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Luke 1:13-20

Context
1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, 1  and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son; you 2  will name him John. 3  1:14 Joy and gladness will come 4  to you, and many will rejoice at 5  his birth, 6  1:15 for he will be great in the sight of 7  the Lord. He 8  must never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 9  1:16 He 10  will turn 11  many of the people 12  of Israel to the Lord their God. 1:17 And he will go as forerunner before the Lord 13  in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, 14  to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.”

1:18 Zechariah 15  said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? 16  For I am an old man, and my wife is old as well.” 17  1:19 The 18  angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands 19  in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring 20  you this good news. 1:20 And now, 21  because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, 22  you will be silent, unable to speak, 23  until the day these things take place.”

1 tn The passive means that the prayer was heard by God.

sn Your prayer has been heard. Zechariah’s prayer while offering the sacrifice would have been for the nation, but the answer to the prayer also gave them a long hoped-for child, a hope they had abandoned because of their old age.

2 tn Grk “a son, and you”; καί (kai) has not been translated. Instead a semicolon is used in the translation for stylistic reasons.

3 tn Grk “you will call his name John.” The future tense here functions like a command (see ExSyn 569-70). This same construction occurs in v. 31.

snDo not be afraid…you must call his name John.” This is a standard birth announcement (see Gen 16:11; Isa 7:14; Matt 1:21; Luke 1:31).

4 tn Grk “This will be joy and gladness.”

5 tn Or “because of.”

6 tn “At his birth” is more precise as the grammatical subject (1:58), though “at his coming” is a possible force, since it is his mission, as the following verses note, that will really bring joy.

7 tn Grk “before.”

8 tn Grk “and he”; because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the conjunction καί (kai) has not been translated here. Instead a new English sentence is begun in the translation.

9 tn Grk “even from his mother’s womb.” While this idiom may be understood to refer to the point of birth (“even from his birth”), Luke 1:41 suggests that here it should be understood to refer to a time before birth.

sn He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. This is the language of the birth of a prophet (Judg 13:5, 7; Isa 49:1; Jer 1:5; Sir 49:7); see 1:41 for the first fulfillment.

10 tn Grk “And he.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

11 sn The word translated will turn is a good summary term for repentance and denotes John’s call to a change of direction (Luke 3:1-14).

12 tn Grk “sons”; but clearly this is a generic reference to people of both genders.

13 tn Grk “before him”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 sn These two lines cover all relationships: Turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children points to horizontal relationships, while (turn) the disobedient to the wisdom of the just shows what God gives from above in a vertical manner.

15 tn Grk “And Zechariah.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

16 tn Grk “How will I know this?”

17 tn Grk “is advanced in days” (an idiom for old age).

18 tn Grk “And the.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

19 tn Grk “the one who is standing before God.”

20 tn Grk “to announce these things of good news to you.”

21 tn Grk “behold.”

22 sn The predicted fulfillment in the expression my words, which will be fulfilled in their time takes place in Luke 1:63-66.

23 sn Silent, unable to speak. Actually Zechariah was deaf and mute as 1:61-63 indicates, since others had to use gestures to communicate with him.



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