|Priest, Prophet, Guardian of Mary,|
|Born||1st century BC|
|Died||1st century BC (or early AD)|
Jerusalem (Matthew 23:35), the Levant
|Venerated in|| Catholic Church |
Oriental Orthodox Church
|Feast||September 5 – Eastern Orthodox|
September 5 – Lutheran
September 23 – Roman Catholic
Zechariah (Hebrew : זְכַרְיָהZəḵaryāh, "remember Yah"; Greek : Ζαχαρίας; Zacharias in KJV; Zachary in the Douay–Rheims Bible; Zakaryya or Zakaryaʾ (Arabic : زكـريـا) in Islamic tradition) is a figure in the New Testament and the Quran, and venerated in Christianity and Islam. In the Bible he is the father of John the Baptist, a priest of the sons of Aaron in the Gospel of Luke (1:67–79 ), and the husband of Elizabeth who is a relative of the Virgin Mary ( Luke 1:36 ).
According to the Gospel of Luke, during the reign of king Herod, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the course of Abia, whose wife Elizabeth was also of the priestly family of Aaron. The evangelist states that both the parents were righteous before God, since they were "blameless" in observing the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. When the events related in Luke began, their marriage was still childless, because Elizabeth was "barren", and they were both "well advanced in years" (Luke 1:5–7 ).
The duties at the temple in Jerusalem alternated between each of the family lines that had descended from those appointed by king David (1 Chronicles 24:1–19 ). –11 ).Luke states that during the week when it was the duty of Zechariah's family line to serve at "the temple of the Lord", the lot for performing the incense offering had fallen to Zechariah (Luke 1:8
The Gospel of Luke states that while Zechariah ministered at the altar of incense, an angel of the Lord appeared and announced to him that his wife would give birth to a son, whom he was to name John, and that this son would be the forerunner of the Lord (Luke 1:12–17 ). Citing their advanced age, Zechariah asked with disbelief for a sign whereby he would know the truth of this prophecy. In reply, the angel identified himself as Gabriel, sent especially by God to make this announcement, and added that because of Zechariah's doubt he would be struck dumb and "not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed". Consequently, when he went out to the waiting worshippers in the temple's outer courts, he was unable to speak the customary blessing (Luke 1:18–22 ).
After returning to his house in "Hebron, in the hill country of Judah",his wife Elizabeth conceived. After Elizabeth completed her fifth month of pregnancy, her relative Mary was visited by the same angel, Gabriel. While still a virgin, Gabriel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 'How will this be,' Mary asked the angel, 'since I am a virgin?' The angel answered, 'The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.'" Joseph, whom Mary was betrothed to, found out that she was pregnant, obviously disturbing news. Because he "was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 'Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.' 24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife."
Mary then travelled to visit her relative Elizabeth, having been told by the angel that Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy. Mary remained about three months before she returned to her own house (Luke 1:23–45;56).
Elizabeth gave birth, and on the eighth day, when their son was to be circumcised according to the commandment, her neighbours and relatives assumed that he was to be named after his father. Elizabeth, however, insisted that his name was to be John; so the family then questioned her husband. As soon as Zechariah had written on a writing table: "His name is John", he regained the power of speech, and blessed "the Lord God of Israel" with a prophecy known as the Benedictus or "Song of Zechariah" (Luke 1:57–79 ).
The child grew up and "waxed strong in spirit", but remained in the deserts of Judæa until he assumed the ministry that was to earn him the name "John the Baptist" (Luke 1:80; 3:2–3; Matthew 3:1).
Origen suggested that the Zechariah mentioned in Matthew 23:35 as having been killed between the temple and the altar may be the father of John the Baptist.
The Gospel of James, a 2nd-century apocryphal work, recounts that, at the time of the massacre of the Innocents, when King Herod ordered the slaughter of all males under the age of two in an attempt to prevent the prophesied Messiah from coming to Israel, Zechariah refused to divulge the whereabouts of his son (who was in hiding), and he was therefore murdered by Herod's soldiers. This account is also present in subsequent Eastern Orthodox tradition.
