Luke 1:61
And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
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(61) There is none of thy kindred . . .—The fact is not without interest, as probably showing that Zacharias did not come within the circle of those related to the Sadducean high priests, among whom (some thirty years later, it is true) we find that name (Acts 4:6; Acts 5:17).

1:57-66 In these verses we have an account of the birth of John the Baptist, and the great joy among all the relations of the family. He shall be called Johanan, or Gracious, because he shall bring in the gospel of Christ, wherein God's grace shines most bright. Zacharias recovered his speech. Unbelief closed his mouth, and believing opened it again: he believers, therefore he speaks. When God opens our lips, our mouths must show forth his praise; and better be without speech, than not use it in praising God. It is said, The hand of the Lord was working with John. God has ways of working on children in their infancy, which we cannot account for. We should observe the dealings of God, and wait the event.There is none of thy kindred ... - The Jewish tribes and families were kept distinct. To do this, and to avoid confusion in their genealogical tables, they probably gave only those names which were found among their ancestors. Another reason for this, common to all people, is the respect which is felt for honored parents and ancestors. 59. eighth day—The law (Ge 17:12) was observed, even though the eighth day after birth should be a sabbath (Joh 7:23; and see Php 3:5).

called him—literally, "were calling"—that is, (as we should say) "were for calling." The naming of children at baptism has its origin in the Jewish custom at circumcision (Ge 21:3, 4); and the names of Abram and Sarai were changed at its first performance (Ge 17:5, 15).

See Poole on "Luke 1:59"

And they said unto her,.... Her neighbours and relations, there is none of thy kindred that is called by this name; from whence it appears, that it was usual to give names to children after their ancestors, relations, and friends. The Persic version renders it, "in thine Israel there is not any one of this name": but this could not be true; for the name of Jochanan, or John, was a name very common among the Israelites, though not in Elisabeth's family, or her husband's. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
Luke 1:61. συγγενείας, kinsmanship. In Lk. only in N. T. Cf. Acts 7:3; Acts 7:14.

61. none of thy kindred] We find a John among hierarchs in Acts 4:6; Acts 5:17. Those priests however who passed the High Priesthood from one to another—a clique of Herodian Sadducees—the Boethusîm, Kamhiths, Benî Hanan, &c.—were partly of Babylonian and Egyptian origin, and had been introduced by Herod to support his purposes. They would not be of the kin of Zacharias.

Luke 1:61. Συγγενείᾳ σου, thy kindred) They supposed that Elisabeth, if she chose to give a name different from that of Zacharias, would follow [adopt one of] the names of her own family. [Even in this respect it was befitting that something new and unprecedented should be done.—V. g.]

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