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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 1:21

The people were waiting for Zacharias, and were wondering at his delay in the temple.

Adam Clarke Commentary

The people waited - The time spent in burning the incense was probably about half an hour, during which there was a profound silence, as the people stood without engaged in mental prayer. To this there is an allusion in Revelation 8:1-5. Zacharias had spent not only the time necessary for burning the incense, but also that which the discourse between him and the angel took up.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The people waited - That is, beyond the usual time.

Marvelled - Wondered. The priest, it is said, was not accustomed to remain in the temple more than half an hour commonly. Having remained on this occasion a longer time, the people became apprehensive of his safety, and wondered what had happened to him.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-1.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they marvelled while he tarried in the temple.

Zacharias was possibly very much unsettled and shaken by the awesome experience he had encountered, occasioning some delay in the completion of his duties; and, also, from his affliction imposed upon him by the angel, there would have been a reluctance for him to go forth to the people. Perhaps he waited awhile before appearing.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-1.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the people waited for Zacharias,.... That were without, in the court of the Israelites, praying there, while he was offering incense: these were waiting for his coming out, in order to be blessed by him, according to Numbers 6:23 and be dismissed: and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple; beyond the usual time of burning incense; which might be occasioned either by a longer discourse of the angel with him than what is here related; or being struck with amazement at the sight and hearing of the angel, he might continue long musing on this unexpected appearance and relation; or he might spend some time not only in meditation upon it, but in mental prayer, confession, and thanksgiving. The high priest, when he went in to burn incense on the day of atonement,

"made a short prayer in the outward house, (in the temple,) and he did not continue long in his prayer, שלא להבעית, "that he might not affright" the Israelites'F13Misna Yoma, c. 5. sect. 1. ,

thinking that he was dead; for many high priests that were unfit for, or made alteration in the service, died in the holy of holiesF14Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. ,

"It is reportedF15T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 53. 2. of one high priest, that he continued long in his prayer, and his brethren, the priests, thought to have gone in after him; and they began to go in, and he came out; they say unto him, why didst thou continue long in thy prayer? he replied to them, is it hard in your eyes that I should pray for you, and for the house of the sanctuary, that it might not be destroyed? they answered him, be not used to do so; for we have learned, that a man should not continue long in prayer, that he may not affright Israel.

This high priest, they elsewhere sayF16T. Hieros. Yoma, fol. 42. 3. , was Simeon the just,


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-1.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

waited — to receive from him the usual benediction (Numbers 6:23-27).

tarried so long — It was not usual to tarry long, lest it should be thought vengeance had stricken the people‘s representative for something wrong [Lightfoot].


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-1.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

21. And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.

[They marvelled that he tarried so long.] There is something of this kind told of Simeon the Just, concerning whom we have made some mention already:

"The high priest made a short prayer in the holy place. He would not be long in prayer, lest he should occasion any fear in the people. There is a story of one who tarried a long while in it, and the people were ready to have entered in upon him. They say it was Simeon the Just. They say unto him, 'Why didst thou tarry so long?' He answered them, saying, 'I have been praying for the Temple of your God, that it be not destroyed.' They answered him again, 'However, it was not well for you to tarry so long.'"


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-1.html. 1675.

People's New Testament

The people waited for Zacharias. Those who were praying without waited until the incense offering priest came out and dismissed them with a benediction.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "People's New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/luke-1.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Were waiting (ην προσδοκωνēn prosdokōn). Periphrastic imperfect again. An old Greek verb for expecting. Appears in papyri and inscriptions. It denotes mental direction whether hope or fear.

They marvelled (εταυμαζονethaumazon). Imperfect tense, were wondering. The Talmud says that the priest remained only a brief time in the sanctuary.

While he tarried (εν τωι χρονιζεινen tōi chronizein). See Luke 1:8 for the same idiom.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Waited ( ἦν προσδοκῶν )

The finite verb and participle, denotingprotracted waiting. Hence, better as Rev., were waiting. Wyc., was abiding.

Marvelled

According to the Talmud, the priests, especially the chief priests, were accustomed to spend only a short time in the sanctuary, otherwise it was feared that they had been Main by God for unworthiness or transgression.


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The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-1.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.

The people were waiting — For him to come and dismiss them (as usual) with the blessing.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-1.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they marvelled while he tarried in the temple1.

  1. They marvelled while he tarried in the temple. The Jews considered slow service as irreverent and displeasing to God. The punishment attached to displeasing service made them fearful (Leviticus 16:13).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "The Fourfold Gospel". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-1.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

21.And the people were waiting Luke now relates that the people were witnesses of this vision. Zacharias had tarried in the temple longer than usual. This leads to the supposition that something uncommon has happened to him. When he comes out, he makes known, by looks and gestures, that he has been struck dumb. There is reason to believe, also, that there were traces of alarm in his countenance. Hence they conclude that God has appeared to him. True, there were few or no visions in that age, but the people remembered that formerly, in the time of their fathers, they were of frequent occurrence. It is not without reason, therefore, that they draw this conclusion from obvious symptoms: for it was not an ordinary occurrence, [it was not a common accident, but rather an astonishing work of God, (22) ] that he became suddenly dumb without disease, and after a more than ordinary delay came out of the temple in a state of amazement. The word temple, as we have already mentioned, is put for the sanctuary, where the altar of incense stood, (Exodus 30:1.) From this place the priests, after performing their sacred functions, were wont to go out into their own court, for the purpose of blessing the people.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-1.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.

