1 Forasmuch asLuke commends the witnesses that saw this present account.many haveMany took it in hand, but did not perform: Luke wrote his gospel before Matthew and Mark.taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2 Luke was not any eye witness, and therefore it was not he to whom the Lord appeared when Cleopas saw him: and he was taught not only by Paul, but by others of the apostles also.Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all thingsLuke began his gospel a great deal further in the past than the others did.from the very first, to write unto thee in order,It is «most mighty», and therefore Theophilus was a very honourable man, and in a place of great dignity.most excellent Theophilus,
4 That thou mightestHave fuller knowledge of those things which you know only partially.know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
5 ThereJohn, who was another Elias and appointed to be the herald of Christ, coming from the family of Aaron, and of two famous and blameless parents, has shown in his conception (which was against the course of nature) a double miracle, to the end that men should be more readily prepared for the hearing of his preaching, according to the forewarning of the prophets.wasThis is a Hebrew idiom which shows us how short and frail a thing the power of princes is.in the days ofHerod the great.Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of theFor the posterity of Aaron was divided into courses.course of Abia: and his wife [was] of the daughters of Aaron, and her name [was] Elisabeth.
6 And they were bothThe true mark of righteousness is demonstrated when one is liked and accepted in the judgment of God.righteous before God,Lived, as the Hebrews say, for our life is as a way in which we must walk until we come to the mark.walking in all theIn all the moral and ceremonial law.commandments and ordinances of the LordWhom no man could justly reprove: now so it is that the fruits of justification are set forth here, and not the cause, which is faith only, and nothing else.blameless.
7 And they had no childe, because that Elisabet was barren: and both were well stricken in age.
8 And it came to passe, as he executed the Priestes office before God, as his course came in order,
9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into theThe temple was one, and the court another, for Zacharias went out of the court (or outward room) where all the people were (and therefore they are said to be without) and into the temple.temple of the Lord.
10 And the whole multitude of the people were without in prayer, while the incense was burning.
11 Then appeared vnto him an Angel of the Lorde standing at the right side of the altar of incense.
12 And when Zacharias sawe him, he was troubled, and feare fell vpon him.
13 But the Angel saide vnto him, Feare not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard, and thy wise Elisabet shall beare thee a sonne, and thou shalt call his name Iohn.
14 And thou shalt haue ioy and gladnes, and many shall reioyce at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in theSo the Hebrews say when a rare kind of excellency is signified: so it is said of Nimrod in (Gen_10:9), «He was a mighty hunter before the LORD».sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine norAny drink that might make someone drunk.strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall heShall be a means to bring many to repentance, and they will turn themselves to the Lord, from whom they fell.turn to the Lord their God.
17 And he shall goAs they used to go before kings, and when you see them, you know the king is not far off.before himThis is spoken by the figure of speech metonymy, taking the spirit for the gift of the spirit; as you would say, the cause of that which comes from the cause.in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn theBy the figure of speech synecdoche he shows that he will take away all types of enmities which used to breed great troubles and turmoils among men.hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to theWisdom and goodness are two of the main causes which make men revere and honour their fathers.wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
18 Then Zacharias said vnto ye Angel, Whereby shall I knowe this? For I am an olde man, and my wife is of a great age.
19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel,That appears, for so the Hebrews use this saying «to stand» to mean that they are ready to do his commandment.that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
20 And beholde, thou shalt be domme, & not be able to speake, vntill the day that these things be done, because thou beleeuedst not my words, which shalbe fulfilled in their season.
21 Now the people waited for Zacharias, and marueiled that he taried so long in the Temple.
22 And when hee came out, hee coulde not speake vnto them: then they perceiued that hee had seene a vision in the Temple: For he made signes vnto them, and remained domme.
23 And it came to passe, when the daies of his office were fulfilled, that he departed to his owne house.
24 And after those daies, his wife Elisabet conceiued, and hid her selfe fiue moneths, saying,
25 Thus hath the Lorde dealt with me, in the daies wherein he looked on me, to take from me my rebuke among men.
26 The angel, serving the Lord who would be born, is sent to the virgin Mary, in whom the son of the most high promised to David is conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit.And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of theThe same can be said of Mary, otherwise Christ would not have been of the stock of David, nor his son.house of David; and the virgin's name [was] Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, [thou that art]It might be literally rendered, «full of favour and grace», and he shows immediately after, laying out plainly unto us, what that favour is in that he says, «The Lord is with thee».highly favoured, the Lord [is] with thee:Of God.blessed [art] thou among women.
29 And when she saw [him], she wasMoved at the strangeness of the matter.troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hastSo the Hebrews said, saying that those men have found favour who are in favour.found favour with God.
31 For loe, thou shalt conceiue in thy wobe, and beare a sonne, and shalt call his name Iesus.
32 He shall be great, and shall beHe will be declared to be so, for he was the Son of God from everlasting, but was made manifest in the flesh in his time.called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
33 And hee shall reigne ouer the house of Iacob for euer, and of his kingdome shall bee none ende.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel,The greatness of the matter causes the virgin to ask this question, not that she distrusted by any means at all, for she asks only of the manner of the conceiving, so that it is plain she believed all the rest.How shall this be, seeingSo speak the Hebrews, signifying by this modest kind of speech the company of man and wife together, and this is the meaning of it: how will this be, for as I will be Christ's mother I am very sure I will not know any man: for the godly virgin had learned by the prophets that the Messiah would be born of a virgin.I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy GhostThat is, the Holy Spirit will cause thee to conceive by his mighty power.shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also thatThat thing which is pure and void of all spot of uncleanliness: for he that was to take away sin must of necessity be void of sin.holy thing which shall be born of thee shall beDeclared and shown to the world to be the Son of God.called the Son of God.
