In the days of Herod, king of Judea,
there was a priest named Zacharias of the Abijah division,
and his wife Elizabeth was from the daughters of Aaron.
They were both correct before God,
proceeding blamelessly in all the commandments
and requirements of the Lord.
They had no child, because Elizabeth was barren;
and they were both advanced in their days.
It happened that in the order of his division
while he served as priest before God,
according to the custom of the priesthood
it was his lot to burn incense
entering the temple of the Lord,
and all the assembly of the people
were praying outside at the hour of the incense.
An angel of the Lord appeared to him
standing on the right of the altar of incense.
Zacharias seeing it, was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
But the angel said to him, "Fear not, Zacharias,
for your prayer has been heard,
and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
and you shall call his name John;
there will be joy and gladness for you,
and many will be great in the presence of the Lord,
and he may not drink wine nor alcohol;
he will be filled with the Holy Spirit
even from his mother's womb,
and he will turn many of the sons of Israel
to the Lord their God;
he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah
to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,
and the disobedient into the wisdom of the just
to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."
Zacharias said to the angel, "How will I know this?
For I am old and my wife is advanced in her days."
The angel answered him, "I am Gabriel,
standing in the presence of God,
and I was sent to speak to you
and to tell you these good messages;
look, you shall be silent and unable to speak
until the day these things happen,
because you did not believe my words,
which will be fulfilled in their time."
The people were expecting Zacharias,
and they wondered about his delay in the temple.
Coming out he was unable to speak to them,
and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple;
he was nodding to them, and he remained dumb.
When the days of his service were completed,
he went away to his home.
After these days Elizabeth his wife conceived,
and she hid herself for five months,
saying, "The Lord has done this for me in these days in which
he looked favorably in taking away my shame among people."