Luke 1:8

A very beautiful picture, though on a very small canvas, is here painted; it is a picture of domestic piety. As we think of Zacharias and Elisabeth spending their long life together in the service of Jehovah, attached to one another and held in honor by all their kindred and friends, we feel that we have before our eyes a view of human life which has in it all the elements of an excellent completeness.

I. THE DOMESTIC BOND. Here we have conjugal relationship in its true form; established in mutual respect; justified and beautified by mutual affection; made permanently happy by common affinities and common aims; elevated and consecrated by the presence of another and still nobler bond - that of a strong and immovable attachment to God. A human life is quite incomplete without such tender ties of God's own binding, and these ties are immeasurably short of what they were meant to be if they are not enlarged and ennobled by the sanctities of religion.

II. HUMAN AND DIVINE ESTIMATION. These two godly souls enjoyed the favor of their Divine Father and of their human friends and neighbors: "They were both righteous before God," and they were "blameless" in the sight of men. God accepted them, and man approved them. He to whom they were responsible for all they were and did saw in them, as he sees in all his children, the imperfections which belong to our erring and struggling humanity; but he accepted their reverence and their endeavor to please and to obey him, forgiving their shortcomings. And their kindred and their friends recognized in them those who were regulating their life by God's holy will, and they yielded to them their fullest measure of esteem. No human life is complete without the possession of these two things:

(1) the favor of the living God; and

(2) the esteem of those amongst whom we live.

To walk in the shadow of conscious estrangement from God, to miss the sweet sunshine of his heavenly favor, - this is to darken our life with a continual curse, this is to bereave ourselves of our purest joy and most desirable heritage. And while some of the very noblest of our race, following thus in the footsteps of the Master himself, have borne, in calm and heroic patience, the obloquy of the ignorant and the malice of the evil-minded, yet it is our duty, and it should be our desire and aspiration, so to walk in rectitude and in kindness that men will bless us in their hearts, will esteem us for our integrity, will hold us in their affection. The man who "wears the white flower of a blameless life" is the man who will be a power for good in the circles in which he moves.

III. SACRED SERVICE. It may be questionable whether any distinction is intended between "ordinances" and "commandments;" but there can be no question at all that both together cover religious observances and moral obligations. The Law which these two faithful souls obeyed enjoined the one as well as the other. And no human life is complete which does not include both these elements of piety.

1. The worship of God, in private prayer, in family devotion, in public exercises, is a serious and important part of a good man's experience.

2. And certainly not less so is the regulating of conduct by the revealed will of God; the walking, day by day, in uprightness and integrity, in sobriety and purity, in truth and in love. Beautifully complete, fashioned in spiritual symmetry, attractive and influential, is that human life which is spent in the home of hallowed love, which is bright with the favor of God and man, and which is crowned with the sovereign excellences of piety and virtue. - C.

While he executed the priest's office.
The duties of the priests were many and various. It was their awful and peculiar honour to "come near the Lord" (Exodus 19:22). None but they could minister before Him in the Holy place where He manifested His presence: none others could "come nigh the vessels of the sanctuary or the altar." It was death for any one not a priest to usurp these sacred prerogatives. They offered the morning and evening incense; trimmed the lamps of the golden candlestick, and filled them with oil; kept up the fire on the great altar in front of the Temple; removed the ashes Of the sacrifices; took part in the slaying and cutting up of victims, and especially in the sprinkling of their blood, and laid the offerings of all kinds on the altar. They also announced the new moons, which were sacred days like the Sabbaths, by the blowing of trumpets. But this was a small part of their duties. They had to examine all cases of ceremonial uncleanness, especially leprosy, clearing those who were pure, and pronouncing others unclean; to estimate, for commutation, the value of the countless offerings made to the Temple, and to watch the interior of the Temple by night. They were required, moreover, to instruct the people in the niceties of the law, and to give decisions on many points reserved, among us, to magistrates, The priests, in fact, were, within certain limits, the judges and magistrates of the land, though the Sanhedrim, which was the supreme court in later Jewish history, was composed of chief priests, laymen, and scribes, or Rabbis, in apparently equal numbers.

(Dr. Geikie)

When a course came up to relieve the one that had served the preceding week, the particular services of the priests were determined by lot. Certain services were accounted more honourable than others, and in this way all contention respecting them was avoided. The most honourable of all was that of going into the Holy place to offer incense upon the golden altar. And on the occasion before us this distinguished office devolved upon the aged Zacharias.

