The Scriptures (ISR 1998)
1Since many have indeed taken in hand to set in order an account of the matters completely confirmed among us,
2as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word delivered them to us,
3it seemed good to me as well, having followed up all these matters exactly from the beginning, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilos,
4that you might know the certainty of the words which you were taught.
5There was in the days of Herodes, the sovereign of Yehuḏah, a certain priest named Zeḵaryah, of the division of Aḇiyah. And his wife was of the daughters of Aharon, and her name was Elisheḇa.
6And they were both righteous before Elohim, blamelessly walking in all the commands and righteousnesses of יהוה.
7And they had no child, because Elisheḇa was barren, and both were advanced in years.
8And it came to be, that while he was serving as priest before Elohim in the order of his division,
9according to the institute of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to burn incense when he went into the Dwelling Place of יהוה.
10And the entire crowd of people was praying outside at the hour of incense.
11And a messenger of יהוה appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
12And when Zeḵaryah saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13But the messenger said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zeḵaryah, for your prayer is heard. And your wife Elisheḇa shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Yoḥanan.
14“And you shall have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15“For he shall be great before יהוה, and shall drink no wine and strong drink at all. And he shall be filled with the Set-apart Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
16“And he shall turn many of the children of Yisra’ĕl to יהוה their Elohim.
17“And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Ěliyahu, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the insight of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for יהוה.”
18And Zeḵaryah said to the messenger, “By what shall I know this? For I am old, and my wife advanced in years.”
19And the messenger answering, said to him, “I am Gaḇri’ĕl, who stands in the presence of Elohim, and was sent to speak to you and announce to you this good news.
20“But see, you shall be silent and unable to speak until the day this takes place, because you did not believe my words which shall be filled in their appointed time.”
21And the people waited for Zeḵaryah, and marvelled at his delay in the Dwelling Place.
22And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them. And they recognised that he had seen a vision in the Dwelling Place, for he was beckoning to them and remained dumb.
23And it came to be, as soon as the days of his service were completed, he went away to his house.
24And after those days his wife Elisheḇa conceived. And she hid herself five months, saying,
25“יהוה has done this for me, in the days when He looked upon me, to take away my reproach among men.”
26And in the sixth month the messenger Gaḇri’ĕl was sent by Elohim to a city of Galil named Natsareth,
27to a maiden engaged to a man whose name was Yosĕph, of the house of Dawiḏ. And the maiden’s name was Miryam.
28And the messenger, coming to her, said, “Greetings, favoured one, the Master is with you. Blessed are you among women!”
29But she was greatly disturbed at his word, and wondered what kind of greeting this was.
30And the messenger said to her, “Do not be afraid, Miryam, for you have found favour with Elohim.
32“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High. And יהוה Elohim shall give Him the throne of His father Dawiḏ.
34And Miryam said to the messenger, “How shall this be, since I do not know a man?”
35And the messenger answering, said to her, “The Set-apart Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow you. And for that reason the Set-apart One born of you shall be called: Son of Elohim.
36“And see, Elisheḇa your relative, she has also conceived a son in her old age. And this is now the sixth month to her who was called barren,
37because with Elohim no matter shall be impossible.”
38And Miryam said, “See the female servant of יהוה! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the messenger went away from her.
39And Miryam arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Yehuḏah,
40and entered into the house of Zeḵaryah and greeted Elisheḇa.
41And it came to be, when Elisheḇa heard the greeting of Miryam, that the baby leaped in her womb. And Elisheḇa was filled with the Set-apart Spirit,
42and called out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
43“And who am I, that the mother of my Master should come to me?
44“For look, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
45“Blessed is she who believed, for that which יהוה has said to her shall be accomplished!”
46And Miryam said, “My being makes יהוה great,
47and my spirit has rejoiced in Elohim my Saviour.
48“Because He looked on the humiliation of His female servant. For look, from now on all generations shall call me blessed.
49“For He who is mighty has done wonders for me, and set-apart is His Name.
50“And His compassion is from generation to generation, to those who fear Him.
51“He did mightily with His arm, He scattered the proud in the thought of their hearts.
52“He brought down rulers from their thrones, and exalted the lowly.
53“He has filled the hungry with good items, and the rich He has sent away empty.
54“He sustained Yisra’ĕl, His servant, in remembrance of His compassion,
55as He spoke to our fathers, to Aḇraham and to his seed, forever.”
56And Miryam stayed with her about three months, and returned to her home.
57And the time was filled for Elisheḇa to give birth, and she bore a son.
58And her neighbours and relatives heard how יהוה had shown great compassion to her, and they rejoiced with her.
59And it came to be, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child. And they were calling him by the name of his father, Zeḵaryah.
60And his mother answering, said, “Not so, but he shall be called Yoḥanan.”
61And they said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.”
62Then they motioned to his father, what he would like him to be called.
63And having asked for a writing tablet, he wrote, saying, “Yoḥanan is his name.” And they all marvelled.
64And at once his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he was speaking, praising Elohim.
65And fear came on all those dwelling around them, and all these matters were spoken of in all the hill country of Yehuḏah.
66And all who heard them kept them in their hearts, saying, “What then shall this child be?” And the hand of יהוה was with him.
67And Zeḵaryah, his father, was filled with the Set-apart Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
68“Blessed be יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, for He did look upon and worked redemption for His people,
69and has raised up a horn of deliverance for us in the house of His servant Dawiḏ,
70as He spoke by the mouth of His set-apart prophets, from of old –
71deliverance from our enemies and from the hand of all those hating us,
72to show compassion toward our fathers and to remember His set-apart covenant,
73an oath which He swore to our father Aḇraham:
74to give to us, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, to serve Him without fear,
75in set-apartness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.
76“And you, child, shall be called prophet of the Most High, for you shall go before the face of יהוה to prepare His ways,
77to give knowledge of deliverance to His people, by the forgiveness of their sins,
78through the tender compassion of our Elohim, with which the daybreak from on high has looked upon us,
79to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
80And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts until the day of showing Himself openly to Yisra’ĕl.