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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 1:23

When the days of his priestly service were ended, he went back home.

Adam Clarke Commentary

As soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished - Each family of the priesthood officiated one whole week, 2 Kings 11:17.

There is something very instructive in the conduct of this priest; had he not loved the service he was engaged in, he might have made the loss of his speech a pretext for immediately quitting it. But as he was not thereby disabled from fulfilling the sacerdotal function, so he saw he was bound to continue till his ministry was ended; or till God had given him a positive dismission. Preachers who give up their labor in the vineyard because of some trifling bodily disorder by which they are afflicted, or through some inconvenience in outward circumstances, which the follower of a cross-bearing, crucified Lord should not mention, show that they either never had a proper concern for the honor of their Master or for the salvation of men, or else that they have lost the spirit of their Master, and the spirit of their work. Again, Zacharias did not hasten to his house to tell his wife the good news that he had received from heaven, in which she was certainly very much interested: the angel had promised that all his words should be fulfilled in their season, and for this season he patiently waited in the path of duty. He had engaged in the work of the Lord, and must pay no attention to any thing that was likely to mar or interrupt his religious service. Preachers who profess to be called of God to labor in the word and doctrine, and who abandon their work for filthy lucre's sake, are the most contemptible of mortals, and traitors to their God.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

As soon as the days of his ministration … - As soon as he had fulfilled the duties of the week. It might have been supposed that the extraordinary occurrence in the temple, together with his own calamity, would have induced him at once to leave this place and return home; but his duty was in the temple. His piety prompted him to remain there in the service of God. He was not unfitted for burning incense by his dumbness, and it was not proper for him to leave his post. It is the duty of ministers of religion to remain at their work until they are unfitted for it, and unable to serve God in their profession. Then they must retire. But until that time, he that for trifling causes forsakes his post is guilty of unfaithfulness to his Master.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-1.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

And it came to pass, when the days of his ministration were fulfilled, he departed unto his house.

The word translated "ministration" here, [@leitourgein], "in Biblical Greek refers to priestly SERVICE in the worship of God and also to service for the needy. From the word comes the English word LITURGY."[19] It should be noted that Zacharias did not use his handicap as an excuse for terminating his service. He fulfilled his assignment. In the same manner, people today should not use any handicap, old or new, as a basis for refusing to do their duty.

ENDNOTE:

[19] Anthony Lee Ash, op. cit., p. 34.


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 1:23". "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 it came to pass, that as soon as the days of his ministration,.... In the order of the course, which might be three, four, five, or six days, according to the number of the heads of the house of their fathers in the course; See Gill on Luke 1:5.

were accomplished: for though he was deaf and dumb, he was not hereby disqualified for service. Deafness and dumbness excused persons from various dutiesF19Misn. Trumot, c. 1. sect. 1, 2. Chagiga, c. 1. sect. 1. but did not disqualify priests: a Levite, if he had lost his voice, was disqualified, but not a priest;F20Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Cholin, c. 1. sect. 6. the reason was this, because it was one part of the work of the Levites to sing, and therefore could not perform it without a voice; but such was the work of the priests, that though deaf and dumb, they could discharge it; as cleansing the altar, trimming the lamps, carrying the parts to the altar, laying them upon it, and burning them, or offering any sacrifice, burning incense, &c. which was the business of Zacharias; which when he had fulfilled, he departed to his own house; which was not at Jerusalem, but in the hill country, in a city of Judah there; see Luke 1:39.


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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 1:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-1.html. 1999.

People's New Testament

To his own house. To his own city and home.


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 1:23". "People's New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/luke-1.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Ministration (λειτουργιαςleitourgias). Our word liturgy. A common word in ancient Greek for public service, work for the people (λεως εργονleōs ergon). It is common in the papyri for the service of the Egyptian priesthood as we see it in the lxx of Hebrew priests (see also Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:21; 2 Corinthians 9:12; Philemon 2:17, Philemon 2:30).