The Catholic Church commemorates him as a saint, along with Elizabeth, on September 23.He is also venerated as a prophet in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church on September 5. The Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates the feast day of Zechariah on September 5, together with Elizabeth, who is considered a matriarch. Zechariah and Elizabeth are invoked in several prayers during the Orthodox Mystery of Crowning (Sacrament of Marriage), as the priest blesses the newly married couple, saying "Thou who didst... accept Zechariah and Elizabeth, and didst make their offspring the Forerunner..." and "...bless them, O Lord our God, as Thou didst Zechariah and Elizabeth...". In the Greek Orthodox calendar, Zechariah and Elizabeth are also commemorated on June 24.
The Church of San Zaccaria in Venice, Italy claims to house the relics of Zechariah, entombed alongside those of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria. Armenians believe that the Gandzasar Monastery in Nagorno Karabakh, Azerbaijan contains his relics; however, his relics were also kept in the Great Church of Constantinople, where they were brought by the praefectus urbi Ursus on September 4, 415.
In 2003, a 4th-century inscription on the so-called Tomb of Absalom, a 1st-century monument in Jerusalem, was deciphered as, "This is the tomb of Zachariah, the martyr, the holy priest, the father of John." This suggests to some scholars that it is the burial place of Zechariah the father of John the Baptist. Professor Gideon Foerster at the Hebrew University states that the inscription tallies with a 6th-century Christian text by a pilgrim named Theodosius which states that Zechariah was buried with Simon the Elder and James the brother of Jesus, and believes that both are authentic.What makes the theory less plausible is the fact that the tomb is three centuries older than the Byzantine inscriptions, that a tomb with just two burial benches is unlikely to be used for three burials, as well as the fact that the identification of the tomb has repeatedly changed during its history.
Part of a series on Islam
Zechariah (Arabic: زكريا Zakarya) is also a prophet in Islam, and is mentioned in the Qur'an as the father of Yaḥyā (John the Baptist). Zechariah is also believed by some Muslims to have been a martyr. An old tradition narrates that Zakarya was sawed in half,in a death which resembles that attributed to Isaiah in Lives of the Prophets .
Zakarya was a righteous priestand prophet of God whose office was in the Second Temple in Jerusalem. He would frequently be in charge of managing the services of the temple and he would always remain steadfast in prayer to God.
As he reached his old age, Zakarya began to worry over who would continue the legacy of preaching the message of God after his death and who would carry on the daily services of the temple after him. Zakariya started to pray to God for a son. The praying for the birth of an offspring was not merely out of the desire for a child.He prayed both for himself and for the public – they needed a messenger, a man of God who would work in the service of the Lord after Zakariya. Zakariya had character and virtue and he wanted to transfer this to his spiritual heir as his most precious possession. His dream was to restore the household to the posterity of the Patriarch Jacob, and to make sure the message of God was renewed for Israel. As the Qur'an recounts:
A mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zakariya. When he cried unto his Lord a cry in secret, saying: My Lord! Lo! the bones of me wax feeble and my head is shining with grey hair, and I have never been unblest in prayer to Thee, my Lord. Lo! I fear my kinsfolk after me, since my wife is barren. Oh, give me from Thy presence a successor who shall inherit of me and inherit (also) of the house of Jacob. And make him, my Lord, acceptable (unto Thee). [Quran 19:4–6 (Translated by Pickthall)]
As a gift from God, Zakariyah was given a son named Yaḥyá (Arabic : يحيى, identified with John the Baptist), a name specially chosen for this child alone. Muslim tradition narrates that Zakariyah was ninety-two years old when he was told of John's birth.
In accordance with Zakariyah's prayer, God made John (Yahya) renew the message of God, which had been corrupted and lost by the Israelites.As the Qur'an says:
O Zachariah! Lo! We bring thee tidings of a son whose name is John; we have given the same name to none before (him). He said: My Lord! How can I have a son when my wife is barren and I have reached infirm old age? He said: So shall it be, your Lord says: It is easy to Me, and indeed I created you before, when you were nothing. He said: My Lord! give me a sign. He said: Your sign is that you will not be able to speak to the people three nights while in sound health.
