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21 Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah, and wondered at his delay in the sanctuary.


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21. And the people were waiting Luke now relates that the people were witnesses of this vision. Zacharias had tarried in the temple longer than usual. This leads to the supposition that something uncommon has happened to him. When he comes out, he makes known, by looks and gestures, that he has been struck dumb. There is reason to believe, also, that there were traces of alarm in his countenance. Hence they conclude that God has appeared to him. True, there were few or no visions in that age, but the people remembered that formerly, in the time of their fathers, they were of frequent occurrence. It is not without reason, therefore, that they draw this conclusion from obvious symptoms: for it was not an ordinary occurrence, [it was not a common accident, but rather an astonishing work of God,2222     Ce n'estoit point un accident commun, mais plustost une ceuvre ad-mirable de Dieu Fr. ] that he became suddenly dumb without disease, and after a more than ordinary delay came out of the temple in a state of amazement. The word temple, as we have already mentioned, is put for the sanctuary, where the altar of incense stood, (Exodus 30:1.) From this place the priests, after performing their sacred functions, were wont to go out into their own court, for the purpose of blessing the people.




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