Elizabeth (wife of Zechariah)

Referenced in the Bible:

Luke Chapter 1.

Luke 1:13–15

Luke 1:24–25

Luke 1:41–45

Luke 1:56–64

Key Verse: 

Luke 1:13-16, 41-45

v.13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. v.14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, v.15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. v.16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 

v.41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 

 v.42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! v.43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? v.44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. v.45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”(NIV)


1.0 Introduction:1)http://christianity.about.com/od/newtestamentpeople/a/Elizabeth.htm (By Jack Zavada).

Elizabeth – Mother of John the Baptist

The inability to bear a child is a common theme in the Bible. In ancient times, barrenness was considered a disgrace. But time and again, we see these women having great faith in God, and God rewards them with a child.

Elizabeth was such a woman. Both she and her husband Zechariah were old, she past child-bearing years, yet she conceived through the grace of God. The angel Gabriel told Zechariah the news in the temple, then made him mute because he did not believe.

Just as the angel foretold, Elizabeth conceived. While she was pregnant, Mary, the expectant mother of Jesus, visited her. The baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped for joy on hearing Mary’s voice. Elizabeth gave birth to a son. They named him John, as the angel had commanded, and at that moment Zechariah’s power of speech returned. He praised God for his mercy and goodness.

Their son became John the Baptist, the prophet who foretold the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.


Accomplishments:

Both Elizabeth and Zechariah were holy people: Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. (Luke 1:6, NIV)

Elizabeth bore a son in her old age and raised him as God had commanded.

Strengths:

Elizabeth was sad but never became bitter because of her barrenness. She had enormous faith in God her entire life.

She appreciated God’s mercy and kindness. She praised God for giving her a son.

Elizabeth was humble, even though she played a key role in God’s plan of salvation. Her focus was always on the Lord, never herself.

Weaknesses:

None Observed.


Life Lessons:

We should never underestimate God’s tremendous love for us. Even though Elizabeth had been barren and her time for having a baby was over, God caused her to conceive. Our God is a God of surprises. Sometimes, when we least expect it, he touches us with a miracle and our life is changed forever.

Hometown:

Unnamed town in the hill country of Judea.

Occupation:

Homemaker.


2.0 Elizabeth (Elisabeth)2)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_(biblical_figure).

Elizabeth, also spelled Elisabeth (Greek Ἐλισάβετ) or Elisheba (from the Hebrew אֱלִישֶׁבַע / אֱלִישָׁבַע “My God has sworn”; Standard Hebrew Elišévaʿ Elišávaʿ, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĔlîšéḇaʿ ʾĔlîšāḇaʿ; Arabic أليصابات Alyassabat), was the mother of John the Baptist and the wife of Zechariah, according to the Gospel of Luke.

Biblical narrative

According to the Gospel of Luke, Elizabeth was “of the daughters of Aaron” (Luke 1:5). She and her husband Zacharias were “righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6-7), but childless. While he was in the temple of the Lord (Luke 1:8–12), Zacharias was visited by the angel Gabriel:

v.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, and you shall call his name John. v.14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, v.15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.

Luke 1:13–15

Zacharias doubted whereby he could know this since both he and his wife were very old. The angel identified himself as Gabriel and told Zacharias that he would be “dumb, and not able to speak” until the words were fulfilled, because he did not believe. When the days of his ministry were complete, he returned to his house (Luke 1:16-23).

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

Luke 1:24 - 25

According to the account, the angel Gabriel was then sent to Nazareth in Galilee to her relative [Luke 1:36] Mary, then a virgin, espoused to a man called Joseph, and informed her that she would conceive by the Holy Ghost and bring forth a son to be called Jesus. After she was also informed that her “relative Elizabeth” had begun her sixth month of pregnancy, she travelled to “Hebron, in the hill country of Judah”,3)Compare Luke 1:39-40 with Joshua 21:11 The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge says, “This was most probably Hebron, a city of the priests, and situated in the hill country of Judea, (Jos 11:21; Jos 21:11, 13,) about 25 miles south of Jerusalem, and nearly 100 from Nazareth.” to visit Elizabeth.(Luke 1:26-40)

v.41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, v.42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! v.43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? v.44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. v.45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Luke 1:41 - 45

Matthew Henry comments, “Mary knew that Elisabeth was with child, but it does not appear that Elisabeth had been told anything of her relative Mary’s being designed for the mother of the Messiah; and therefore what knowledge she appears to have had of it must have come by a revelation, which would be a great encouragement to Mary.4).Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary. After Mary heard Elizabeth’s blessing, she spoke the words now known as the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Again, Henry notes that “it was here, in Hebron, that circumcision was first instituted”, and it was here that the LORD turned Abram’s name to Abraham when he gave him the covenant of circumcision.5).Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary.

