Now the time that Elizabeth should give birth was fulfilled, and she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and her relatives heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy towards her, and they rejoiced with her. On the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him Zacharias, after the name of the father. His mother answered, “Not so; but he will be called John.”
They said to her, “There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.” They made signs to his father, what he would have him called.
He asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, “His name is John.”
They all marveled. His mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue freed, and he spoke, blessing God. Fear came on all who lived around them, and all these sayings were talked about throughout all the hill country of Judea. All who heard them laid them up in their heart, saying, “What then will this child be?” The hand of the Lord was with him. His father, Zacharias, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
“Blessed be the Lord, the God 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 who have been from of old),
salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us;
to show mercy towards our fathers,
to remember his holy covenant,
the oath which he spoke to Abraham, our father,
to grant to us that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies,
should serve him without fear,
In holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.
And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the remission of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
whereby the dawn from on high will visit us,
to shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death;
to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
The child was growing, and becoming strong in spirit, and was in the desert until the day of his public appearance to Israel.