1 Then Elijah arose, a prophet like fire, and his word burned like a torch. 2 He brought a famine upon them, and by his zeal he made them few in number. 3 By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens, and also three times brought down fire. 4 How glorious you were, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! Whose glory is equal to yours? 5 You raised a corpse from death and from Hades, by the word of the Most High. 6 You sent kings down to destruction, and famous men, from their sickbeds. 7 You heard rebuke at Sinai and judgments of vengeance at Horeb. 8 You anointed kings to inflict retribution, and prophets to succeed you. 9 You were taken up by a whirlwind of fire, in a chariot with horses of fire. 10 At the appointed time, it is written, you are destined to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and to restore the tribes of Jacob. 11 Happy are those who saw you and were adorned with your love! For we also shall surely live.
5 During the reign of Herod king of Judea, there lived a priest named Zechariah who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah, and he had a wife named Elizabeth, who was a descendant of Aaron. 6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, following all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly. 7 But they did not have a child because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both very old. 8 Now while Zechariah was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the Holy Place of the Lord and burn incense. 10 Now the whole crowd of people were praying outside at the hour of the incense offering. 11 An angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense, appeared to him. 12 And Zechariah, visibly shaken when he saw the angel, was seized with fear. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son; you will name him John. 14 Joy and gladness will come to you, and many will rejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before his birth. 16 He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go as forerunner before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.”