And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,…
How solemn the service in which Zacharias is now employed! The sacrifice being slain, whose smoke was now ascending to heaven, and every preparation being made in the court, he proceeds to transact for the nation, and particularly for the assembled multitude, whom he leaves behind him. Advancing with slow and solemn step, and with the smoking censer in his hand, towards the sanctuary, he puts aside the outer curtain and disappears from their sight. Imagination follows him in, where, except on pain of destruction, no other mortal could enter. What must be his feelings in going on with the service of the incense! All without is silent as death, and all within is so stilly impressive, that he is almost afraid to draw his breath. No mortal eye beholds his conduct; but the eternal Jehovah, who will be sanctified in them that draw nigh, surrounds him with His more immediate presence. Take heed, Zacharias, to thy demeanour, lest thou be smitten in the greatness of thine iniquity, or lest thy hand, stretched forth rashly, be withered; or lest, through any fault of thine, the Lord deny His blessing to the people. He places on the golden altar the censer with the incense, with whose cloudy perfume the apartment is filled and rendered fragrant, that the Lord may smell a sweet savour.
(James Foote, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,
WEB: Now it happened, while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his division,