(Dr. Kitto.)

How often it happens that that which falls to our lot by apparent chance, does in reality so fall by the guidance of God's hand!

(Bishop Goodwin.)

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.)

The answer to Zachariah's prayer was —

1. Earnestly desired.

2. Long delayed.

3. Promised in a surprising manner.

4. Incredulously waited for.

5. Gloriously vouchsafed.

(Van Oosterzee.)

Here note —

1. That none but a son of Aaron might offer incense to God in the temple; and not every son of Aaron either; nay, not any of them at all seasons. God is a God of order, and hates confusion no less than irreligion. And as under the law of old, so under the gospel now, no man ought to take this honour upon him but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

2. That there were courses of ministration in the legal services, in which the priests relieved one another weekly. God never purposed to burden any of His servants with devotion, nor is He pleased when His service is made burdensome, either to or by His ministers.

3. That morning and evening, twice a day, the priests offered up their incense to God, that both parts of the day might be consecrated to Him who was the Maker and Giver of their time. This incense offered under the law, represents our prayers offered to God under the gospel. The ejaculatory elevations of our hearts should be perpetual; but if twice a day we do not present God with our solemn invocations, we make the gospel less officious than the law; and can we reasonably think that Almighty God will accept of less now that would content Him then?

(W. Burkitt, M. A.)

1. While the incense was burning, the people were praying: while the priest sends up his incense in the temple within, the people send up their prayers in the court without. The incense of the priest and the prayers of the people meet, and go up to heaven together. It is a blessed thing when both minister and people jointly offer up their prayers for each other at the same throne of grace, and mutually strive together in their supplications, one with, and one for, another.

2. Observe how both priest and people keep their place and station: the priest burns incense in the holy place, and the people offer up their prayers in the outward court. The people might no more go into the Holy place to offer up their prayer, than Zachary might go into the Holy of Holies to burn incense. Whilst the partition-wall stood betwixt Jew and Gentile, there was also a partition betwixt the Jews themselves. But now under the gospel, every man is a priest to God, and may enter the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus. But, Lord! what are we the better for this great and gracious freedom of access to Thee, if we want hearts to prize and improve our privilege from Thee?

(W. Burkitt, M. A.)

At the moment when the effectual work of propitiation and intercession goes forward within the temple — what is seen without? The whole multitude of the people, bending in silent awe, seconding the priestly office and making it in some sense their own, joining their faith to the sacrifice, and lifting their hearts with the rising incense-cloud, are in supplication before God. This can represent nothing else than the power of the united prayers of the Christian congregation, aiding and supporting the official work of the threefold ministry and the holy offices of the Church, in declaring Christ to the world The question before us, then, thrown open in its broadest form, will be this: Are we using the devotional power of the Church in due proportion to its other powers? If in any of our undertakings we fail, there is very little doubt that we fail because we did not expect enough and ask enough of God — for that expectation is only another name for faith; and that asking is prayer. Men say, "Religion is a thing between a man and his Maker"; and though it is often said to palliate some inexcusable neglect of an open religious confession before men, yet it is profoundly true. There are two parties, and only two. The business of religion, therefore, is to bring offerings to Him, and, in answer to our prayers, to take blessings from Him. This, with the sacred sentiments, affections, and actions which belong to that holy intercourse, is the first business of the Church. So, Christians, we stand, in this sacred and redeemed creation, always at a temple door. No doubt there are mysteries. What temple was ever without its suggestion of mystery? Even a very deep and strong human love has its mysteries. But nevertheless, the Light falls down from the Throne. God is there. The door is swung open. We are near to Him; He is near to us. The Mediator and Intercessor is praying there for us. Our prayers are joined with His. The reconciliation is accomplished. The next step follows irresistibly. Every movement of religious life among us must get its power and direction from the Spirit of God. If you would find the true secret of spiritual success, you need not seek for it in the admirableness of the plan, the shrewdness of the management, the numbers that subscribe, or the eloquence of the advocates. You might better seek it in some very obscure chambers, some out-of-the-way corners, some closets with the doors shut, where men or women, or children in whose breasts God has a Temple of His own-never heard of at the public meetings, poor and simple-hearted and of stammering lips — kneel with their great-hearted and prevailing petitions, not discouraged by the slowness of the answer, trusting not in themselves but only in the Lord Almighty. These are the "multitude praying without." The finest and firmest machinery in the world is so much dead material without these prayers. I suppose most of you have seen some elaborate and costly specimen of mechanism, standing still: every little screw and bolt of the complicated system in its place; every post and bar, flange and transom, secure; every bright lever and arm, wheel and tooth, tempered and tested — the whole a splendid embodiment and trophy of intellectual ingenuity and determination — yet silent and inert as icicles, till some lifted gate or open valve lets in the mysterious motive-power which makes it a sure and mighty servant of a purpose beyond it. So are all our best religious measures, till the breath of the church's prayers joins them to the Spirit from on high. We look into the Bible records of the beginnings and growth of God's kingdom on the earth. On every spot where that kingdom struck root we see a group of men bending in prayer. When the Eastern magi were brought by the star to Bethlehem, all their intellectual strength bowed itself down to a little Child; they taught nothing, proposed nothing — they did not even speak; it was simply an offering; the signification of it was the submission of knowledge to faith. It was worship. From page to page, in the Acts of the Apostles, they are shown to us together looking upward. When an order in the ministry, an apostle, or a missionary, was to be set apart or sent out, special prayer signalized the ceremony. At the meeting and parting of Christian friends, on their sacred errands, they knelt and prayed. If one of their number was imprisoned, prayer was made for him day and night. The whole fiery heart of the Church of Christ was in instant communication with its ascended Head. And what followed? Why, this was the period when the Church grew before men's eyes with such swiftness that a thousand converts were gathered in the time that it takes us to gather ten. And so the periods of prayer have always been the periods of life. A lingering doubt casts up its faithless suggestion at these words: "Is not the Church constantly praying? Yet where is the fulfilment of the promise?" The answer is found under another word, "the prayers of faith." We may be sure that the measure of the faith is the measure of the power of the prayer, and that the measure of such prayer is, sooner or later, the measure of the blessing we receive. We very often mistake the strength of our desire for the strength of our faith.