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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 1:23". "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

Ministration ( λειτουργίας )

From λεῖτος ,belonging to the people, public, and ἔργον ,a work. Hence service of the state in a public office. Trench observes that “when the Christian Church was forming its terminology, which it did partly by shaping new words, and partly by elevating old ones to higher than their previous uses, of the latter it more readily adopted those before employed in civil and political life, than such as had played their part in religious matters.” Hence it adopted this word, already in use in the Septuagint, as the constant word for performing priestly and ministerial functions; and so in the New Testament of the ministry of the apostles, prophets, and teachers.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "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.

The Fourfold Gospel

And it came to pass, when the days of his ministration were fulfilled1, he departed unto his house2.

  1. When the days of his ministration were fulfilled. They are said to have lasted from the evening of one Sabbath (Friday at sundown) to the morning of the next. Though doubtless chagrined at the punishment which had come upon him, the old priest remained at his post, and dwelt in the temple until his week was finished.

  2. He departed unto his house. Some guess that he lived at Hebron, others at Jutta, five miles south of Hebron, others at Ain Karim, four miles west of Jerusalem, but no one knows.


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 1:23". "The Fourfold Gospel". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-1.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Ministration; service in the temple.


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Bibliography
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-1.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

23.When the days were fulfilled Λειτουργία is employed by Luke to denote a charge or office, which passed, as we have said, to each of them in regular order, (1 Chronicles 24:3.) We are told that, when the time of his office had expired, Zacharias returned home. Hence we conclude that, so long as the priests were attending in their turns, they did not enter their own houses, that they might be entirely devoted and attached to the worship of God. For this purpose galleries were constructed around the walls of the temple, in which they had “chambers,” (1 Kings 6:5.) The law did not, indeed, forbid a priest to enter his house, but, as it did not permit those who ate the show-bread to come near their wives, (1 Samuel 21:4,) and as many persons were disposed to treat sacred things in an irreverent manner, this was probably discovered to be a remedy, that, being removed from all temptations, they might preserve themselves pure and clear from every defilement. And they were not only discharged from intercourse with their wives, but from the use of wine and every kind of intoxicating drink, (Leviticus 10:9.) While they were commanded to change their mode of living, it was advantageous for them not to depart from the temple, that the very sight of the place might remind them to cultivate such purity as the Lord had enjoined. It was proper also to withdraw every means of gratification, that they might devote themselves more unreservedly to their office.

The Papists of the present day employ this as a pretense for defending the tyrannical law of celibacy. They argue thus. The priests were formerly enjoined to withdraw from their wives, while they were engaged in religious services. Most properly is perpetual continence now demanded from the priests, who not in their turn, but every day, offer sacrifices; more especially since the importance of religious services is far higher than it was under the law. But I should like to know why they do not also abstain from wine and strong drink. For we are not at liberty to separate commandments which God has joined, so as to keep the one half and disregard the other. Intercourse with wives is not so expressly forbidden as the drinking of wine, (Ezekiel 44:21.) If, under the pretense of the law, the Pope enjoins celibacy on his priests, why does he allow them wine? Nay, on this principle, all priests ought to be thrown into some retired apartments of the churches, to pass their whole life immured in prisons, and excluded from the society of women and of the people.

It is now abundantly clear that they wickedly shelter themselves under the law of God, to which they do not adhere. But the full solution of the difficulty depends on the distinction between the law and the gospel. A priest stood in the presence of God, to expiate the sins of the people, to be, as it were, a mediator between God and men. He who sustained that character ought to have had something peculiar about him, that he might be distinguished from the common rank of men, and recognised as a figure of the true Mediator. Such, too, was the design of the holy garments and the anointing. In our day the public ministers and pastors of the church have nothing of this description. I speak of the ministers whom Christ has appointed to feed his flock, not of those whom the Pope commissions, as executioners rather than priests, to murder Christ. Let us therefore rest in the decision of the Spirit, which pronounces that “marriage is honorable in all,” (Hebrews 13:4.)


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-1.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

Ver. 23. As soon as the days, &c.] Zacharias, though he ceased to speak, yet he ceased not to minister. Though he were dumb, yet he was not lame, but could do sacrifice, and did it. We may not straight take occasions of withdrawing ourselves from the public services.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-1.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

The priest, during the time of their administration, had their lodgings in buildings appertaining to the temple. Zachary having ended his administration, leaves his lodgings, and returns to his house, where his wife Elizabeth conceiving, she hides herself; that is, retires from company partly to prevent the discourse of people, until it was out of all doubt that she had conceived, and partly to give herself opportunity of returning her thankful acknowlegments unto God, who had given her this miraculous mercy; and had thereby taken away, the reproach of barrenness which was so heavy and insupportable among the Jews.

