The time was fulfilled for Elizabeth to bear,
and she gave birth to a son.
The neighbors and her relatives heard
that the Lord had magnified his mercy with her,
and they rejoiced with her.
On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child,
and they were calling him
by the name of his father Zacharias.
His mother answered, "No, he shall be called John."
They said to her, "There is no one among your relatives
who is called by this name."
They nodded to his father what he might wish to call him.
Requesting a tablet, he wrote, "John is his name."
They were all surprised.
His mouth and his tongue were opened at once,
and he spoke praising God.
Fear came upon all their neighbors,
and throughout the hill country of Judea
all these sayings were discussed,
and all who heard put it into their hearts,
saying, "What then will this child be?"
For the Lord's hand was with him.
Zacharias, his father, was filled with the Holy Spirit
and prophesied, "Praised be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people,
and raised a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he has spoken
through the mouth of his holy prophets from the ages,
salvation from our enemies
and from the hand of all who hate us,
to perform mercy with our fathers
and remember his holy covenant,
the oath he swore to our father Abraham,
to give us fearlessly from the hand of enemies deliverance
to serve him in holiness and justice
in his presence all our days.
"You also, child, will be called a prophet of the highest;
for you will go before in the presence of the Lord
to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people
in forgiveness of their sins,
through the tender mercy of our God,
in which sunrise from on high will visit us to shine
upon those sitting in darkness and the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace."
The child grew and became strong in spirit,
and he was in the deserts
until the days of his manifestation to Israel.