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Dedication to Theophilus
11Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that ahave been accomplished among us,
2bjust as those who cfrom the beginning were deyewitnesses and eministers of fthe word ghave delivered them to us,
3it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write han orderly account for you, imost excellent jTheophilus,
4that you may have kcertainty concerning the things lyou have been taught.
Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
5mIn the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,1 nof othe division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
6And they were both prighteous before God, walking qblamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
7But they had no child, because rElizabeth was barren, and sboth were advanced in years.
8Now twhile he was serving as priest before God when uhis division was on duty,
9according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot vto enter wthe temple of the Lord and burn incense.
10And the whole multitude of the people xwere praying youtside at the hour of incense.
11And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of zthe altar of incense.
12And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and afear fell upon him.
13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for byour prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and cyou shall call his name John.
14And you will have joy and gladness, and many will drejoice at his birth,
15for he will be egreat before the Lord. And fhe must not drink wine or strong gdrink, and ghe will be hfilled with the Holy Spirit, ieven from his mother's womb.
16And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,
17and jhe will go before him kin the spirit and power of Elijah, lto turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and mthe disobedient to the wisdom of the just, nto make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
18And Zechariah said to the angel, o“How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”
19And the angel answered him, “I am pGabriel. qI stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.
20And behold, ryou will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”
21And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in sthe temple.
22And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in sthe temple. And the kept making signs to them and remained mute.
23And uwhen his time of vservice was ended, he went to his home.
24After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying,
25“Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, wto take away my reproach among people.”
Birth of Jesus Foretold
26In the sixth month the angel xGabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named yNazareth,
27zto a virgin betrothed2 to a man whose name was Joseph, aof the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary.
28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, bO favored one, cthe Lord is with you!”3
29But dshe was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.
30And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for eyou have found favor with God.
31And behold, fyou will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and gyou shall call his name Jesus.
32He will be great and will be called the Son of hthe Most High. And the Lord God iwill give to him the throne of jhis father David,
33and he will reign over the house of Jacob kforever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”4
35And the angel answered her, l“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of hthe Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born5 will be called mholynthe Son of God.
36And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her owho was called barren.
37For pnothing will be impossible with God.”
38And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant6 of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And qthe angel departed from her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39In those days Mary arose and went with haste into rthe hill country, to a town in Judah,
40and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
41And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth swas filled with the Holy Spirit,
42and she exclaimed with a loud cry, t“Blessed are you among women, and ublessed is vthe fruit of your womb!
43And why is this granted to me that the mother of wmy Lord should come to me?
44For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
45And xblessed is she who believed that there would be7 a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Mary's Song of Praise: The Magnificat
46And Mary said,
y“My zsoul amagnifies the Lord,
47band my zspirit rejoices in cGod my Savior,
48for dhe has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations ewill call me blessed;
49for fhe who is mighty ghas done great things for me,
and hholy is his name.
50And ihis mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51jHe has shown strength with his arm;
khe has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52jhe has brought down the mighty from their thrones
land exalted those of humble estate;
53he has filled mthe hungry with good things,
and the rich nhe has sent away empty.
54He has ohelped phis servant Israel,
qin remembrance of his mercy,
55ras he spoke to our fathers,
qto Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
56And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.
The Birth of John the Baptist
57Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son.
58And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord shad shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.
59And ton the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father,
60but his mother answered, “No; uhe shall be called John.”
61And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.”
62And vthey made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called.
63And he asked for wa writing tablet and wrote, u“His name is John.” And they all wondered.
64xAnd immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue yloosed, and he spoke, zblessing God.
65And afear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all bthe hill country of Judea,
66and all who heard them claid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For dthe hand of the Lord was with him.
67And his father Zechariah ewas filled with the Holy Spirit and fprophesied, saying,
68g“Blessed be the Lord hGod of Israel,
for he has ivisited and jredeemed his people
69and khas raised up la horn of salvation for us
min the house of his servant David,
70nas ohe spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71pthat we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72qto show the mercy promised to our fathers
and rto remember his holy scovenant,
73tthe oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74 that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him uwithout fear,
75 vin holiness and righteousness before him wall our days.
76And you, child, will be called xthe prophet of ythe Most High;
for zyou will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77to give knowledge of salvation to his people
ain the forgiveness of their sins,
78because of the btender mercy of our God,
whereby cthe sunrise shall dvisit us8 efrom on high
79to fgive light to gthose who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into hthe way of ipeace.”
80jAnd the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was kin the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.