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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 1:8

Now it happened that while he was performing his priestly service before God in the appointed order of his division,

Adam Clarke Commentary

Before God - In the temple, where God used to manifest his presence, though long before this time he had forsaken it; yet, on this important occasion, the angel of his presence had visited it.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 1:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Before God - In the temple, where God dwelt by the symbols of His presence. The temple was regarded by the Jews as the “house” or dwelling of God; and in the “first” temple there was, in the most holy place, a “cloud” called the Shechinah, or a visible sign of the presence of God. It was thus “before God” that Zechariah offered incense.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 1:8". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-1.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Now it came to pass, while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course, according to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.

The necessity for the choice of the priest who would burn incense having been made by lot sprang from the greatness of the number eligible to do this. It was an honor which resulted ever afterward in the title of "rich" for those who received it.

The temple ... refers to the Holy of Holies, the most sacred part of God's temple in the inner area where few men ever entered, and into which an ordinary priest entered only once in a lifetime.


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 1:8". "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 while he executed the priest's office,.... To which he was called and ordained, even to offer gifts and sacrifices for men; whilst he was in the way of his duty, when oftentimes God appears to, and in favour of his people; whilst he was performing it,

before God; in the temple, where was the symbol of the divine presence, before the altar of the Lord; and as having the fear of God before his eyes; considering himself as in the sight of God, and doing his work faithfully and sincerely:

in the order of his course; taking his turn in the order of the course of Abia, to which he belonged; See Gill on Luke 1:5.


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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 1:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-1.html. 1999.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

8. And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,

[In the order of his course.] "The heads of the courses stood forth, and divided themselves into so many houses of fathers. In one course, perhaps, there were five, six, seven, eight, or nine houses of fathers: of the course wherein there were but five houses of fathers, there were three of them ministered three days, and two four days; if six, then five served five days, and one two days; if seven, then every one attended their day; if eight, then six waited six days, and two one day; if nine, then five waited five days, and four the other two."

Take the whole order of their daily attendance from Gloss in Tamid, cap. 6: "The great altar [or the altar of sacrifice] goes before the lesser [or that of incense]. The lesser altar goes before the pieces of wood [laid on the hearth of the great altar]; the laying on the wood goes before the sweeping the inner altar [or that of the incense]; the sweeping of the inner altar goes before the snuffing of the lamps; the snuffing of the lamps goes before the sprinkling of the blood of the daily sacrifice; the sprinkling of the blood of the daily sacrifice goes before the snuffing of the two other lamps; the snuffing of the two other lamps goes before the incense; the incense goes before the laying on the parts of the sacrifice upon the altar; the laying on the parts goes before the Mincha; the Mincha goes before the meal [or the two loaves] of the chief priest; the two loaves of the chief priest go before the drink offering; the drink offering before the additional sacrifices. So Abba Saul." But a little after; "The wise men say, 'The blood of the sacrifice is sprinkled; then the lamps snuffed; then the incense; then the snuffing of the two other lamps: and this is the tradition according to the wise men.'"


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Bibliography
Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:8". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-1.html. 1675.

People's New Testament

While he executed the priest's office. His course came on duty once in twenty-four weeks, and then he repaired to Jerusalem to remain his week.


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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 1:8". "People's New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/luke-1.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

While he executed the priest‘s office (εν τωι ιερατευειν αυτονen tōi hierateuein auton). A favourite idiom in Luke, ενen with the articular infinitive and the accusative of general reference where the genitive absolute could have been used or a temporal conjunction and finite verb. It is proper Greek, but occurs often in the lxx, which Luke read, particularly in imitation of the Hebrew infinitive construct. The word ιερατευωhierateuō does not appear in the ancient Greek, but in the lxx and this one example in Luke. It is on the Rosetta Stone and the early inscriptions so that the word was simply applied by the lxx translators from current usage.


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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 1:8". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-1.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

The Fourfold Gospel

Now it came to pass, while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course1,

  1. While he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course. That is, when it came the turn of his course to minister in the temple.


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 1:8". "The Fourfold Gospel". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-1.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course,

Ver. 8. In the order of his course] He took but his turn, and served but his time. God never purposed to burden any of his creatures with devotion.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 1:8". 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

Here note, 1. That none but a son of Aaron might offer incense to God in the temple; and not every son of Aaron neither: nay, not any of them at all seasons, God is a God of order, and hates confusion no less than irreligion. And, as under the law of old, so under the gospel of this day, No man ought to take this honour upon him, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

Observe, 2. That there were courses of ministration in the legal services, in which the priests did relieve one another weekly. God never purposed to burthen any of his servants with devotion, nor is he pleased when his service is made burthensome, either to or by his ministers. Many of the sons of Aaron served together in the temple, according to the variety of their employments, which were assigned them by lot: and accordingly it fell out this time, that Zachary was chosen by lot to burn incense.

Observe, 3. That morning and evening, twice a day, the priests offered up their incense to God, that both parts of the day might be consecrated to him, who was the Maker and Giver of their time. This incense offered under the law, represents our prayers offered to God under the gospel. These Almighty God expects that we should, all his church over, send up to him morning and evening. The ejaculatory elevations of our hearts should be perpetual; but if twice a day we do not present God with our solemn invocaton, we make the gospel less officious than the law; and can we reasonably think that Almighty God will accept of less now, than would content him then?


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Bibliography
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 1:8". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/luke-1.html. 1700-1703.

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

Luke 1:8 f. ἐγένετοἔλαχε] thus without interposition of καί. Both modes of expression, with and without καί, are very frequent in Luke. See generally, Bornemann in loc.

κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἱερατ.] according to the custom of the priesthood, does not belong to what precedes (Luther, Kuinoel, Bleek), to which ἔθος would be inappropriate, but to ἔλαχε τοῦ θυμιᾶσαι; the usual custom, namely, was, that the priest of the class on service for the week, who was to have the honourable office of burning incense, was fixed every day by lot, just as in general the several offices were assigned by lot. See Tr. Tamid, v. 2 ff.; Wetstein, and Paulus, exeget. Handb.; Lund, Jüd. Heiligth., ed. Wolf, p. 804 f. How the casting of lots took place, see Gloss. Joma, f. 22, 1, in Lightfoot, p. 714.

The genitive τοῦ θυμιᾶσαι (not to be accented θυμιάσαι(18)) is governed by ἔλαχε. See Matthiae, p. 800; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. II. p. 2. On the mode of burning incense, see Lightfoot, p. 715; Lund, l.c. p. 618 ff.; Leyrer in Herzog’s Encykl. XII. p. 506 ff. With this office specially divine blessing was conceived to be associated (Deuteronomy 33:10 f.); and during it John Hyrcanus received a revelation, Josephus, Antt. xiii. 10. 3.

Whether, we may ask, are we to understand here the morning (Grotius) or the evening (Kuinoel) burning of incense? The former, as the casting lots has just preceded.

εἰσελθὼν κ. τ. λ.] can neither be something that follows after the ἔλαχε τ. θυμ. (so Luther and others, de Wette and Bleek), nor can it belong merely to θυμιᾶσαι (so Winer, p. 316 [E. T. 443], and Glöckler, following the Vulgate), in which case the words would be quite idle. Rather must they be, in the same relation as the following καὶ πᾶν τὸ πλῆθοςἔξω τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ θυμιάματος, an essential portion of the description. It is, namely, the moment that preceded the ἔλαχε τοῦ θυμιᾶσαι: the duty of burning incense fell to him, after he had entered into the temple of the Lord. After his entrance into the temple he received this charge.

εἰς τὸν ναόν] not εἰς τὸ ἱερόν (see on Matthew 4:5), for the altar of incense, the θυσιαστήριον, Luke 1:11, stood in the sanctuary (between the table of shewbread and the golden candlestick).


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 1:8". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/luke-1.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 1:8. ἐν τῇ τάξει τῆς ἐφημερίας αὐτοῦ, in the order of his course) As to the chronological clue afforded by this passage, we have treated in the Ordo Temporum, p. 230 [Ed. ii. p. 200]. [In twenty-four weeks the courses of the priests returned back in rotation; and this alternation of courses prevailed even up to the destruction of the temple.—V. g.]


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Bibliography
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 1:8". 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

Ver. 8,9. The priests were multiplied to an exceeding number; we find an account of more than four thousand upon the return out of the captivity of Babylon, Ezra 2:36-39; they were doubtless afterward multiplied to a far greater number. Josephus tells us there were a thousand in a course; whether they held to twenty-four courses, as in David’s time, or no, I cannot tell. There were several parts of the priestly office, which it seemeth, by this text, the priests of the course that ministered divided amongst themselves by lot. One part of their work was to burn incense morning and evening. It seems this was that part of the priestly office which Zacharias was by lot to exercise.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 1:8". 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

8. ἐν τῷ ἱερατεύειν αὐτόν. The priest who had the highest functions allotted to him was called ‘the chief of the course.’ There are said to have been some 20,000 priests in the days of Christ, and it could therefore never fall to the lot of the same priest twice to offer incense. Hence this would have been, apart from the vision, the most memorable day in the life of Zacharias.


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Bibliography
"Commentary on Luke 1:8". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/luke-1.html. 1896.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8. While he executed the priest’s office—In order to understand the scene, which now so solemnly opens our Christian history, let the reader compare our Temple Plan in vol. i, p. 247. At the hour (probably of the

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Sabbath, when all the congregation of Israel attended) the people are in the Court of Israel, and the Court of the Women, in front of the Great Altar, on which the bleeding lamb is about being placed. In the so-called HOLY PLACE is the Altar of Incense, (7,) with the Golden Table for the show-bread (6) and the Golden Candlestick (8) on either side. Two officiating priests are present; the one to supervise the sacrifice on the Great Altar, and to the other (being to-day Zacharias himself) belongs the more honourable office of burning the incense on the Golden Altar in the Holy Place.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 1:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-1.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 1:8. Served as priest, is more simple than the paraphrase of the E. V. The words used here and in Luke 1:9 are not the same.

In the order of his course, i.e., during the week his course served in the temple.


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Bibliography
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 1:8". "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

it came to pass. A Hebraism. See note on Luke 1:5.

while he executed, &c. = in (Greek. en. App-104.) executing. Greek. hierateuo, to act as a priest. Not peculiar to Biblical Greek, but found often in the Papyri.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 1:8". "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 while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,

And it came to pass, that, while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,


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

The Bible Study New Testament

Was doing his work as a priest. Zechariah came to Jerusalem once every twenty-four weeks, to serve his week in the temple with others of the Order of Abijah.


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Bibliography
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 1:8". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/luke-1.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) In the order of his course.—This was settled by rotation. Attempts have been made by reckoning back from the date of the destruction of the Temple, when it is known that the “course” of Joiarib was ministering on the ninth day of the Jewish month Ab, to fix the precise date of the events here narrated, and so of our Lord’s Nativity, but all such attempts are necessarily more or less precarious.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 1:8". "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 while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,
he
Exodus 28:1,41; 29:1,9,44; 30:30; Numbers 18:7; 1 Chronicles 24:2; 2 Chronicles 11:14
in
5; 1 Chronicles 24:19; 2 Chronicles 8:14; 31:2,19; Ezra 6:18

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 1:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-1.html.

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