Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible



In the meantime, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was agitated, even overwhelmed with fear. 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 must name him John. read more.
This will bring you gladness and delight, and many will rejoice over his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must drink no wine nor strong drink, and so he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his birth. And he will turn many of Israel's descendants to the Lord their God. He will go before Him in the spirit and the power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the upright, to make ready for the Lord a people perfectly prepared." Then Zechariah said to the angel, "How shall I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is far advanced in years." The angel answered him, "I am Gabriel; I stand in the very presence of God. I have been sent to talk with you and to tell you this good news. Now you will keep silent and be unable to talk until the day when this takes place, because you did not believe what I told you, for it will be fulfilled at the proper time."

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. So the angel came to her home and said, "Congratulations, you highly favored woman! The Lord be with you!" read more.
But she was agitated at what he said, and began to ponder what this greeting meant. Then the angel said, "Stop being afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen! You will become pregnant and bear a son, and you must name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His forefather David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His reign will have no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" Then the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and so your child will be called holy, the Son of God. And listen! your relative, Elizabeth, has herself too become pregnant, although she is old, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing is ever impossible for God." Then Mary said, "I am the Lord's slave. May what you say take place with me." Then the angel left her.


Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. So the angel came to her home and said, "Congratulations, you highly favored woman! The Lord be with you!" read more.
But she was agitated at what he said, and began to ponder what this greeting meant. Then the angel said, "Stop being afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen! You will become pregnant and bear a son, and you must name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His forefather David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His reign will have no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" Then the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and so your child will be called holy, the Son of God. And listen! your relative, Elizabeth, has herself too become pregnant, although she is old, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing is ever impossible for God." Then Mary said, "I am the Lord's slave. May what you say take place with me." Then the angel left her.


Now the birth of Christ Jesus occurred under these conditions: After His mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, but before they had lived together, she was found to be an expectant mother through the influence of the Holy Spirit.

to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.


Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.


In the days when Herod was king of Judea, there was a priest whose name was Zechariah, who belonged to the division of Abijah. His wife was also a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Now they were both upright in the sight of God, walking without reproach in all the Lord's commands and requirements. And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both of them were far advanced in years. read more.
Once when he was acting as priest before God, when his division was on duty, it fell to his lot, in accordance with the priests' customs, to go into the sanctuary of the Lord to burn the incense, while all the throng of people were praying outside at the hour of the incense burning. In the meantime, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was agitated, even overwhelmed with fear. 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 must name him John. This will bring you gladness and delight, and many will rejoice over his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must drink no wine nor strong drink, and so he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his birth. And he will turn many of Israel's descendants to the Lord their God. He will go before Him in the spirit and the power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the upright, to make ready for the Lord a people perfectly prepared." Then Zechariah said to the angel, "How shall I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is far advanced in years." The angel answered him, "I am Gabriel; I stand in the very presence of God. I have been sent to talk with you and to tell you this good news. Now you will keep silent and be unable to talk until the day when this takes place, because you did not believe what I told you, for it will be fulfilled at the proper time." Meanwhile the people kept waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the sanctuary. But when he came out, he could not speak to them, and so they knew that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. Meanwhile he kept on making signs to them, and remained dumb. But when the period of his service was over, he went back to his home. So after this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, "This is what the Lord has done for me when He smiled upon me to take away my disgrace among men." Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. So the angel came to her home and said, "Congratulations, you highly favored woman! The Lord be with you!" But she was agitated at what he said, and began to ponder what this greeting meant. Then the angel said, "Stop being afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen! You will become pregnant and bear a son, and you must name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His forefather David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His reign will have no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" Then the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and so your child will be called holy, the Son of God. And listen! your relative, Elizabeth, has herself too become pregnant, although she is old, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing is ever impossible for God." Then Mary said, "I am the Lord's slave. May what you say take place with me." Then the angel left her. Now in those days Mary got up and hurried off to the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she went to Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped within her. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and with a loud shout she said: "Blessed are you among women, And blessed is your child! Why is this privilege mine, to have the mother of my Lord come to me? For as soon as your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy within me! Blessed is she who has believed, for what is promised to her by the Lord will be fulfilled." Then Mary said: "My soul extols the Lord; my spirit exults in God my Saviour; for He has smiled upon His slave in her lowly station, for from this day all ages will count me happy! For the Almighty has done wonders for me, and holy is His name! He shows His mercy from age to age to those who fear him. He has done mighty deeds with His arm. He has scattered those that are proud in the purpose of their hearts. He has dethroned monarchs and exalted the poor. He has satisfied the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. He has helped His servant Israel, so as to remember mercy, as He promised our forefathers, Abraham and his descendants forever." Now Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned home. So it was time for Elizabeth to bear a child, and she bore a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and so they were rejoicing with her. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they tried to name him Zechariah, after his father. But his mother said, "Never! But he must be named John."


Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. So the angel came to her home and said, "Congratulations, you highly favored woman! The Lord be with you!" read more.
But she was agitated at what he said, and began to ponder what this greeting meant.


Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.


Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. So the angel came to her home and said, "Congratulations, you highly favored woman! The Lord be with you!" read more.
But she was agitated at what he said, and began to ponder what this greeting meant. Then the angel said, "Stop being afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen! You will become pregnant and bear a son, and you must name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His forefather David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His reign will have no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" Then the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and so your child will be called holy, the Son of God. And listen! your relative, Elizabeth, has herself too become pregnant, although she is old, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing is ever impossible for God." Then Mary said, "I am the Lord's slave. May what you say take place with me." Then the angel left her.


Is He not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother's name Mary, are not His brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?

Is He not the carpenter, Mary's son, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And do not His sisters live here among us?" And so they found a cause for stumbling over him.

to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

Now the birth of Christ Jesus occurred under these conditions: After His mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, but before they had lived together, she was found to be an expectant mother through the influence of the Holy Spirit. But her husband, Joseph, because he was an upright man and did not want to disgrace her, decided to break the engagement by secretly divorcing her. But just as this thought occurred to him, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, and said, "Joseph, descendant of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for it is through the influence of the Holy Spirit that she has become an expectant mother. read more.
And she will have a son, and you must name Him Jesus, for it is He who is to save His people from their sins." Now all this occurred to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and they will call Him Immanuel" -- which means "God with us." So when Joseph awoke from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord directed him, and took her as his wife; but he did not live with her as a husband until she had had a son; and he named Him Jesus.


In the days when Herod was king of Judea, there was a priest whose name was Zechariah, who belonged to the division of Abijah. His wife was also a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Now they were both upright in the sight of God, walking without reproach in all the Lord's commands and requirements. And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both of them were far advanced in years. read more.
Once when he was acting as priest before God, when his division was on duty, it fell to his lot, in accordance with the priests' customs, to go into the sanctuary of the Lord to burn the incense, while all the throng of people were praying outside at the hour of the incense burning. In the meantime, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was agitated, even overwhelmed with fear. 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 must name him John. This will bring you gladness and delight, and many will rejoice over his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must drink no wine nor strong drink, and so he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his birth. And he will turn many of Israel's descendants to the Lord their God. He will go before Him in the spirit and the power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the upright, to make ready for the Lord a people perfectly prepared." Then Zechariah said to the angel, "How shall I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is far advanced in years." The angel answered him, "I am Gabriel; I stand in the very presence of God. I have been sent to talk with you and to tell you this good news. Now you will keep silent and be unable to talk until the day when this takes place, because you did not believe what I told you, for it will be fulfilled at the proper time." Meanwhile the people kept waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the sanctuary. But when he came out, he could not speak to them, and so they knew that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. Meanwhile he kept on making signs to them, and remained dumb. But when the period of his service was over, he went back to his home. So after this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, "This is what the Lord has done for me when He smiled upon me to take away my disgrace among men." Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. So the angel came to her home and said, "Congratulations, you highly favored woman! The Lord be with you!" But she was agitated at what he said, and began to ponder what this greeting meant. Then the angel said, "Stop being afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen! You will become pregnant and bear a son, and you must name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His forefather David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His reign will have no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" Then the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and so your child will be called holy, the Son of God. And listen! your relative, Elizabeth, has herself too become pregnant, although she is old, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing is ever impossible for God." Then Mary said, "I am the Lord's slave. May what you say take place with me." Then the angel left her. Now in those days Mary got up and hurried off to the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she went to Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped within her. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and with a loud shout she said: "Blessed are you among women, And blessed is your child! Why is this privilege mine, to have the mother of my Lord come to me? For as soon as your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy within me!


In the days when Herod was king of Judea, there was a priest whose name was Zechariah, who belonged to the division of Abijah. His wife was also a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.

to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.




Now the birth of Christ Jesus occurred under these conditions: After His mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, but before they had lived together, she was found to be an expectant mother through the influence of the Holy Spirit.

to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.


Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. So the angel came to her home and said, "Congratulations, you highly favored woman! The Lord be with you!" read more.
But she was agitated at what he said, and began to ponder what this greeting meant. Then the angel said, "Stop being afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen! You will become pregnant and bear a son, and you must name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His forefather David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His reign will have no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" Then the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and so your child will be called holy, the Son of God. And listen! your relative, Elizabeth, has herself too become pregnant, although she is old, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing is ever impossible for God." Then Mary said, "I am the Lord's slave. May what you say take place with me." Then the angel left her.

Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, who was the mother of Jesus who is called the Christ.

to register with Mary who was engaged to be married to him and who was an expectant mother. While they were there, the time came for her to give birth, and she bore her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him up and laid Him in a manger, for there was no room for them at the inn. read more.
Now there were some shepherds in the same neighborhood, living in the open fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, so that they were fearfully frightened. But the angel said to them: "Stop being afraid, for now I bring you good tidings of great joy which is to be for all the people; for today, in the town of David, a Saviour for you has been born, who is to be your Messiah and Lord. And this is proof for you: You will find a baby wrapped up and lying in a manger." Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a throng of the heavenly host, praising God and saying: "Glory to God in highest heaven! And peace on earth to men who please him." Then when the angel left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has told us." So they hurried to the place and found Joseph and Mary; also the baby lying in the manger. When they saw this, they informed them of the story that had been told about this child. And all who heard it were astounded at what was told them by the shepherds, but Mary continued to treasure it all up and to ponder it in her heart.


Now the birth of Christ Jesus occurred under these conditions: After His mother, Mary, was engaged to Joseph, but before they had lived together, she was found to be an expectant mother through the influence of the Holy Spirit. But her husband, Joseph, because he was an upright man and did not want to disgrace her, decided to break the engagement by secretly divorcing her. But just as this thought occurred to him, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, and said, "Joseph, descendant of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for it is through the influence of the Holy Spirit that she has become an expectant mother. read more.
And she will have a son, and you must name Him Jesus, for it is He who is to save His people from their sins." Now all this occurred to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and they will call Him Immanuel" -- which means "God with us." So when Joseph awoke from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord directed him, and took her as his wife; but he did not live with her as a husband until she had had a son; and he named Him Jesus.

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. So the angel came to her home and said, "Congratulations, you highly favored woman! The Lord be with you!" read more.
But she was agitated at what he said, and began to ponder what this greeting meant. Then the angel said, "Stop being afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen! You will become pregnant and bear a son, and you must name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His forefather David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His reign will have no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" Then the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and so your child will be called holy, the Son of God. And listen! your relative, Elizabeth, has herself too become pregnant, although she is old, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing is ever impossible for God." Then Mary said, "I am the Lord's slave. May what you say take place with me." Then the angel left her. Now in those days Mary got up and hurried off to the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she went to Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped within her. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and with a loud shout she said: "Blessed are you among women, And blessed is your child! Why is this privilege mine, to have the mother of my Lord come to me? For as soon as your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy within me! Blessed is she who has believed, for what is promised to her by the Lord will be fulfilled." Then Mary said: "My soul extols the Lord; my spirit exults in God my Saviour; for He has smiled upon His slave in her lowly station, for from this day all ages will count me happy! For the Almighty has done wonders for me, and holy is His name! He shows His mercy from age to age to those who fear him. He has done mighty deeds with His arm. He has scattered those that are proud in the purpose of their hearts. He has dethroned monarchs and exalted the poor. He has satisfied the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. He has helped His servant Israel, so as to remember mercy, as He promised our forefathers, Abraham and his descendants forever." Now Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned home. So it was time for Elizabeth to bear a child, and she bore a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and so they were rejoicing with her. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they tried to name him Zechariah, after his father. But his mother said, "Never! But he must be named John." Then they said to her, "There is no one among your relatives that bears that name." So they began to make signs to his father to find out what he might wish him to be named. Then he asked for a writing-tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they were all astonished. Then the use of his voice and tongue was at once restored,: and he began to speak, and continued to praise God. And all the neighbors were overwhelmed with awe, and all over the hill country of Judea these things were being talked, and all who heard them kept them in their hearts, and said, "What then is this child to be?" for the hand of the Lord was with him. Now his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he uttered the following prophecy: "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for He has come and brought His people deliverance; and He has made a mighty Saviour for us in the house of His servant David, "as He promised by the lips of His ancient prophets, deliverance from our foes and from the hands of all who hate us, to show mercy to our forefathers, and carry out His sacred covenant, the oath which He swore to our forefather Abraham, to grant us deliverance from the dreaded hand of our foes, so that we could serve Him in holiness and uprightness In His own presence all our days. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to make ready His ways, to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. Because the heart of our God is merciful. And so the day will dawn upon us from on high, to shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." Now the child continued to grow and to gain strength in the Spirit, and he lived in the desert until the day when he announced himself to Israel.


And Joseph too went up from Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to the town of David in Judea called Bethlehem, because he was a descendant of the house and family of David,

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.


He went to a town called Nazareth and made his home there, so that the saying of the prophet was fulfilled: "He shall be called a Nazarene."

Now when they had completed everything that was in accordance with the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.

Now Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned home.


to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.




Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. So the angel came to her home and said, "Congratulations, you highly favored woman! The Lord be with you!" read more.
But she was agitated at what he said, and began to ponder what this greeting meant. Then the angel said, "Stop being afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen! You will become pregnant and bear a son, and you must name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His forefather David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His reign will have no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" Then the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and so your child will be called holy, the Son of God. And listen! your relative, Elizabeth, has herself too become pregnant, although she is old, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing is ever impossible for God." Then Mary said, "I am the Lord's slave. May what you say take place with me." Then the angel left her.

Remember me to Mary, who has toiled so hard for you.


in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the message of God came to John, the son of Zechariah, in the desert.

In the days when Herod was king of Judea, there was a priest whose name was Zechariah, who belonged to the division of Abijah. His wife was also a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Now they were both upright in the sight of God, walking without reproach in all the Lord's commands and requirements. And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both of them were far advanced in years. read more.
Once when he was acting as priest before God, when his division was on duty, it fell to his lot, in accordance with the priests' customs, to go into the sanctuary of the Lord to burn the incense, while all the throng of people were praying outside at the hour of the incense burning. In the meantime, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was agitated, even overwhelmed with fear. 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 must name him John. This will bring you gladness and delight, and many will rejoice over his birth. For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must drink no wine nor strong drink, and so he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his birth. And he will turn many of Israel's descendants to the Lord their God. He will go before Him in the spirit and the power of Elijah to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the upright, to make ready for the Lord a people perfectly prepared." Then Zechariah said to the angel, "How shall I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is far advanced in years." The angel answered him, "I am Gabriel; I stand in the very presence of God. I have been sent to talk with you and to tell you this good news. Now you will keep silent and be unable to talk until the day when this takes place, because you did not believe what I told you, for it will be fulfilled at the proper time." Meanwhile the people kept waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the sanctuary. But when he came out, he could not speak to them, and so they knew that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. Meanwhile he kept on making signs to them, and remained dumb. But when the period of his service was over, he went back to his home. So after this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying, "This is what the Lord has done for me when He smiled upon me to take away my disgrace among men." Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin there engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. So the angel came to her home and said, "Congratulations, you highly favored woman! The Lord be with you!" But she was agitated at what he said, and began to ponder what this greeting meant. Then the angel said, "Stop being afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Listen! You will become pregnant and bear a son, and you must name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His forefather David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His reign will have no end." But Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" Then the angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, and so your child will be called holy, the Son of God. And listen! your relative, Elizabeth, has herself too become pregnant, although she is old, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing is ever impossible for God." Then Mary said, "I am the Lord's slave. May what you say take place with me." Then the angel left her. Now in those days Mary got up and hurried off to the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she went to Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped within her. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and with a loud shout she said: "Blessed are you among women, And blessed is your child! Why is this privilege mine, to have the mother of my Lord come to me? For as soon as your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy within me! Blessed is she who has believed, for what is promised to her by the Lord will be fulfilled." Then Mary said: "My soul extols the Lord; my spirit exults in God my Saviour; for He has smiled upon His slave in her lowly station, for from this day all ages will count me happy! For the Almighty has done wonders for me, and holy is His name! He shows His mercy from age to age to those who fear him. He has done mighty deeds with His arm. He has scattered those that are proud in the purpose of their hearts. He has dethroned monarchs and exalted the poor. He has satisfied the hungry with good things and sent the rich away with empty hands. He has helped His servant Israel, so as to remember mercy, as He promised our forefathers, Abraham and his descendants forever." Now Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned home. So it was time for Elizabeth to bear a child, and she bore a son. And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and so they were rejoicing with her. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they tried to name him Zechariah, after his father. But his mother said, "Never! But he must be named John." Then they said to her, "There is no one among your relatives that bears that name." So they began to make signs to his father to find out what he might wish him to be named. Then he asked for a writing-tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they were all astonished. Then the use of his voice and tongue was at once restored,: and he began to speak, and continued to praise God. And all the neighbors were overwhelmed with awe, and all over the hill country of Judea these things were being talked, and all who heard them kept them in their hearts, and said, "What then is this child to be?" for the hand of the Lord was with him. Now his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he uttered the following prophecy: "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, for He has come and brought His people deliverance; and He has made a mighty Saviour for us in the house of His servant David, "as He promised by the lips of His ancient prophets, deliverance from our foes and from the hands of all who hate us, to show mercy to our forefathers, and carry out His sacred covenant, the oath which He swore to our forefather Abraham, to grant us deliverance from the dreaded hand of our foes, so that we could serve Him in holiness and uprightness In His own presence all our days. And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to make ready His ways, to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins. Because the heart of our God is merciful. And so the day will dawn upon us from on high, to shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." Now the child continued to grow and to gain strength in the Spirit, and he lived in the desert until the day when he announced himself to Israel.