Luke 1:24

ESV After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying,
NIV After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.
NASB Now after these days his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and she kept herself in seclusion for five months, saying,
CSB After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived and kept herself in seclusion for five months. She said,
NLT Soon afterward his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and went into seclusion for five months.
KJV And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,

What does Luke 1:24 mean?

Elizabeth is the wife of a priest, Zechariah. They are older, and childless, despite being known for their godly character (Luke 1:5–7). While serving his assigned term in the temple (Luke 1:8–10), Zechariah was visited by the angel Gabriel. The messenger of God indicated the couple would soon have a son, who would come to fulfill prophecies heralding the arrival of Messiah (Luke 1:11–17). Unfortunately, Zechariah's instinct was to doubt this, so he was rendered unable to speak (Luke 1:18–20).

Scripture doesn't say exactly how much Zechariah did—or could—tell his wife. Most likely, he told her everything, as there would be no reason to hold back. In that era, being childless was a tragic disadvantage, as well as a social embarrassment. Part of the blessing for this aging couple, and especially for Elizabeth, was the end of that social stigma (Luke 1:25).

Elizabeth's remarkable pregnancy, Zechariah's vision, and the resulting excitement are likely why she chose to remain in seclusion for several months. Whether or not she told others about who her son would become is not clear.
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