Luke 1:23

ESV And when his time of service was ended, he went to his home.
NIV When his time of service was completed, he returned home.
NASB When the days of his priestly service were concluded, he went back home.
CSB When the days of his ministry were completed, he went back home.
NLT When Zechariah’s week of service in the Temple was over, he returned home.
KJV And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

What does Luke 1:23 mean?

Under Old Testament Law, priests came exclusively from the tribe of Levi, and only from the lineage of Aaron (Exodus 40:15; Numbers 25:13). Aaron's descendants were organized into 24 "divisions," who rotated through week-long periods of service in the temple (Luke 1:8). One such priest is Zechariah. He was recently chosen to offer one of the two daily sacrifices of incense (Exodus 30:1–8; 40:26–27). While performing the rite, alone in the Holy Place, he was visited by the angel Gabriel and given happy news: he and his wife (Luke 1:5–7) will finally have a child of their own (Luke 1:11–17).

Zechariah's first response to this news, unfortunately, was doubt it could be true (Luke 1:18). As a result, he was temporarily rendered mute (Luke 1:20) and apparently deaf, as well (Luke 1:62). Scripture does not say how much he was able to tell others about his encounter (Luke 1:21–22). Most likely, he told his wife, Elizabeth, as much as he possibly could when he completed his term of service and he was able to return to her.
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