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ESV — Luke 1-2

Luke

Dedication to Theophilus

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that ahave been accomplished among us, bjust as those who cfrom the beginning were deyewitnesses and eministers of fthe word ghave delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write han orderly account for you, imost excellent jTheophilus, that you may have kcertainty concerning the things lyou have been taught.

Birth of John the Baptist Foretold

mIn the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,1 nof othe division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both prighteous before God, walking qblamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because rElizabeth was barren, and sboth were advanced in years.

Now twhile he was serving as priest before God when uhis division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot vto enter wthe temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people xwere praying youtside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of zthe altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and afear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for byour prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and cyou shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will drejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be egreat before the Lord. And fhe must not drink wine or strong gdrink, and ghe will be hfilled with the Holy Spirit, ieven from his mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and jhe will go before him kin the spirit and power of Elijah, lto turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and mthe disobedient to the wisdom of the just, nto make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

18 And Zechariah said to the angel, o“How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am pGabriel. qI stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, ryou will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in sthe temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in sthe temple. And the kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And uwhen his time of vservice was ended, he went to his home.

24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, wto take away my reproach among people.”

Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month the angel xGabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named yNazareth, 27 zto a virgin betrothed2 to a man whose name was Joseph, aof the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, bO favored one, cthe Lord is with you!”3 29 But dshe was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for eyou have found favor with God. 31 And behold, fyou will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and gyou shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of hthe Most High. And the Lord God iwill give to him the throne of jhis father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob kforever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”4

35 And the angel answered her, l“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of hthe Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born5 will be called mholy—nthe Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her owho was called barren. 37 For pnothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant6 of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And qthe angel departed from her.

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into rthe hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth swas filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, t“Blessed are you among women, and ublessed is vthe fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of wmy Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And xblessed is she who believed that there would be7 a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Mary's Song of Praise: The Magnificat

46 And Mary said,

y“My zsoul amagnifies the Lord,

47  band my zspirit rejoices in cGod my Savior,

48  for dhe has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

For behold, from now on all generations ewill call me blessed;

49  for fhe who is mighty ghas done great things for me,

and hholy is his name.

50  And ihis mercy is for those who fear him

from generation to generation.

51  jHe has shown strength with his arm;

khe has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;

52  jhe has brought down the mighty from their thrones

land exalted those of humble estate;

53  he has filled mthe hungry with good things,

and the rich nhe has sent away empty.

54  He has ohelped phis servant Israel,

qin remembrance of his mercy,

55  ras he spoke to our fathers,

qto Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

The Birth of John the Baptist

57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord shad shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And ton the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; uhe shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And vthey made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for wa writing tablet and wrote, u“His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64 xAnd immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue yloosed, and he spoke, zblessing God. 65 And afear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all bthe hill country of Judea, 66 and all who heard them claid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For dthe hand of the Lord was with him.

Zechariah's Prophecy

67 And his father Zechariah ewas filled with the Holy Spirit and fprophesied, saying,

68  g“Blessed be the Lord hGod of Israel,

for he has ivisited and jredeemed his people

69  and khas raised up la horn of salvation for us

min the house of his servant David,

70  nas ohe spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,

71  pthat we should be saved from our enemies

and from the hand of all who hate us;

72  qto show the mercy promised to our fathers

and rto remember his holy scovenant,

73  tthe oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us

74  that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,

might serve him uwithout fear,

75  vin holiness and righteousness before him wall our days.

76  And you, child, will be called xthe prophet of ythe Most High;

for zyou will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

77  to give knowledge of salvation to his people

ain the forgiveness of their sins,

78  because of the btender mercy of our God,

whereby cthe sunrise shall dvisit us8 efrom on high

79  to fgive light to gthose who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

to guide our feet into hthe way of ipeace.”

80 jAnd the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was kin the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

The Birth of Jesus Christ

In those days la decree went out from mCaesar Augustus that all the world should be nregistered. This was the first nregistration when9 Quirinius owas governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up pfrom Galilee, from the town of qNazareth, to Judea, to rthe city of David, which is called sBethlehem, tbecause he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,10 who was with child. And twhile they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and uwrapped him in swaddling cloths and vlaid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in wthe inn.11

The Shepherds and the Angels

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord xappeared to them, and ythe glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all zthe people. 11 For aunto you is born this day in bthe city of David ca Savior, who is dChrist ethe Lord. 12 And fthis will be a sign for you: you will find a baby gwrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel ha multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14  i“Glory to God jin the highest,

jand on earth kpeace lamong those with whom he is pleased!”12

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby mlying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But nMary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, oglorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

21 And pat the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, qhe was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Jesus Presented at the Temple

22 And rwhen the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem sto present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in tthe Law of the Lord, u“Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in tthe Law of the Lord, v“a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was wrighteous and xdevout, ywaiting for zthe consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not asee death before he had seen bthe Lord's Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when cthe parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and dblessed God and said,

29  “Lord, now you are letting your servant13 depart ein peace,

faccording to your word;

30  for gmy eyes have seen your hsalvation

31  ithat you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,

32  ja light for revelation to the Gentiles,

and kfor glory to lyour people Israel.”

33 And mhis father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed nfor the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign othat is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

36 And there was pa prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, 37 and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.14 She did not depart from the temple, qworshiping with rfasting and prayer night and day. 38 And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were swaiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.

The Return to Nazareth

39 And when they had performed everything according to tthe Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of uNazareth. 40 vAnd the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.

The Boy Jesus in the Temple

41 Now whis parents went xto Jerusalem every year at ythe Feast of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, zthey went up according to custom. 43 And when the feast awas ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. wHis parents did not know it, 44 but supposing him to be in the group they went a day's journey, but then they began to search for him among their relatives and acquaintances, 45 and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, searching for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, bsitting among cthe teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 And when his parents15 saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, dyour father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that eI must be in fmy Father's house?”16 50 And gthey did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And hhis mother treasured up all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus iincreased in wisdom and in stature17 and in ifavor with God and man.

Footnotes

[1] 1:5 Greek Zacharias
[2] 1:27 That is, legally pledged to be married
[3] 1:28 Some manuscripts add Blessed are you among women!
[4] 1:34 Greek since I do not know a man
[5] 1:35 Some manuscripts add of you
[6] 1:38 Greek bondservant; also verse 48
[7] 1:45 Or believed, for there will be
[8] 1:78 Or when the sunrise shall dawn upon us; some manuscripts since the sunrise has visited us
[9] 2:2 Or This was the registration before
[10] 2:5 That is, one legally pledged to be married
[11] 2:7 Or guest room
[12] 2:14 Some manuscripts peace, good will among men
[13] 2:29 Or bondservant
[14] 2:37 Or as a widow for eighty-four years
[15] 2:48 Greek they
[16] 2:49 Or about my Father's business
[17] 2:52 Or years