According to the Qur'an, Zakariyah was the guardian of Maryam . The Qur'an states:
(Remember) when the wife of 'Imran said: My Lord! I have vowed unto Thee that which is in my belly as a consecrated (offering). Accept it from me. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Hearer, the Knower! And when she was delivered she said: My Lord! Lo! I am delivered of a female - Allah knew best of what she was delivered - the male is not as the female; and lo! I have named her Mary, and lo! I crave Thy protection for her and for her offspring from Satan the outcast. And her Lord accepted her with full acceptance and vouchsafed to her a goodly growth; and made Zachariah her guardian. Whenever Zachariah went into the sanctuary where she was, he found that she had food. He said: O Mary! Whence cometh unto thee this (food)? She answered: It is from Allah. Allah giveth without stint to whom He will.[Quran 3:35–37 (Translated by Pickthall)]
Muslim theology maintains that Zakariyah, along with John the Baptist and Jesus, ushered in a new era of prophets – all of whom came from the priestly descent of Amram(Imran), the father of the prophet Aaron. The fact that, of all the priests, it was Zakariyah who was given the duty of keeping care of Mary(Maryam) shows his status as a pious man. Zakariyah is frequently praised in the Qur'an as a prophet of God and righteous man. One such appraisal is in sura al-An'am: "And Zakariyah and Yahya and Isa and Eliyas. Each one was of the righteous."[Quran 6:85 (Translated by Pickthall)]
Qur'an translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali offers commentary on this one line– suggesting that these particular prophets make a spiritual connection with one another. He points out that Yahya was a relative of Isa, while Eliyas was one who was present at the Transfiguration of Isa on the Mount, as mentioned in the New Testament. Zakariyah meanwhile, through marriage, was the uncle of Isa and his son Yayha was referred to as Eliyas in the New Testament.
According to the Abrahamic religions, Aaron was a prophet, high priest, and the elder brother of Moses. Knowledge of Aaron, along with his brother Moses, comes exclusively from religious texts, such as the Bible and Quran.
Elijah or Greek form Elias was, according to the Books of Kings in the Hebrew Bible, a prophet and a miracle worker who lived in the northern kingdom of Israel during the reign of King Ahab. In 1 Kings 18, Elijah defended the worship of the Hebrew God over that of the Canaanite deity Baal. God also performed many miracles through Elijah, including resurrection, bringing fire down from the sky, and entering heaven alive "by fire". He is also portrayed as leading a school of prophets known as "the sons of the prophets". Following his ascension, Elisha, his disciple and most devoted assistant, took over his role as leader of this school. The Book of Malachi prophesies Elijah's return "before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD", making him a harbinger of the Messiah and of the eschaton in various faiths that revere the Hebrew Bible. References to Elijah appear in Ecclesiasticus, the New Testament, the Mishnah and Talmud, the Quran, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and Baháʼí writings.
John the Baptist was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early 1st century AD. Other titles and names for John include John the Forerunner in Eastern Christianity, John the Immerser in some Baptist Christian traditions, and Prophet Yaḥyā in Islam. He is sometimes alternatively referred to as John the Baptizer.
Mary was a 1st century Jewish Galilean woman of Nazareth, the wife of Joseph and, according to the gospels, the virgin mother of Jesus.
In the Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an archangel, first described in the Hebrew Bible.
Hud was a prophet of ancient Arabia mentioned in the Qur’an. The eleventh chapter of the Quran, Hud or Hood, is named after him, though the narrative of Hud comprises only a small portion of the chapter.
Elizabeth was the mother of John the Baptist and the wife of Zechariah, according to the Gospel of Luke. She was past normal child-bearing years when she gave birth to John.
Maryam is the 19th chapter (sūrah) of the Qur'an with 98 verses (āyāt). The 114 chapters in the Quran are roughly ordered by size. The Quranic chapter is named after Mary, mother of Jesus (Isa), and the Virgin Mary in Christian belief. It recounts the events leading up to the birth of Jesus, subject matter covered in Luke 1 of the Christian Bible. The text of the surah refers to many known prophetic figures, including Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Ishmael, Enoch aka Idris, Adam, and Noah.
Al-Anbiyaʼ, is the 21st chapter (sūrah) of the Quran with 112 verses (āyāt). Regarding the timing and contextual background of the believed revelation, it is an earlier "Meccan surah", which means it is believed to have been revealed in Mecca, rather than later in Medina. Its principal subject matter is prophets of the past, who also preached the same faith as Muhammad.