(Bishop F. D. Huntingdon.)

In some of our most familiar illustrated newspapers there were, a little while ago, beautiful pictures of the recently-completed Cologne Cathedral. Looking at it very attentively there came back to mind thoughts and suggestions which are always started by the presence of a large Gothic building; and these have been so long associated with our cathedrals and spired churches, that we have almost ceased to question whether they really embody the essential idea of the Gothic architecture. Surely such a building as we have in mind is the illustration in stone of the idea of "United Prayer." It is a series of points and pinnacles, from the ground to the top of the great spire. Every window is a pointed arch; every buttress goes up to a point; every roof ridge is guided off into little uplifting spires; the great roof itself points up; and the whole building seems to unite in the great spire, which pierces away into the sky, and seems to carry the united cry of the whole building up to God.

(R. Tuck.)

Well-known are the immediate and lasting effects of the sermon, entitled "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," which President Edwards preached at the time of "The Great Awakening." It was believed that the sermon owed much of its success to the earnest petitions of a few believing persons, who spent the whole of the previous night in a prayer-meeting in the vicinity (Enfield). These prayers were made the more earnest by the fear that God, who was blessing other places, would in just indignation pass them by.

(Hervey's "Manual of Revivals.")

If we were all cold units like stones, and could take cur places side by side with no sense or consciousness of the presence of another, how chilled the thing would bet If, coming together, each was conscious that on his right or left was an enemy present — a carping critic, a cold atheist — how those who care at all for the thing would be chilled and withered! You all feel that, having a common purpose and a living sympathy, heart blends with heart and mind with mind. Ay, and thus Divine mercy uses and sanctifies one of the mightiest forces of human life. Men never know the fulness of their life and force except in sympathy. They catch the contagion of a prevailing temper. They grow warm by friction with those who are in active movement. They become confident and resolved by reason of the concensus of numbers. The drops that make up the ocean wave become mighty and resistless when united and swayed in one direction.

(J. Aldis.)

