356 : John The Baptist Is Born
NOW Elisabeth's time came that she should give birth, and she brought forth a son.
Her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shown great mercy upon her, and they rejoiced with her.
And it came to pass that on the eighth day the child was to be circumcised, and they called him Zacharias,
after the name of his father. But his mother said, "No, he shall be called John."
And they said to her, "There is no one of your family that is called by this name."
And they made signs to his father, asking how he would have him called.
Zacharias asked for a writing tablet,and wrote: "His name is John." And they all marvelled.
Then immediately Zacharias' mouth was opened, and his tongue loosed, and he spoke and praised God.
And fear came on all that lived round about them.
Word of all these doings spread throughout all the hill country of Judah,
and all that heard of them laid them up in their hearts, saying:"What kind of child shall this be!"
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied,saying:
"Blessed be the Lord of Israel,for he has visited and redeemed his people,
And has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets,which have been since the world began:
That we may be saved from our enemies,and from the hand of all that hate us,
To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
The oath which he swore to our father Abraham,
That he would grant unto us,that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,In holiness and righteousness before him, all the day's of our life:
And you, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest,
for you shall go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways'
To give knowledge of salvation to his people by remission of their sins,
through the tender mercy of our God;
whereby the dayspring from on high has visited us,
To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace."
The child grew and became strong in spirit,
and lived in the deserts till the day of his appearance unto Israel.
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