Note here, two things, 1. How piously Elizabeth ascribes this mercy to the power of God: Thus hath the Lord dealt with me. It is God that keeps the key of the womb in his own hand, and makes the fruit of it his reward, and therefore children are to be owned as his special gift.

Note, 2. How great a reproach bodily barrenness is in the sight of man, but not so great as spiritual barrenness in the sight of God; for this is at once a reproach to God, a reproach to religion, a reproach to professors, and to ourselves.


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/luke-1.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

23. ὡς ἐπλήσ.] The week during which his course was on duty. Mr. Greswell, by much elaborate calculation, has made it probable, but only as one out of several alternatives, that this week was Tisri 18–25, = September 30–October 7, of the sixth year before the Christian era (Prolegg. p. 85 sqq.).

A deaf and dumb person, we thus see, was not precluded from some of the sacerdotal ministrations.


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Bibliography
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-1.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 1:23. εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ, to his own house) An abbreviated form of expression: the city, in which Zacharias dwelt, requiring to be understood. Comp. Luke 1:39. So also Luke 1:56. The house of Zacharias is put in antithesis to the temple of the Lord: see Luke 1:9.


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-1.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Luke 1:21"


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 1:23". 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

23. ἐπλήσθησαν. The same verb occurs in 57, Luke 2:6; Luke 2:21, &c.

αἱ ἡμέραι τῆς λειτουργίας αὐτοῦ. The word λειτουργία is derived from λεώς, ἔργον, a service done for the people. The time of a priest’s “liturgy” lasted from the evening of one Sabbath to the morning of the next. 2 Kings 11:5.

εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ. The simplicity of the narrative is marked by the recurrence of the phrase Luke 1:39; Luke 1:56.


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Bibliography
"Commentary on Luke 1:23". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/luke-1.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23. The days of his ministration—The week of the priestly course of Abia. During their week the priests did not visit their own homes, but remained in the temple enclosures.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-1.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And it came to be that when the days of his ministration were fulfilled, he departed to his house.’

His dumbness continued during the remainder of his period of service, and when that was complete he went back to his home in the hill country, still dumb.


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Bibliography
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-1.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Zechariah and Elizabeth lived in a town in the hill country of Judah where Zechariah probably pursued another occupation when not involved in priestly duties ( Luke 1:39).


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/luke-1.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 1:23. When the days of his ministration were fulfilled. He continued to serve until the week of service expired. He did not feel himself absolved from his duty by his affliction.


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Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-1.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

After the days of his office were accomplished; i.e. the weekly ministry; for during that time, the priests lodged in buildings joining to the temple, separated from their wives. (Witham) --- When it fell to the lot of any of the priests to offer incense, they not only separated from their wives, but left their house; wherefore it is said, as soon as the day, &c. As it was ordained that the priesthood should continue in the family of Aaron, it was necessary they should have wives. But, as we do not now so much seek after priests of the same family, as those who are virtuous, it has been decreed, that priests should observe perpetual continency, that they may be able to assist at all times at the altar. (Ven. Bede) --- For the law of perpetual celibacy of the clergy, See St. Jerome, lib. i. chap. ix. 19. advers Jovin. et. ep. 50; also St. Ambrose, in 1 Tim iii.


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-1.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

days = week.

ministration = public service. Greek leitourgia. Hence Eng. "liturgy".

to = unto. Greek. eis. App-104.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "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 it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(23) The days of his ministration.—The word used for “ministration” conveys, like the ministering spirits” of Hebrews 1:14, the idea of liturgical service. The “days” were, according to the usual order of the Temple, from Sabbath to Sabbath (2 Kings 11:5).


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
the days
2 Kings 11:5-7; 1 Chronicles 9:25

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-1.html.

The Bible Study New Testament

Zechariah went back home. After he had completed his week of serving in the temple, he returned to his home in the hill country (Luke 1:39). The town is not identified.


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 1:23". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/luke-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

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