36 And, behold, thyThough Elisabeth was of the tribe of Levi, yet it was possible for her to be Mary's cousin: for whereas it was forbidden by the Law for maidens to be married to men of other tribes, there was an exception among the Levites, who could take for themselves wives out of any tribe: for the Levites had no portion allotted to them when the land was divided among the people.cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is theThis is now the sixth month from the time when she conceived.sixth month with her, who was called barren.
37 For with God shall nothing be vnpossible.
38 Then Marie said, Behold the seruant of the Lord: be it vnto me according to thy woorde. So the Angel departed from her.
39 Elisabeth being many months pregnant with John, and Mary being pregnant with Christ, do rejoice for each other by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.And Mary arose in those days, and went into theWhich is on the south side of Jerusalem.hill country with haste, into aThat is to say, Hebron: which was in times past called Kirjatharba: which was one of the towns that were given to the Levites in the tribe of Judah, and is said to be in the mountains of Judah; (Jos_14:15; Jos_21:11).city of Juda;
40 And entred into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabet.
41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babeThis was no ordinary or usual type of moving.leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed [art] thou among women, andChrist is blessed with respect to his humanity.blessed [is] the fruit of thy womb.
43 And whence commeth this to mee, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44 For loe, assoone as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine eares, the babe sprang in my bellie for ioye,
45 And blessed is shee that beleeued: for those things shall be perfourmed, which were tolde her from the Lord.
46 Christ, the redeemer of the afflicted and revenger of the proud, promised long ago to the fathers, is now finally exhibited indeed.And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirite reioyceth in God my Sauiour.
48 For he hathHas freely and graciously loved.regarded theLiterally, «My baseness», that is, my base estate: so that the virgin did not boast of her deserts, but the grace of God.low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 Because hee that is mightie, hath done for me great things, and holy is his Name.
50 And his mercy [is] on themTo those that live godly and religiously, as the Hebrews say.that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with hisHere many more words than necessary are used, which the Hebrews use very much: and «arm» here is taken for strength.arm; he hathEven as the wind does to the chaff.scattered the proud in theHe has scattered them, and the imagination of their hearts; or, by and through the imagination of their own hearts; so that their wicked counsel turned to their own destruction.imagination of their hearts.
52 He hathThe mighty and rich men.put down the mighty from [their] seats, and exalted them ofThose of no account, who are vile in men's eyes, who are indeed the poor in spirit, that is, those who claim nothing of themselves in the sight of God.low degree.
53 He hath filled theThose that are brought to extreme poverty.hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He has helped Israel up with his arm, who had been completely cast down.He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of [his] mercy;
55 As hePromised.spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
56 And Marie abode with her about three moneths: after, shee returned to her owne house.
57 John's birth is accompanied by new miracles.Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
58 And her neighbours, and cousins heard tell howe the Lorde had shewed his great mercie vpon her, and they reioyced with her.
59 And it was so that on the eight day they came to circumcise the babe, and called him Zacharias after the name of his father.
60 But his mother answered, and saide, Not so, but he shalbe called Iohn.
61 And they saide vnto her, There is none of thy kindred, that is named with this name.
62 Then they made signes to his father, howe he would haue him called.
63 So hee asked for writing tables, and wrote, saying, His name is Iohn, and they marueiled all.
64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue, and he spake and praised God.
65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and allAll this which was said and done.these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.
66 And all they that heard [them]Thought upon them diligently and earnestly, and as it were, printed them in their hearts.laid [them] up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And theThat is, the present favour of God, and a singular type of virtue appeared in him.hand of the Lord was with him.
67 John, having just been born, by the authority of the Holy Spirit is appointed to his office.And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
68 Blessed [be] the Lord God of Israel; for he hathThat he has shown himself mindful of his people, to the extent that he came down from heaven himself to visit us in person, and to redeem us.visited andHas paid the ransom, that is to say, the price of our redemption.redeemed his people,
69 And hath raised up anThis word «horn», in the Hebrew language, signifies strength, and it is a metaphor taken from beasts that fight with their horns: And by raising up the might of Israel is meant that the kingdom of Israel was defended, and the enemies of it laid on the ground, even then when the strength of Israel seemed to be utterly gone.horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 As he spake by ye mouth of his holy Prophets, which were since the world began, saying,
71 That he would sende vs deliuerance fro our enemies, and from the hands of all that hate vs,
72 To perform the mercy [promised] to our fathers, andDeclare indeed that he was mindful.to remember his holy covenant;
73 And the othe which he sware to our father Abraham.
74 Which was, that he would graunt vnto vs, that we being deliuered out of the handes of our enemies, should serue him without feare,
75 In holiness and righteousnessTo God's good liking.before him, all the days of our life.
76 And thou,Though you be at this present time ever so little.child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 ToOpen the way.give knowledge of salvation unto his people by theForgiveness of sins is the means by which God saves us; (Rom_4:7).remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby theOr «bud», or «branch»; he alludes to (Jer_23:5) (Zec_3:8; Zec_6:12); and he is called a bud from on high, that is, sent from God unto us, and not as other buds which bud out of the earth.dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and [in] the shadow of death, to guide our feet into theInto the way which leads us to true happiness.way of peace.
80 And the childe grewe, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the wildernesse, til the day came that he should shewe him selfe vnto Israel.