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Darby Bible Translation
Dedication to Theophilus
1Forasmuch as many have undertaken to draw up a relation concerning the matters fully believed among us,
2as those who from the beginning were eye-witnesses of and attendants on the Word have delivered them to us,
3it has seemed good to me also, accurately acquainted from the origin with all things, to write to thee with method, most excellent Theophilus,
4that thou mightest know the certainty of those things in which thou hast been instructed.
The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
(Matthew 11:7-19; Luke 7:24-35; Luke 16:14-17)
5There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest, by name Zacharias, of the course of Abia, and his wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth.
6And they were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.
7And they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years.
8And it came to pass, as he fulfilled his priestly service before God in the order of his course,
9it fell to him by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter into the temple of the Lord to burn incense.
10And all the multitude of the people were praying without at the hour of incense.
11And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right of the altar of incense.
12And Zacharias was troubled, seeing him, and fear fell upon him.
13But the angel said to him, Fear not, Zacharias, because thy supplication has been heard, and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14And he shall be to thee joy and rejoicing, and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15For he shall be great before the Lord, and he shall drink no wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.
16And many of the sons of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn hearts of fathers to children, and disobedient ones to the thoughts of just men, to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.
18And Zacharias said to the angel, How shall I know this, for I am an old man, and my wife advanced in years?
19And the angel answering, said to him, I am Gabriel, who stand before God, and I have been sent to speak to thee, and to bring these glad tidings to thee;
20and behold, thou shalt be silent and not able to speak, till the day in which these things shall take place, because thou hast not believed my words, the which shall be fulfilled in their time.
21And the people were awaiting Zacharias, and they wondered at his delaying in the temple.
22But when he came out he could not speak to them, and they recognised that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he was making signs to them, and continued dumb.
23And it came to pass, when the days of his service were completed, he departed to his house.
24Now after these days, Elizabeth his wife conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
25Thus has the Lord done to me in these days in which he looked upon me to take away my reproach among men.
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26But in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent of God to a city of Galilee, of which the name was Nazareth,
27to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28And the angel came in to her, and said, Hail, thou favoured one! the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women.
29But she, seeing the angel, was troubled at his word, and reasoned in her mind what this salutation might be.
30And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God;
31and behold, thou shalt conceive in the womb and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus.
32He shall be great, and shall be called Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give him the throne of David his father;
33and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for the ages, and of his kingdom there shall not be an end.
34But Mary said to the angel, How shall this be, since I know not a man?
35And the angel answering said to her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and power of the Highest overshadow thee, wherefore the holy thing also which shall be born shall be called Son of God.
36And behold, Elizabeth, thy kinswoman, she also has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month to her that was called barren:
37for nothing shall be impossible with God.
38And Mary said, Behold the bondmaid of the Lord; be it to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Mary Visits Elizabeth
39And Mary, rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,
40and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth.
41And it came to pass, as Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
42and cried out with a loud voice and said, Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed the fruit of thy womb.
43And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44For behold, as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped with joy in my womb.
45And blessed is she that has believed, for there shall be a fulfilment of the things spoken to her from the Lord.
Mary's Song of Praise
(1 Samuel 2:1-11)
46And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord,
47and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48For he has looked upon the low estate of his bondmaid; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49For the Mighty One has done to me great things, and holy is his name;
50and his mercy is to generations and generations to them that fear him.
51He has wrought strength with his arm; he has scattered haughty ones in the thought of their heart.
52He has put down rulers from thrones, and exalted the lowly.
53He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent away the rich empty.
54He has helped Israel his servant, in order to remember mercy,
55(as he spoke to our fathers,) to Abraham and to his seed for ever.
56And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her house.
The Birth of John the Baptist
57But the time was fulfilled for Elizabeth that she should bring forth, and she gave birth to a son.
58And her neighbours and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy with her, and they rejoiced with her.
59And it came to pass on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they called it after the name of his father, Zacharias.
60And his mother answering said, No; but he shall be called John.
61And they said to her, There is no one among thy kinsfolk who is called by this name.
62And they made signs to his father as to what he might wish it to be called.
63And having asked for a writing-table, he wrote saying, John is his name. And they all wondered.
64And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue, and he spake, blessing God.
65And fear came upon all who dwelt round about them; and in the whole hill-country of Judaea all these things were the subject of conversation.
66And all who heard them laid them up in their heart, saying, What then will this child be? And the Lord's hand was with him.
67And Zacharias his father was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
68Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, because he has visited and wrought redemption for his people,
69and raised up a horn of deliverance for us in the house of David his servant;
70as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, who have been since the world began;
71deliverance from our enemies and out of the hand of all who hate us;
72to fulfil mercy with our fathers and remember his holy covenant,
73the oath which he swore to Abraham our father,
74to give us, that, saved out of the hand of our enemies, we should serve him without fear
75in piety and righteousness before him all our days.
76And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to make ready his ways;
77to give knowledge of deliverance to his people by the remission of their sins
78on account of the bowels of mercy of our God; wherein the dayspring from on high has visited us,
79to shine upon them who were sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80And the child grew and was strengthened in spirit; and he was in the deserts until the day of his shewing to Israel.