“Amazing Grace,” Aretha Franklin
“The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold,” Luke 1:5) 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. Matthew 2:1; Nehemiah 12:4. 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 course, 2 Chronicles 8:14. 9) According to the custom of the Priest’s Office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into The Temple Of The lord. Exodus 30:7, 8. 10) And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. 11) And there appeared unto him an Angel Of The Lord standing on the right side of The Altar Of Incense. 12) And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and Fear fell on him. Daniel 10:8; Revelation 1:17.
Quest Study Bible – v5, “Herod king of Judea,” This is Herod the Great, who ruled Judea (Palestine) from 40 to 4 B. C. See King Herod (Matthew 2:1). v5, “Priestly Vision,” There were 24 divisions of priests (1 Chronicles 24:1-4). They served twice a year at The Temple for a week at a time. With the distribution of labor, a Priest like Zechariah (Zacharias) would likely prepare the Sacrifice only once in his career.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – v5-25, The father and mother of John the Baptist were sinners as all are, and were Justified and Saved in the same way as others; but they were Eminent (Distinguished) for Piety ( Reverent) and Integrity (Strong Moral Principles). They had no children, and it could not be expected that Elisabeth should have any in her old age. While Zacharias (Zachariah) was burning incense In The Temple, the whole multitude of the people were Praying without. All the Prayers we offer up to God, Are Acceptable and Successful Only By Christ’s Intercession In The Temple Of God Above. We cannot expect an Interest Therein if we do not Pray, and Pray (not), with our Spirits, and are not earnest in Prayer. Nor can we expect that the best of our Prayers Should Gain Acceptance, And Bring An Answer Of peace, But (or, Only) Through The Mediation Of Christ, Who Ever Lives, Making Intercession. The Prayers Zacharias often made, Received An Answer Of peace. prayers of Faith Are Filed In Heaven, And Are Not Forgotten. Prayers made when we were young and entering into the world, may be answered when we are old and going out of the world. Mercies are doubly Sweet that Are Given In Answer To Prayer. Zacharias shall have a son in his old age, who shall be Instrumental In The Conversion Of Many Souls To God, and Preparing Them To Receive The Gospel Of Christ. He Shall Go Before Him (Christ) With Courage, Zeal, Holiness, And A Mind Dead To Earthly Pleasures. The Disobedient and Rebellious would be brought back to The Wisdom of their Righteous Forefathers, or rather, brought to attend to The Wisdom of That Just One (Christ), Who Was Coming Among Them. Zacharias heard all that the Angel said; but his Unbelief spake. In striking him dumb, God Dealt Justly With Him, because he had Objected Against God’s Word. We May Admire The Patience Of God Towards Us. Even real Believers are apt to Dishonor God By Unbelief; and their mouths are stopped in silence and confusion, when otherwise they would have been Praising God With Joy And Gratitude. In God’s Gracious Dealings With Us We Ought To Observe His Gracious Regards To Us. HE HAS LOOKED ON US WITH COMPASSION AND FAVOR, AND THEREFORE HAS THUS DEALT WITH US. Amen.