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Vi-bahlt (since) many Messianic Sofrim have attempted to compile a sefer, a historical narrative, about the momentous events that have been fulfilled among us,

Just as these [masoret haShluchim] have been handed down to us by those who from HaReshit [of the Besuras HaGeulah] were edei reiyah (eyewitnesses) and mesharetim [ministers] of the Dvar Hashem,

I thought it expedient also, having done an iyun (investigative research), accurately and carefully being meayen (engaged in research) in every source and making a medakdeke (pain-stakingly thorough) investigation of every aspect from HaReshit (the Beginning), to write for you and to mesader (arrange, place in succession) an orderly account, most noble Theophilus,

That you may have daas of HaEmes regarding the Divrei Moshiach about which you took shiurim (lessons).

At the time of Herod king of Yehudah, there was a certain kohen by the name Zecharyah, who belonged to the Aviyah division. His isha was of the banot Aharon, name of Elisheva. [DIVREY HAYAMIM ALEF 24:10]

And they were both tzaddikim before Hashem, walking a derech tamim in all the mitzvot and chukkim of the Torah of Adoneinu. [BERESHIS 6:9; DEVARIM 5:33; MELACHIM ALEF 9:4]

But they had no ben, because Elisheva was barren, and they were both advanced in their yamim.

And it came to pass in the performance of his avodas kodesh sherut as a kohen before Hashem in the appointed order of his division, [DIVREY HAYAMIM ALEF 24:19; DIVREY HAYAMIM BAIS 8:14]

According to the minhag (custom) of the kehunah, Zecharyah was chosen by lot to enter the Beis Hamikdash and to offer ketoret (incense). [SHEMOT 30:7,8; DIVREY HAYAMIM ALEF 23:13; DIVREY HAYAMIM BAIS 29:11; TEHILLIM 141:2]

10 And when the hour of the offering of the ketoret came, all the multitude were davening outside. [VAYIKRA 16:17]

11 And there appeared to Zecharyah a malach Hashem, standing on the right side of the Mizbeach of ketoret. [SHEMOT 30:1-10]

12 And, seeing the malach, Zecharyah was terrified, and pachad (fear) fell on him. [SHOFETIM 6:22,23; 13:22]

13 But the malach said to him, Do not have pachad (fear), Zecharyah. Your tefillah (prayer) was heard and your isha, Elisheva, will bear a ben to you and you will call his shem Yochanan.

14 And he will be a simcha to you and sasson (joy), and there will be sasson rav (great joy) at his huledet (birth).

15 And he will be gadol before Hashem, and he will not drink yayin or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Ruach Hakodesh from the womb of his Em (mother), [BAMIDBAR 6:3; VAYIKRA 10:9; SHOFETIM 13:4; YIRMEYAH 1:5]

16 And many of the Bnei Yisroel he will turn back in teshuva to Hashem Eloheihem.

17 And he will go forth before Adonoi in the ruach (spirit) and koach (power) of Eliyahu HaNavi, VEHESHIV LEV AVOT AL BANIM (And he will turn the heart of the fathers to the children MALACHI 3:24 [4:6]) and those without mishmaat (obedience) he will turn to the chochmah of the tzaddikim to prepare for Adonoi an Am (People) having been made ready. [MALACHI 4:5,6]

18 And Zecharyah said to the malach, Just how will I have daas that this is so? For I am old and my isha is advanced in her yamim (days). [BERESHIS 15:8; 17:17]

19 And in reply, the malach said to Zecharyah, I am Gavriel, I stand before Hashem. And I was sent to speak to you and to announce these things to you. [DANIEL 8:16; 9:21]

20 And hinei! You will be illem (mute) and not be able to speak, until the yom (day) when these things come to pass, because you did not have emunah in my dvarim (words), which will be fulfilled in their time. [SHEMOT 4:11; YECHEZKEL 3:26]

21 And the people were expecting Zecharyah and they were bewildered at his delay in the Beis HaMikdash.

22 And when he came out, he was illem (mute) and not able to speak to them, and they had daas that he had seen a chazon in the Heikhal. He kept motioning to them and he remained illem.

