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Luke 1:11-19

Context
1:11 An 1  angel of the Lord, 2  standing on the right side of the altar of incense, appeared 3  to him. 1:12 And Zechariah, visibly shaken when he saw the angel, 4  was seized with fear. 5  1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, 6  and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son; you 7  will name him John. 8  1:14 Joy and gladness will come 9  to you, and many will rejoice at 10  his birth, 11  1:15 for he will be great in the sight of 12  the Lord. He 13  must never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 14  1:16 He 15  will turn 16  many of the people 17  of Israel to the Lord their God. 1:17 And he will go as forerunner before the Lord 18  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, 19  to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.”

1:18 Zechariah 20  said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? 21  For I am an old man, and my wife is old as well.” 22  1:19 The 23  angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands 24  in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring 25  you this good news.

1 tn Grk “And an angel.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, δέ (de) has not been translated here.

2 tn Or “the angel of the Lord.” Linguistically, “angel of the Lord” is the same in both testaments (and thus, he is either “an angel of the Lord” or “the angel of the Lord” in both testaments). For arguments and implications, see ExSyn 252; M. J. Davidson, “Angels,” DJG, 9; W. G. MacDonald argues for “an angel” in both testaments: “Christology and ‘The Angel of the Lord’,” Current Issues in Biblical and Patristic Interpretation, 324-35.

3 sn This term is often used to describe a supernatural appearance (24:34; Acts 2:3; 7:2, 30, 35; 9:17; 13:31; 16:9; 26:16).

4 tn The words “the angel” are not in the Greek text, but are implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

5 tn Or “and he was afraid”; Grk “fear fell upon him.” Fear is common when supernatural agents appear (1:29-30, 65; 2:9; 5:8-10; 9:34; 24:38; Exod 15:16; Judg 6:22-23; 13:6, 22; 2 Sam 6:9).

6 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.

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

8 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).

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

10 tn Or “because of.”

11 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.

12 tn Grk “before.”

13 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.

14 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.

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

16 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).

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

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

19 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.

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

21 tn Grk “How will I know this?”

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

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

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

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



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