Douay-Rheims Bible

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The conception of John the Baptist, and of Christ. The visitation and canticle of the Blessed Virgin. The birth of the Baptist and the canticle of Zachary.

[1] Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a narration of the things that have been accomplished among us; [2] According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word: [3] It seemed good to me also, having diligently attained to all things from the beginning, to write to thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, [4] That thou mayest know the verity of those words in which thou hast been instructed. [5] There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zachary, of the course of Abia; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth.

[5] "Of the course of Abia": that is, of the rank of Abia, which word in the Greek is commonly put for the employment of one day: but here for the functions of a whole week. For, by the appointment of David, 1 Par. 24., the descendants from Aaron were divided into twenty-four families, of which the eighth was Abia, from whom descended this Zachary, who at this time was in the week of his priestly functions.

[6] And they were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame. [7] And they had no son, for that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well advanced in years. [8] And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order of his course before God, [9] According to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer incense, going into the temple of the Lord. [10] And all the multitude of the people was praying without, at the hour of incense.

[11] And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. [12] And Zachary seeing him, was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

[61] And they said to her: There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. [62] And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. [63] And demanding a writing table, he wrote, saying: John is his name. And they all wondered. [64] And immediately his mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God. [65] And fear came upon all their neighbours; and all these things were noised abroad over all the hill country of Judea.

[66] And all they that had heard them laid them up in their heart, saying: What an one, think ye, shall this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him. [67] And Zachary his father was filled with the Holy Ghost; and he prophesied, saying: [68] Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; because he hath visited and wrought the redemption of his people: [69] And hath raised up an horn of salvation to us, in the house of David his servant: [70] As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, who are from the beginning:

[69] "Horn of salvation": That is, A powerful salvation, as Dr. Witham translates it. For in the Scripture, by horn is generally understood strength and power.

[71] Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us: [72] To perform mercy to our fathers, and to remember his holy testament, [73] The oath, which he swore to Abraham our father, that he would grant to us, [74] That being delivered from the hand of our enemies, we may serve him without fear, [75] In holiness and justice before him, all our days.

[76] And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways: [77] To give knowledge of salvation to his people, unto the remission of their sins: [78] Through the bowels of the mercy of our God, in which the Orient from on high hath visited us: [79] To enlighten them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death: to direct our feet into the way of peace. [80] And the child grew, and was strengthened in spirit; and was in the deserts until the day of his manifestation to Israel.

[78] "The Orient": It is one of the titles of the Messias, the true light of the world, and the sun of justice.

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