23 And it came about as the yamim of his sherut (service in the Beis HaMikdash) as a kohen were fulfilled, he went to his bais (house).

24 And after these yamim, Elisheva, his isha, became with child, and she kept herself in hitbodedut for chamesh chodashim, saying,

25 Hashem has done this for me. In these yamim he looked with Chen vChesed (favor and mercy, loving kindness) on me to take away my reproach among Bnei Adam. [BERESHIS 30:23; YESHAYAH 4:1]

26 Now in the chodesh shishi the malach Gavriel was sent from Hashem to a shtetl in the Galil called Natzeret,

27 To a betulah (virgin) given in erusin (betrothal, engagement) to an ish from the Beis Dovid named Yosef [ben Dovid], and the shem of the almah was Miryam.

28 And when the malach approached her, he said, Shalom, favored one! Hashem is with you!

29 But she was greatly perplexed at the message, and kept pondering what sort of Shalom greeting this might be.

30 And the malach said to her, Do not have pachad (fear), Miryam, for you have found chen before Hashem.

31 And in your womb you will conceive and bear BEN [YESHAYAH 7:14] and you will call SHMO YEHOSHUA. [ZECHARYAH 6:11-12]

32 He will be gadol (great) and will be called Ben HaElyon (Son of the Most High). Adonoi Elohim will give him the kisse Dovid Aviv,

33 And he will rule over the Beis Yaakov Olam vaed, and his Malchut will never come to an end. [SHMUEL BAIS 7:16; TEHILLIM 89:3,4; YESHAYAH 9:7; YIRMEYAH 33:17; DANIEL 2:44; 7:14,27; MICHOH 4:7]

34 But Miryam said to the malach, How will this be, vibahlt (since) I do not have daas of an ish?

35 And in reply, the malach said to her, The Ruach Hakodesh will come upon you and the gevurah of HaElyon will overshadow you. Therefore, also, the one being born will be called HaKadosh (The Holy One), Ben HaElohim.

36 And Elisheva your krovah also has conceived a ben in her old age, and this chodesh is hashishi (the sixth) for her who is called barren.

37 For nothing will be impossible with Hashem.

38 And Miryam said, Hinei! I am the shifcha of Hashem. May it be done to me according to your dvar. And the malach departed from her.

39 And in those yamim, Miryam got up and traveled into the hill country with haste to a shtetl of Yehudah.

40 And she entered into the bais of Zecharyah and gave Birkat Shalom greetings to Elisheva.

41 And it came about, when Elisheva heard the Birkat Shalom of Miryam, the yeled leaped in Elisheva’s womb, and she was filled with the Ruach Hakodesh.

42 And Elisheva cried out with a kol gadol (loud voice) and said, Brucha at miNashim (Blessed art thou among women), and baruch (blessed is) the pri (fruit) of your womb! [SHOFETIM 5:24]

43 And why has this happened to me that the Em Adoni should come to me?

44 For hinei! When the sound of your Birkat Shalom came into my ears, the yeled leaped with simcha in my womb.

45 And ashrey is the one having had emunah that there will be a fulfillment to the things having been spoken to Miryam by Hashem.

46 And Miryam said, My soul doth magnify Hashem [TEHILLIM 34:2,3]

47 ALATZ LIBI BAHASHEM (My heart rejoices in Hashem SHMUEL ALEF 2:1) and my neshamah exalts in Hashem Yishi (G-d my savior, Moshi’a) CHABAKUK 3:18, [TEHILLIM 18:46; YESHAYAH 17:10; 61:10]

48 For HASHEM VISHAFAL YIREH (TEHILLIM 138:6) looked upon the humble state of His shifcha (bond maid) for from now on kol hadorot ishruni (all generations will call me happy, BERESHIS 30:13) [TEHILLIM 138:6]

49 For Shaddai (the Almighty) did gedolot for me and Kadosh is Shmo, [TEHILLIM 111:9]

50 And the chesed of Hashem is DOR VDOR [TEHILLIM 100:5] to those with yirat Shomayim. [SHEMOT 20:6; TEHILLIM 103:17]

51 Hashem has done niflaot (wonders) with his zeroa [arm, YESHAYAH 53:1]. He scattered those who in the machshavot (thoughts) of their levavot are the Gaayonim (the Haughty ones).

