Dedication to Theophilus1Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that ahave been accomplished among us, 2 bjust 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 Foretold5 mIn the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah ▼
▼Greek Zachariasoof pthe division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6And they were both qrighteous before God, walking rblamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7But they had no child, because sElizabeth was barren, and tboth were advanced in years.
8Now uwhile he was serving as priest before God when vhis division was on duty, 9according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot wto enter xthe temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10And the whole multitude of the people ywere praying zoutside at the hour of incense. 11And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of aathe altar of incense. 12And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and abfear fell upon him. 13But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for acyour prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and adyou shall call his name John. 14And you will have joy and gladness, and many will aerejoice at his birth, 15for he will be afgreat before the Lord. And aghe must not drink wine or strong ahdrink, and aihe will be ajfilled with the Holy Spirit, akeven from his mother’s womb. 16And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17and alhe will go before him amin the spirit and power of Elijah, anto turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and aothe disobedient to the wisdom of the just, apto make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
18And Zechariah said to the angel, aq“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 arGabriel. asI stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20And behold, atyou 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 authe temple. 22And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in avthe temple. And awhe kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23And axwhen his time of ayservice 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, azto take away my reproach among people.”
Birth of Jesus Foretold26In the sixth month the angel baGabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named bbNazareth, 27 bcto a virgin betrothed ▼
▼That is, legally pledged to be marriedto a man whose name was Joseph, beof the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28And he came to her and said, “Greetings, bfO favored one, bgthe Lord is with you!” ▼
▼Some manuscripts add Blessed are you among women!29But bishe 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 bjyou have found favor with God. 31And behold, bkyou will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and blyou shall call his name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of bmthe Most High. And the Lord God bnwill give to him the throne of bohis father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob bpforever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” ▼
▼Greek since I do not know a man
35And the angel answered her, br“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of bsthe Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born ▼
▼Some manuscripts add of youwill be called buholy— bvthe 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 bwwho was called barren. 37For bxnothing will be impossible with God.” 38And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant ▼
▼Greek bondservant; also verse 48of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And bzthe angel departed from her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth39In those days Mary arose and went with haste into cathe 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 cbwas filled with the Holy Spirit, 42and she exclaimed with a loud cry, cc“Blessed are you among women, and cdblessed is cethe fruit of your womb! 43And why is this granted to me that the mother of cfmy 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 cgblessed is she who believed that there would be ▼
▼Or believed, for there will bea fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat46And Mary said,
ci“My cjsoul ckmagnifies the Lord,
47 cland my cmspirit rejoices in cnGod my Savior,
48for cohe has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations cpwill call me blessed;
49for cqhe who is mighty crhas done great things for me,
and csholy is his name.
50And cthis mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 cuHe has shown strength with his arm;
cvhe has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 cwhe has brought down the mighty from their thrones
cxand exalted those of humble estate;
53he has filled cythe hungry with good things,
and the rich czhe has sent away empty.
54He has dahelped dbhis servant Israel,
dcin remembrance of his mercy,
55 ddas he spoke to our fathers,
deto Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
56And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.
The Birth of John the Baptist57Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord dfhad shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59And dgon the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60but his mother answered, “No; dhhe shall be called John.” 61And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62And dithey made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63And he asked for dja writing tablet and wrote, dk“His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64 dlAnd immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue dmloosed, and he spoke, dnblessing God. 65And dofear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all dpthe hill country of Judea, 66and all who heard them dqlaid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For drthe hand of the Lord was with him.
Zechariah’s Prophecy67And his father Zechariah dswas filled with the Holy Spirit and dtprophesied, saying,
68 du“Blessed be the Lord dvGod of Israel,
for he has dwvisited and dxredeemed his people
69and dyhas raised up dza horn of salvation for us
eain the house of his servant David,
70 ebas eche spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 edthat we should be saved from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 eeto show the mercy promised to our fathers
and efto remember his holy egcovenant,
73 ehthe oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him eiwithout fear,
75 ejin holiness and righteousness before him ekall our days.
76And you, child, will be called elthe prophet of emthe Most High;
for enyou will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77to give knowledge of salvation to his people
eoin the forgiveness of their sins,
78because of the eptender mercy of our God,
whereby eqthe sunrise shall ervisit us ▼
▼Or when the sunrise shall dawn upon us; some manuscripts since the sunrise has visited usetfrom on high
79to eugive light to evthose who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into ewthe way of expeace.”
80 eyAnd the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was ezin the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
Copyright information for ESV