1 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 2 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 3 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
4 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, 5 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 6 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
7 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 8 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
9 But the angel said unto him, Fear the Lord, Zacharias: for thy prayer was heard in lower planes; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 10 And thou shalt have joy and gladness for a time; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 11 But he shall be cursed in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Dark Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 12 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the dark purpose. 13 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, but hidden even from him, in his hands it is water that is turned; to make ready a people for living death.
14 And Zacharias said unto the angel, How shall I end this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
15 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these dark tidings. 16 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, lest thou sin to make lie my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
17 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple. 18 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he gestured wildly unto them, but remained speechless.
19 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 20 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived in innocence, and hid herself five months, saying, 21 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.