52 He brought down shalitim (rulers) from their kisot (thrones) and lifted up the Anavim (Humble),

53 The ones hungering, Hashem made full of tov, and the ashirim he sent away empty. [TEHILLIM 107:9]

54 Hashem helped his servant Yisroel, in remembrance of his rachamim (mercy),

55 Just as Hashem spoke to Avoteinu, to Avraham Avinu and his Zera ad Olam.

56 And Miryam remained with Elisheva about shlosha chodashim, and then Miryam returned to her bais.

57 Now when the time of Elisheva to give birth was fulfilled, she bore a ben.

58 And Elisheva’s shchenim (neighbors) and krovim (relatives) heard that Adoneinu greatly demonstrated his rachamim to her, and they had much simcha with her.

59 And it came about on the yom hashemini (the eighth day) they came for the bris milah of the yeled, and they were calling him by the name of his abba, Zecharyah.

60 And in reply, his Em said: Lo, but he will be called Yochanan.

61 And they said to her, There is no one from your krovim who is called by this shem.

62 And they began motioning to the yeled’s abba to find out what shem he wanted to give him.

63 And having asked for a luach (tablet), Zecharyah wrote, saying, Yochanan shmo. And everyone was amazed.

64 And Zecharyah’s mouth was loosed at once and the lashon of him, and he began speaking, saying Baruch Hashem!

65 And upon all their shchenim (neighbors) came much yirat Shomayim, and in the entire hill country of Yehudah everyone was shmoozing about these matters.

66 All who heard these things pondered them in their levavot, saying, What then will this yeled become? For, indeed, the yad Hashem was on him. [BERESHIS 39:2]

67 And Zecharyah, his abba, was filled with the Ruach Hakodesh and brought forth a dvar nevuah, saying,

68 BARUCH HASHEM ELOHEI YISROEL, for Adonoi has visited his Am Berit and accomplished a pedut kofer ransom for the Geulah of his people.

69 And Hashem raised up a Keren Yeshuah (Horn of Salvation), a mighty Moshia, for us in the Beis Dovid, His eved,

70 Just as Hashem spoke through the mouth of His neviim hakedoshim meOlam (holy prophets from long ago), [YIRMEYAH 23:5]

71 That we should have Yeshuat Eloheinu from our oyvim (enemies) and from the hand of all the ones who regard us with sinas chinom (baseless hatred).

72 Thus Hashem has demonstrated his rachamim (mercy) to Avoteinu (our Fathers) and has remembered his Brit HaKodesh (Holy Covenant), [MICHOH 7:20; TEHILLIM 105:8,9; 106:45; YECHEZKEL 16:60]

73 The Brit HaShevuah (the Covenant of the oath) which He swore to Avraham Avinu to grant us, [BERESHIS 22:16-18]

74 Having been delivered from the yad haoyvim (hand of enemies) of us to serve Hashem fearlessly,

75 In kedushah (holiness) and tzedek (righteousness) before Him all our yamim (days).

76 And you also, yeled (child), will be called Navi HaElyon (Prophet of the Most High); for you will go LIFNEI HAADON (before the L-rd) to prepare the DERECH HASHEM (The Way of the L-rd) [MALACHI 3:1; YESHAYAH 40:3]

77 To give daas (knowledge) of Yeshuat Eloheinu (the Salvation of our G-d) to Hashem’s Am Berit (People of the Covenant) by the selichat (forgiveness) of their avon (sin) [YIRMEYAH 31:34]

78 Through the rav rachamim of Eloheinu (through the great mercy of our G-d), by which has visited us the rising SHEMESH [Sun, Moshiach] from Shomayim, [MALACHI 3:20 (4:2)]

79 To appear to the ones in CHOSHECH (darkness) and YOSHVEI BERETZ TZALMAVET (sitting in the land of the shadow of death), to direct our feet into the Derech Shalom. [Psa 107:14; Isa 9:1-2; 59:9]

80 And the yeled was growing and was being given chizzuk (strengthening) in the Ruach Hakodesh, and Yochanan was in the desolate places until the day of his hisgalus (revelation, manifestation) to Yisroel.

