1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2 Heb. 2:3;1 Pet. 5:1;2 Pet. 1:16Even as they delivered them unto us, which Mark 1:1;John 15:27from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
3 Acts 15:19;1 Cor. 7:40It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee Acts 11:4in order, Acts 1:1most excellent Theophilus,
4 John 20:31That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
5 Birth of John foretold
5 There was Mat. 2:1in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, 1 Chr. 24:10;Neh. 12:4of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6 And they were both Gen. 7:1;1 Ki. 9:4;2 Ki. 20:3righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God 1 Chr. 24:19;2 Chr. 8:14in the order of his course,
9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was Ex. 30:7,8;1 Chr. 23:13;2 Chr. 29:11to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10 Lev. 16:17And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of Ex. 30:1the altar of incense.
12 And when Zacharias saw him, Judg. 6:22;& 13:22;Dan. 10:8;ch. 2:9;Acts 10:4;Rev. 1:17he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and ver. 60,63thou shalt call his name John.
14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and ver. 58many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and Num. 6:3;Judg. 13:4;ch. 7:33shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, Jer. 1:5;Gal. 1:15even from his mother's womb.
16 Mal. 4:5,6And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17 Mal. 4:5;Mat. 11:14;Mark 9:12And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient [a]to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Gen. 17:17Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Dan. 8:16;& 9:21-23;Mat. 18:10;Heb. 1:14Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
20 And behold, Ezek. 3:26;& 24:27thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.
22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.
23 And it came to pass that, as soon as 2 Ki. 11:5;1 Chr. 9:25the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to Gen. 30:23;Is. 4:1;& 54:1,4take away my reproach among men.
26 The birth of Jesus foretold
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin Mat. 1:18;ch. 2:4,5espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
29 And when she saw him, ver. 12she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 Is. 7:14;Mat. 1:21And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and ch. 2:21shalt call his name JESUS.
32 He shall be great, Mark 5:7and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and 2 Sam. 7:11;Ps. 132:11;Is. 9:6,7;& 16:5;Jer. 23:5;Rev. 3:7the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 Dan. 2:44;& 7:14,27;Obad. 21;Mic. 4:7;John 12:34;Heb. 1:8And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, Mat. 1:20The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called Mat. 14:33;& 26:63,64;Mark 1:1;John 1:34;& 20:31;Acts 8:37;Rom. 1:4the Son of God.
36 And behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For Gen. 18:14;Jer. 32:17;Zech. 8:6;Mat. 19:26;Mark 10:27;ch. 18:27;Rom. 4:21with God nothing shall be impossible.
38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39 Mary visits Elisabeth
39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, Josh. 21:9into a city of Juda;
40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
41 And it came to pass that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Judg. 5:24Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
46 The song of Mary
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
57 The birth of John the Baptist
57 Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
59 And it came to pass, that Gen. 17:12;Lev. 12:3on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
60 And his mother answered and said, ver. 13Not so; but he shall be called John.
61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
66 And all they that heard them ch. 2:19laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And Gen. 39:2;Ps. 80:17;Acts 11:21the hand of the Lord was with him.
67 And his father Zacharias Joel 2:28was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
68 The song of Zacharias
73 Gen. 12:3;Heb. 6:13The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
80 And ch. 2:40the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and Mat. 3:1was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
81 The birth of Jesus
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