Ver. 21. The people waited for Zacharias] They would not away without the blessing prescribed to the priests, Numbers 6:23-27. In the council of Agathon it was decreed that people should not presume to go out of the temples before the ministers had blessed the congregation. (Canon 32.)


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-1.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Luke 1:21. The people waited for Zacharias, They waited for his blessing, and could not imagine what had detained him so much longer than usual. See Numbers 6.

23-27. Leviticus 9:22-23. All that is here recorded, might have passed in a few minutes; it seems probable therefore, that, since the people took notice of his continuing so much longer than ordinary in the holy place, he spent some time in secret devotion, where, in the mixture of holy affections arising on so great and extraordinary an occasion, he might easily forget how fast the moments passed away.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/luke-1.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

21.] It was customary for the priest at the time of prayer not to remain long in the holy place, for fear the people who were without might imagine that any vengeance had been inflicted on him for some informality;—as he was considered the representative of the people. The words ἐθαύμαζον ἐν are best taken together, wondered at, as in ref. Sir. They may also be taken separately, taking ἐν as ‘during:’ and so Meyer: but this is not so probable.


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-1.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 1:21. The priests, especially the chief priests, were accustomed, according to the Talmud, to spend only a short time in the sanctuary; otherwise it was apprehended that they had been slain by God, because they were unworthy or had done something wrong. See Hieros. Joma, f. 43, 2; Babyl. f. 53, 2; Deyling, Obss. III. ed. 2, p. 455 f. Still the unusually long delay of Zacharias, which could not but strike the people, is sufficient in itself as a reason of their wonder.

ἐν τῷ χρονίζειν αὐτόν] not over ( ἐπί, Luke 4:22, al.), or on account of (Mark 6:6, διά), but on occasion of his failure to appear. So also Sirach 11:21; Isaiah 61:6. Rightly, Gersdorf, Ewald, render: when he, etc.


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/luke-1.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Ver. 21-23. While the priest was in the holy place, the people were in that part of the temple called the court of Israel, or the court of the people, praying: when he had done, he came out, and blessed them according to the law, Numbers 6:23-26, where is the form of blessing which he used; for this the people waited before they went home. Whether the angel’s discourse with Zacharias was longer, or his amazement at the vision made him stay longer than the priest was wont to stay, it is uncertain; but so he did, and when he came out he was not able to pronounce the blessing, nor to speak at all, only he beckons to them, by which the people judged that he had seen some vision. Yet dumbness being none of those bodily defects for which by the law they were to be removed from the priest’s office, nor having any great work in which he used his tongue during his ministration, which was more the work of the hands, he accomplished the days he was to minister, and then departed to his own house, for in the days of their ministration they had their lodgings in buildings appertaining to the temple.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 1:21". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-1.html. 1685.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

21. ἐν τῷ χρονίζειν αὐτόν. While he was lingering they wondered at his delay. Priests never tarried in the awful precincts of the shrine longer than was absolutely necessary for the fulfilment of their duties from feelings of holy fear. Comp. Leviticus 16:13, “that he die not.” Yoma, f. 52. 2.) See Excursus VII.


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Bibliography
"Commentary on Luke 1:21". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/luke-1.html. 1896.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And the people were waiting for Zacharias, and they marvelled while he tarried (or ‘at his tarrying’) in the temple.’

Meanwhile the people outside were waiting and getting restless. Why was the priest being so long? they must have wondered. Something unusual must have happened. They too did not realise the significance of this moment, although they would soon become aware that something remarkable had happened.


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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-1.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 1:21. Were waiting for Zacharias, etc. They would wait, not for him to pronounce the blessing, for this was the office of the other priest, who carried the fire into the holy place (see Luke 1:9); but because it was usual.

Marvelled, etc. Their wonder was both at and during his unusual stay. The brief stay of the priest is said to have been occasioned by ‘the fear that the people who were without might imagine that any vengeance had been inflicted on him for some informality;—as he was considered the representative of the people’ (Alford).


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-1.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

waited for = were looking for. The finite Verb and Participle denoting protracted waiting.

marvelled. Because such waiting was usually short.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.

And the people waited for Zacharias - to receive from him the usual benediction (Numbers 6:23-27).

And marveled that he tarried so long in the temple. It was not usual to tarry long, lest it should be thought vengeance had stricken the people's representative for something wrong. (Lightfoot).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-1.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.
Numbers 6:23-27

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-1.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

The people were waiting for Zechariah. Those who were praying in the courts waited until the priest who burned incense came out to dismiss them with a benediction. They wondered why he did not come out.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 1:21". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/luke-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

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