Introduction(A)

Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled[a] among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first(B) were eyewitnesses(C) and servants of the word.(D) With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account(E) for you, most excellent(F) Theophilus,(G) so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.(H)

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

In the time of Herod king of Judea(I) there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah;(J) his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly.(K) But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God,(L) he was chosen by lot,(M) according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense.(N) 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.(O)

11 Then an angel(P) of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.(Q) 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.(R) 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid,(S) Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.(T) 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,(U) 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink,(V) and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit(W) even before he is born.(X) 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord,(Y) in the spirit and power of Elijah,(Z) to turn the hearts of the parents to their children(AA) and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”(AB)

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this?(AC) I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”(AD)

19 The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel.(AE) I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak(AF) until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their appointed time.”

21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah and wondering why he stayed so long in the temple. 22 When he came out, he could not speak to them. They realized he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs(AG) to them but remained unable to speak.

23 When his time of service was completed, he returned home. 24 After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 25 “The Lord has done this for me,” she said. “In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace(AH) among the people.”

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel(AI) to Nazareth,(AJ) a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph,(AK) a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid,(AL) Mary; you have found favor with God.(AM) 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.(AN) 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.(AO) The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,(AP) 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom(AQ) will never end.”(AR)

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you,(AS) and the power of the Most High(AT) will overshadow you. So the holy one(AU) to be born will be called[b] the Son of God.(AV) 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child(AW) in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”(AX)

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea,(AY) 40 where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.(AZ) 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women,(BA) and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord(BB) should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Mary’s Song(BC)

46 And Mary said:

“My soul glorifies the Lord(BD)
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,(BE)
48 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant.(BF)
From now on all generations will call me blessed,(BG)
49     for the Mighty One has done great things(BH) for me—
    holy is his name.(BI)
50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.(BJ)
51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;(BK)
    he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.(BL)
52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
    but has lifted up the humble.(BM)
53 He has filled the hungry with good things(BN)
    but has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    remembering to be merciful(BO)
55 to Abraham and his descendants(BP) forever,
    just as he promised our ancestors.”

56 Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

The Birth of John the Baptist

57 When it was time for Elizabeth to have her baby, she gave birth to a son. 58 Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her great mercy, and they shared her joy.

59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise(BQ) the child, and they were going to name him after his father Zechariah, 60 but his mother spoke up and said, “No! He is to be called John.”(BR)

61 They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who has that name.”

62 Then they made signs(BS) to his father, to find out what he would like to name the child. 63 He asked for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s astonishment he wrote, “His name is John.”(BT) 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak,(BU) praising God. 65 All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea(BV) people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.(BW)

Zechariah’s Song

67 His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit(BX) and prophesied:(BY)

68 “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,(BZ)
    because he has come to his people and redeemed them.(CA)
69 He has raised up a horn[c](CB) of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David(CC)
70 (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),(CD)
71 salvation from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us—
72 to show mercy to our ancestors(CE)
    and to remember his holy covenant,(CF)
73     the oath he swore to our father Abraham:(CG)
74 to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
    and to enable us to serve him(CH) without fear(CI)
75     in holiness and righteousness(CJ) before him all our days.

76 And you, my child, will be called a prophet(CK) of the Most High;(CL)
    for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,(CM)
77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation
    through the forgiveness of their sins,(CN)
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun(CO) will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,(CP)
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”(CQ)

80 And the child grew and became strong in spirit[d];(CR) and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

Footnotes

  1. Luke 1:1 Or been surely believed
  2. Luke 1:35 Or So the child to be born will be called holy,
  3. Luke 1:69 Horn here symbolizes a strong king.
  4. Luke 1:80 Or in the Spirit

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