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

The Birth of John the Baptist

v.57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. v.58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. v.59 And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, v.60 but his mother answered, “No; he shall be called John.”  v.61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.”  v.62 And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. v.63 And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. v.64 And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.

Luke 1:56 - 64

That is the last mention of Elizabeth, who is not mentioned in any other chapter in the Bible. The chapter continues with the prophecy of Zacharias, (known as the Benedictus,) and ends with the note that John “grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts” until his ministry to Israel began; so it is unknown how long Elizabeth and her husband lived after that (Luke 1:65-80).

Apocrypha

Elizabeth is mentioned in several books of the Apocrypha, most prominently in the Protevangelion of James, in which the birth of her son and the subsequent murder of her husband are chronicled.


3.0 Who was Elizabeth in the Bible?6)http://www.gotquestions.org/Elizabeth-in-the-Bible.html

Elizabeth in the Bible was the wife of a priest named Zechariah; she was also a cousin of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Elizabeth and Zechariah are called “righteous and blameless” people who walked in all the commandments of the Lord (Luke 1:6). Elizabeth was barren; she was unable to have children (Luke 1:7). When Elizabeth is first mentioned in the Bible, she is an old woman, or as Luke puts it, “advanced in years” (Luke 1:7). This could mean anything from late middle-age to old age. In any case, she was past child-bearing age (Luke 1:18).

When Zechariah was in the temple offering incense to the Lord, the angel Gabriel appeared to him, saying that he and Elizabeth would soon be parents; they were to name the baby John. This baby would grow up to be “great before the Lord” and bring joy and gladness to them, as well as to many other people (Luke 1:14–15). Zechariah was doubtful because of his wife’s age and the fact that he was himself old (Luke 1:18), so Gabriel—the same angel who appeared later to Mary—told Zechariah that he would be unable to speak until the prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of John (Luke 1:19–20, 26–27).

Elizabeth, when finding herself pregnant, kept herself in seclusion for five months. She said, “The Lord has done this for me. . . . In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people” (Luke 1:25). Six months after Elizabeth conceived, Mary also became pregnant, and she went to visit Elizabeth, because Gabriel had told her of Elizabeth’s pregnancy (Luke 1:36–37). It is a sign of God’s love and care that he placed these women in the same family. He could have just as easily made them strangers to one another, but, by making them relatives, He gave them mutual comfort and encouragement. Especially for Mary, the experience of being pregnant outside of wedlock must have been frightening and shocking. But God provided Elizabeth as a comforting presence—a trusted and known relation and older woman who was going through a similarly miraculous event (Luke 1:38–45).

As soon as Mary arrived at Elizabeth’s home and Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, “the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!’” (Luke 1:41–45). The Holy Spirit told Elizabeth of Mary’s condition even before Mary could say a word.

Eight days after Elizabeth’s child was born, several neighbors and relatives were there for the ceremony of circumcision. It was during this time that children were officially given their names, and Elizabeth declared her baby’s name to be John—Zechariah was still unable to speak. The neighbors questioned Elizabeth about the name; none of her relatives had ever been called John—certainly they should name him Zechariah. But Zechariah procured a tablet and wrote on it the name of John. In this he showed his faith in the angel’s prophecy, and, with that, Zechariah was able to speak again (Luke 1:57–64).

Elizabeth’s son grew up to be John the Baptist, who ministered “before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17) and was the prophet who prepared the way of the Lord, fulfilling Malachi’s prophecy (Malachi 3:1; Luke 1:76; John 3:1–6).


genealogy-150-150

Ancestor – Aaron
Husband – Zechariah
Son – John the Baptist
Kinswoman – Mary, the mother of Jesus


SOURCES

1.0) Source: http://christianity.about.com/od/newtestamentpeople/a/Elizabeth.htm

2.0) Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_(biblical_figure)

3.0) Source: http://www.gotquestions.org/Elizabeth-in-the-Bible.html

4.0) Source: bibleresources.americanbible.org | Tittle: “A Guide to Key Events, Characters and Themes of the Bible”


Related: Biblical Overviews List of Key Old Testament Characters

References

↑ 1. http://christianity.about.com/od/newtestamentpeople/a/Elizabeth.htm (By Jack Zavada).
↑ 2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_(biblical_figure).
↑ 3. Compare Luke 1:39-40 with Joshua 21:11 The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge says, “This was most probably Hebron, a city of the priests, and situated in the hill country of Judea, (Jos 11:21; Jos 21:11, 13,) about 25 miles south of Jerusalem, and nearly 100 from Nazareth.”
↑ 4. .Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary.
↑ 5. .Matthew Henry’s Whole Bible Commentary.
↑ 6. http://www.gotquestions.org/Elizabeth-in-the-Bible.html

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