Aaron, Abia, Abijah, David, Elias, Elijah, Elisabeth, Gabriel, Herod, Jacob, Jesus, John, Joseph, Mary, Theophilus, Zacharias, Zechariah
Galilee, Jerusalem, Judea, Nazareth
Acting, Appointed, Class, Course, Division, Duty, Executed, Fulfilled, Office, Order, Pass, Performing, Prescribed, Priest, Priestly, Priests, Priest's, Service, Serving, Turn
1. The preface of Luke to his whole gospel.
5. The conception of John the Baptist;
26. and of Jesus.
39. The prophecy of Elisabeth and of Mary, concerning Jesus.
57. The nativity and circumcision of John.
67. The prophecy of Zachariah, both of Jesus,
76. and of John.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Luke 1:5-13

     5663   childbirth

Luke 1:5-17

     5098   John the Baptist

Luke 1:5-20

     5686   fathers, examples

Luke 1:5-25

     5225   barrenness
     5744   wife

Luke 1:5-38

     5658   boys

Luke 1:6-25

     5199   womb

Luke 1:8-9

     7392   lots, casting of

Luke 1:8-10

     8345   servanthood, and worship
     8626   worship, places

July 19 Morning
He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.--LUKE 1:49. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?--Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.--Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy.--Hallowed be thy name. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people. Who is this
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

August 3 Morning
His mercy is on them that fear Him.--LUKE 1:50. Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. If ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.--The Lord
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

September 9 Morning
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.--LUKE 1:53. Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.--When
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

March 24 Morning
Abraham believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.--GEN. 15:6. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him: but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

True Greatness
He shall be great in the sight of the Lord.'--LUKE i. 15. So spake the angel who foretold the birth of John the Baptist. 'In the sight of the Lord'--then men are not on a dead level in His eyes. Though He is so high and we are so low, the country beneath Him that He looks down upon is not flattened to Him, as it is to us from an elevation, but there are greater and smaller men in His sight, too. No epithet is more misused and misapplied than that of 'a great man.' It is flung about indiscriminately
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

The Magnificat
'And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48. For He hath regarded the low estate of His hand-maiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name, 50. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. 51. He hath shewed strength with His arm: He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52. He hath put down
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Elijah Come Again
'There was, in the days of Herod the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren; and they both were now well stricken in years. 8. And it came to pass, that, while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Zacharias's Hymn
'And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, 69. And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David; 70. As He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began; 71. That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72. To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

The Dayspring from on High
'The day-spring 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 the way of peace.'--LUKE i. 78, 79. As the dawn is ushered in by the notes of birds, so the rising of the Sun of Righteousness was heralded by song, Mary and Zacharias brought their praises and welcome to the unborn Christ, the angels hovered with heavenly music over His cradle, and Simeon took the child in his arms and blessed it. The human members of this
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Fourteenth Day. The Holy one of God.
Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.'--Luke i. 35. 'We have believed and know that Thou art the Holy One of God.'--John vi. 69. 'The holy one of the Lord'--only once (Ps. cvi. 16) the expression is found in the Old Testament. It is spoken of Aaron, in whom holiness, as far as it could then be revealed, had found its most complete embodiment. The title waited for its fulfilment in Him who alone, in His own person, could perfectly show forth
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

The Angel's Greeting
THE ANGEL'S GREETING St Luke i. 28.--"Hail, thou that art highly favoured among women, the Lord is with thee." Here there are three things to understand: the first, the modesty of the angel; the second, that he thought himself unworthy to accost the Mother of God; the third, that he not only addressed her, but the great multitude of souls who long after God. I affirm that had the Virgin not first borne God spiritually He would never have been born from her in bodily fashion. A certain woman said
Johannes Eckhart—Meister Eckhart's Sermons

Jesus Born the Son of God.
(Christmas Sermon.) "Glory to God in" the Highest, on earth peace; goodwill towards men. Amen." TEXT: LUKE i. 31, 32. "Behold, . . . thou shalt bring forth a Son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High." THESE were the words of promise spoken by the angel to Mary, that Ho whom she should bear should be called the Son of the Highest; and as this promise is after wards brought into direct connection with the statement that the power of the Highest
Friedrich Schleiermacher—Selected Sermons of Schleiermacher

The Key-Note of a Choice Sonnet
But now, having introduced to you her magnificat, we will dwell upon these words, "My soul doth magnify the Lord," and I do earnestly hope that many of us can adopt the language without being guilty of falsehood: we can as truly say as Mary did, "My soul doth magnify the Lord." If there are any of you present to-night who cannot say it, get to your chambers, fall upon your knees, and cry to the Lord to help you to do so; for as long as a man cannot magnify God he is not fit for heaven, where the
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 26: 1880

