Zechariah (NT)

Priest who was the father of John the Baptist.

Zechariah was a priest and the father of John the Baptist. He and his wife, Elizabeth, had grown old without having any children. While Zechariah burned incense in the Jerusalem temple, an angel appeared to him and announced that he and Elizabeth would have a son who, in the spirit of Elijah, would prepare people for the coming of the Lord. When Zechariah asked how this could be, he was made unable to speak until the child was born. After the birth of the child, Zechariah wrote down that the child’s name was to be John. He was able to speak again and gave praise to God. Zechariah’s story appears in Luke 1:5-80.

Zechariah and John the Baptist, medieval Georgian fresco from the Monastery of the Cross, Jerusalem

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