in those days Mary set out and* traveled with haste into the hill country, to a town of Judah, 40 and entered into the house of Zechariah, and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And it happened that when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby in her womb leaped and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 And she cried out with a loud shout and said,
“Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43 And why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy! 45 And blessed is she who believed that there will be a fulfillment to what was spoken to her from the Lord!”
46 And Mary said,
“My soul exalts the Lord,
for behold, from now on all generations will consider me blessed,
and holy is his name.
to those who fear him.
he has dispersed the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
and has exalted the lowly.
and those who are rich he has sent away empty-handed.
remembering his mercy,
to Abraham and to his descendants ⌊forever⌋.”k
57 Now the time came for Elizabeth that she should give birth, and she gave birth to a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that ⌊the Lord had shown his great mercy to her⌋,l and they rejoiced with her. 59 And it happened that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were wanting to name him ⌊after⌋m his father Zechariah. 60 And his mother answered and* said, “No, but he will be named John.” 61 And they said to her, “There is no one of your relatives who is called by this name.” 62 So they made signs to his father asking what he wanted him to be named, 63 and he asked for a writing tablet and* wrote, saying, “John is his name.” And they were all astonished. 64 And his mouth and his tongue were opened immediately, and he began to speak,* praising God. 65 And fear came on all those who lived near them, and in all the hill country of Judea all these events were discussed. 66 And all those who heard kept these things* in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be? For indeed the hand of the Lord was with him!”
67 And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying,
because he has visited to help and ⌊has redeemed⌋n his people,
in the house of his servant David,
and to remember his holy covenant,
before him all our days.
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare his ways,
by the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the merciful compassiono of our God
by which the dawn will visit to help us from on high,
to direct our feet into the way of peace.”
About The Lexham English Bible
The Lexham English Bible contains a translation of the original languages into smooth, readable English. It also contains copious footnotes which address translation issues, instances of Old Testament quotations in the New Testament, and various textual-critical issues. This translation also indicates the use of idioms in the Greek and Hebrew text. In cases where a literal rendering of Greek or Hebrew would prevent a smooth English translation, footnotes indicate the literal English translation, accompanied by explanatory notes as necessary.
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