Luke 1:23-25. As soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished Though he was both deaf and dumb, he was still able to burn incense, and perform the other duties of his office. He therefore continued at the temple till the time of his ministration was ended; when he returned to his house; which is generally supposed to have been at Hebron, a city of the priests, about twenty miles from Jerusalem. See on Luke 1:39. And after these days Probably very soon after; his wife Elisabeth conceived According to the prediction of the angel; and hid herself five months Retired from company, that she might have the more leisure to meditate on the wonderful goodness of God toward her and her husband, and might praise him for it, and rejoice therein. Or, as some think, she kept herself retired, and avoided seeing company, that she might conceal her pregnancy for a while, lest she should expose herself to ridicule by speaking of it before she knew certainly that it was a reality. Saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me Hath miraculously interposed, and done this great work for me; in the days wherein he looked upon me In his own good time, in which he hath had respect to me, to take away my reproach Namely, barrenness, which was a great reproach among the Jews. To which may be added, “that a branch of the family of Aaron should fail, would be looked upon as a particular calamity, and might be interpreted as a judgment; and so much the rather, considering the many promises God had made to increase the families of his obedient people.” Thus Dr. Doddridge, who takes occasion here to observe further, “that, considering how the whole Jewish polity was interwoven with those acts of religion which were to be performed by the priests alone, it might seem wonderful that no provision at all should be made for entailing the priesthood on any other family, if that of Aaron should happen to be extinct. Leaving this contingency unprovided for, was, in effect, putting the whole credit of the Jewish religion upon the perpetual continuance of the male branches of that family; an issue on which no man of Moses’s prudence, nor indeed of common sense, would have rested his legislation, if he had not been truly conscious of its divine origin, especially after two of Aaron’s four sons had been cut off in one day, for a rash act in the execution of their office, as soon as they were initiated into it, and died without any children, Numbers 3:4.
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