Luke 1:65

ESV And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea,
NIV All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things.
NASB And fear came on all those who lived around them; and all these matters were being talked about in the entire hill country of Judea.
CSB Fear came on all those who lived around them, and all these things were being talked about throughout the hill country of Judea.
NLT Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills.
KJV And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.

What does Luke 1:65 mean?

The people expressing fear are the friends, relatives, and neighbors of Elizabeth and Zechariah. This elderly couple was known for both their godliness and their unfortunate lack of children (Luke 1:5–7). While Zechariah was serving in the temple, he was visited by an angel (Luke 1:8–12). The angel predicted that Elizbeth would give birth to a son who would be an important herald of the Messiah (Luke 1:13–17). Zechariah's first response was doubt (Luke 1:18), so he was temporarily rendered mute (Luke 1:19–20).

As soon as Zechariah emerged from this encounter, there was publicity over the event (Luke 1:21–22). That may have been why Elizabeth remained in seclusion for the early days of her pregnancy (Luke 1:24–25). There were probably more people than usual attending the baby's naming ceremony (Luke 1:57–59). They would have seen Elizabeth insist on the name John (Luke 1:60) and Zechariah's written confirmation (Luke 1:61–63). That was followed by the lifting of Zechariah's silence and his immediate praise of God (Luke 1:64).

That combination of supernatural events struck a level of fear in those who saw them. These happenings confirmed that this child—who will come to be known as John the Baptist (Luke 3:2–3)—was indeed in a unique position. Decades later, when John begins his preaching and baptizing ministry (Matthew 3:1–4), stories about his birth probably increase interest and bring more people to hear his message (Luke 1:66; Matthew 3:5).
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