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Elizabeth, of priestly lineage, was a relative of Mary, the mother of Jesus. She was the wife of Zechariah, a priest in Jerusalem, in the Roman province of Judea. In preparing the way for the Messiah, God performed a miracle to grant her long dream of having a baby (for she had been barren and was past her childbearing years). The couple would become the parents of John, called the Baptist.

While Zechariah was serving in the Temple, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and announced that a son who would "be great before the Lord" would be born to Elizabeth. When the old man doubted the angel, he found that he could not speak. He was told that he was to name the child "John." In the process of time, after he returned to Elizabeth, the couple were expecting a child.

In Elizabeth's sixth month of pregnancy, her relative Mary of Nazareth visited her, having heard of her pregnancy from the same angel that had spoken to Zechariah. When Mary entered the house and greeted Elizabeth, the baby leaped in Elizabeth's womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and it was revealed to her that Mary was carrying the Messiah.[1]

Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months, and perhaps up to the birth of the child Zachariah insisted on calling John.[2] There is no further mention of Elizabeth or Zechariah in the New Testament.

Verses

  1. Luke 1:41-42 (Link)
  2. Luke 1:5-79 (Link)

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