Az-Zukhruf is the 43rd chapter (surah), of the Quran, the central religious text of Islam. It contains 89 verses (ayat).
Maryam daughter of Imram, mother of Isa (Jesus), holds a singularly exalted place in Islam as the only woman named in the Quran, which refers to her seventy times and explicitly identifies her as the greatest of all women, stating, with reference to the angelic salutation during the annunciation, "O Mary, God has chosen you, and purified you; He has chosen you above all the women of creation." In the Quran, her story is related in three Meccan chapters and four Medinan surahs, and the nineteenth Surah titled Maryam, is named after her. The Quran refers to Mary more often than the Bible.
In religion, a false prophet is a person who falsely claims the gift of prophecy or divine inspiration, or to speak for God, or who makes such claims for evil ends. Often, someone who is considered a "true prophet" by some people is simultaneously considered a "false prophet" by others, even within the same religion as the "prophet" in question. In a wider sense, it is anyone who, without having it, claims a special connection to the deity and sets him or herself up as a source of spirituality, as an authority, preacher, or teacher. Analogously, the term is sometimes applied outside religion to describe someone who fervently promotes a theory that the speaker thinks is false.
Luke 1 is the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. With 80 verses, it is one of the longest chapters in the New Testament. This chapter describes the events leading up to the birth of Jesus. The unnamed author of Luke names its recipient, Theophilus, who is most likely a real person or could simply mean a fellow believer, since theophilus is Greek for God lover. Acts of the Apostles, the companion volume of Luke, is addressed to Theophilus in the same way. The title "The Gospel of Luke", found in many Bibles and some manuscripts, was added later with no indication that it was originally part of the text. The book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirm that Luke composed this Gospel as well as the Acts of the Apostles.
The Nativity of John the Baptist is a Christian feast day celebrating the birth of John the Baptist. The Nativity of John the Baptist is a high-ranking liturgical feast, kept in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Lutheran churches. The sole biblical account of the birth of John the Baptist comes from the Gospel of Luke.
In hadith studies, Israʼiliyyat are narratives assumed to be of foreign import. Although indicating such stories develop from Jewish sources, narratives designated as Isra'iliyyat might also derive from other religions such as Christianity or Zoroastrianism. Isrā'īlīyāt were received varyingly by both early and later Muslim scholars, with early prophetic traditions criticising their details yet encouraging their transmission. Some pre-modern scholars enthusiastically used them in exegisis whilst others condemned their use. In modern times they have been criticized as altogether unislamic.
Zechariah ben Jehoiada is a figure in the Hebrew Bible described as a priest who was stoned to death by Jehoash of Judah and may possibly have been alluded to in the New Testament.
The Quran, the central religious text of Islam, contains references to more than fifty people and events also found in the Bible. While the stories told in each book are generally comparable, there are also some notable differences. Knowing that versions written in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament predate the Qur'ān's versions, Christians reason the Qurān's versions as being derived directly or indirectly from the earlier materials. Muslims understand the Qur'ān's versions to be knowledge from an omnipotent God. As such, Muslims generally believe that the earlier versions are distorted through flawed processes of transmission and interpretation over time, and consider the Qur'ān's version to be more accurate.
Prophets in Islam are individuals in Islam who are believed to spread Allah's (God's) message on Earth and to serve as models of ideal human behaviour. Some prophets are categorized as messengers, those who transmit divine revelation, most of them through the interaction of an angel. Muslims believe that many prophets existed, including many not mentioned in the Quran. The Quran states: "There is a Messenger for every community". Belief in the Islamic prophets is one of the six articles of the Islamic faith.
Ilyās was a prophet and messenger of God (Allah) who was sent to guide the Children of Israel. He was given the prophetic mission to prevent people from worshipping idols. Ilyas is the prophetic predecessor to Alyasa. Some Islamic scholars believe, that Ilyas is from the progeny of Harun.
Yaḥyā ibn Zakarīyā, known in English as John the Baptist, is considered in Islam a prophet and messenger of God (Allah) who was sent to guide the Children of Israel. He is believed by Muslims to have been a witness to the word of God who would herald the coming of Isa Masih.
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