"The Tender Mercy of Our God"
"His heart is made of tenderness, His bowels melt with love." The main point of this morning's sermon will be to bring out into prominence those few words, "the tender mercy of our God." To me they gleam with kindly light: I see in them a soft radiance, as of those matchless pearls whereof the gates of heaven are made. There is an exceeding melody to my ear as well as to my heart in that word "tender." "Mercy" is music, and "tender mercy" is the most exquisite form of it, especially to a broken heart.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 32: 1886

A Harp of Ten Strings
IT IS VERY CLEAR that Mary was not beginning a new thing; for she speaks in the present tense, and in a tense which seems to have been for a long time present: "My soul doth magnify the Lord." Ever since she had received the wonderful tidings of the choice which God had made of her for her high position, she had begun to magnify the Lord; and when once a soul has a deep sense of God's mercy, and begins magnifying him, there is no end to it. This grows by what it feeds upon: the more you magnify God,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

The Judgment Upon Zacharias
UNBELIEF is everywhere a great sin, and a grievous mistake. Unbelief has proved the ruin of those countless multitudes who, having heard the gospel, rejected it, died in their sins, have been consigned to the place of torment, and await the fiercer judgment of the last day. I might ask the question concerning this innumerable host, "Who slew all these?" The answer would be, "Unbelief." And when unbelief comes into the Christian's heart, as it does at times--for the truest believer has his times of
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 62: 1916

Of Fervent Love and Vehement Desire of Receiving Christ
The Voice of the Disciple With the deepest devotion and fervent love, with all affection and fervour of heart, I long to receive Thee, O Lord, even as many Saints and devout persons have desired Thee in communicating, who were altogether well pleasing to Thee by their sanctity of life, and dwelt in all ardent devotion. O my God, Eternal Love, my whole Good, Happiness without measure, I long to receive Thee with the most vehement desire and becoming reverence which any Saint ever had or could have.
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Prayer and Consecration
"Eudamidas, a citizen of Corinth, died in poverty; but having two wealthy friends, Arctæus and Carixenus, left the following testament: In virtue of my last will, I bequeath to Arctæus my mother and to Carixenus my daughter to be taken home to their houses and supported for the remainder of their lives. This testament occasioned much mirth and laughter. The two legatees were pleased and affectionately executed the will. If heathens trusted each other, why should not I cherish a far greater
Edward M. Bounds—The Essentials of Prayer

Luke's Preface and Dedication.
^C Luke I. 1-4. [1] ^c 1 Forasmuch as many [of whom we know nothing and have even no tradition] have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning those matters which have been fulfilled [completed, or accomplished according to the divine will] among us, 2 even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses [the apostles were necessarily such and there were some few others--Acts i. 21-23] and ministers of the word [the apostles were ministers, and not ecclesiastical
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus.
(at Nazareth, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 26-38. ^c 26 Now in the sixth month [this is the passage from which we learn that John was six months older than Jesus] the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth [Luke alone tells us where Mary lived before the birth of Jesus. That Nazareth was an unimportant town is shown by the fact that it is mentioned nowhere in the Old Testament, nor in the Talmud, nor in Josephus, who mentions two hundred four towns and cities of Galilee. The
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Mary, Future Mother of Jesus, visits Elisabeth, Future Mother of John the Baptist.
(in the Hill Country of Judæa, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 39-56. ^c 39 And Mary arose in these days [within a week or two after the angel appeared to her] and went into the hill country [the district of Judah lying south of Jerusalem, of which the city of Hebron was the center] with haste [she fled to those whom God had inspired, so that they could understand her condition and know her innocence--to those who were as Joseph needed to be inspired, that he might understand--Matt. i. 18-25], into a city
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Annunciation to Zacharias of the Birth of John the Baptist.
(at Jerusalem. Probably b.c. 6.) ^C Luke I. 5-25. ^c 5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judæa [a Jewish proselyte, an Idumæan or Edomite by birth, founder of the Herodian family, king of Judæa from b.c. 40 to a.d. 4, made such by the Roman Senate on the recommendation of Mark Antony and Octavius Cæsar], a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course [David divided the priests into twenty-four bodies or courses, each course serving in rotation one week in the temple
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Birth and Early Life of John the Baptist.
(Hill Country of Judæa, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 57-80. ^c 57 Now Elisabeth's time was fulfilled that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbors and her kinsfolk heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy towards her [mercy in granting a child; great mercy in granting so illustrious a child] ; and they rejoiced with her. 59 And it came to pass on the eighth day [See Gen. xvii. 12; Lev. xii. 3; Phil. iii. 5. Male children were named at their circumcision, probably
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

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