Luke 1:5 - 25
ESV - 5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
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Zacharias was a member of the Jewish priesthood who was descended from Jacob through his son Levi, and subsequently through Moses' brother Aaron, and through Abijah, who was the founder of one of the twenty-four divisions of the priesthood established by David, as related in 1 Chronicles 24. Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth (who was also a descendant of Aaron) were pious people who had hoped for a child for many years, but had never had one, and Elizabeth was now well past the age of normal child-bearing. (Elizabeth was also a kinswoman of Mary, who was to become the mother of Jesus.) When Zacharias was serving his regular rotation as a priest in the temple, the archangel Gabriel appeared to him, and informed him that God had heard his request, and that he and Elizabeth would become the parents of a son, whom they were to name John, and who would prepare Israel for the imminent appearance of the Messiah. When Zacharias expressed doubt by asking how that would be possible given their advanced age, Gabriel caused Zacharias to become both deaf and unable to speak until his son would be born, which Gabriel informed Zacharias would surely come to pass, just as he had told Zacharias. When the baby was born, Zacharias and Elizabeth's relatives objected to naming him John, since none of their family members had that name. However, when they made signs to Zacharias to indicate what the baby's name would be, Zacharias wrote that the baby's name was to be John (as Gabriel had directed). Zacharias' hearing and speech were then instantly restored, and he both praised God and also prophesied as to what John's role would be with respect to the coming of the Messiah (Jesus) (Luke 1:67-79).
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