on Luke 1 :11
There appeared - an angel of the Lord - There had been neither prophecy nor angelic ministry vouchsafed to this people for about 400 years. But now, as the Sun of righteousness is about to arise upon them, the day-spring from on high visits them, that they may be prepared for that kingdom of God which was at hand. Every circumstance here is worthy of remark:
1. That an angel should now appear, as such a favor had not been granted for 400 years.
2. The person to whom this angel was sent - one of the priests. The sacerdotal office itself pointed out the Son of God till he came: by him it was to be completed, and in him it was to be eternally established: - Thou art a priest for ever, Psalm 110:4.
3. The place in which the angel appeared - Jerusalem; out of which the word of the Lord should go forth, Isaiah 2:3, and not at Hebron, in the hill country of Judea, where Zacharias lived, Luke 1:39, which was the ordinary residence of the priests, Joshua 21:11, where there could have been few witnesses of this interposition of God, and the effects produced by it.
4. The place where he was when the angel appeared to him - in the temple, which was the place where God was to be sought; the place of his residence, and a type of the human nature of the blessed Jesus, John 2:21.
5. The time in which this was done - the solemn hour of public prayer. God has always promised to be present with those who call upon him. When the people and the priest go hand in hand, and heart with heart, to the house of God, the angel of his presence shall surely accompany them, and God shall appear among them.
6. The employment of Zacharias when the angel appeared - he was burning incense, one of the most sacred and mysterious functions of the Levitical priesthood, and which typified the intercession of Christ: confer Hebrews 7:25, with Hebrews 9:24.
7. The long continued and publicly known dumbness of the priest, who doubted the word thus miraculously sent to him from the Lord: a solemn intimation of what God would do to all those who would not believe in the Lord Jesus. Every mouth shall be stopped.
on Luke 1 :11
An angel - An "angel" is a messenger sent from God. See the notes at Matthew 1:20. It had now been about 400 years since the time of "Malachi," and since there had been any divine revelation. During that time the nation was looking for the Messiah, but still with nothing more than the ancient prophecies to direct them. Now that he was about to appear, God sent his messenger to announce his coming, to encourage the hearts of his people, and to prepare them to receive him.
On the right side ... - The altar of incense stood close by the veil which divided the holy place from the most holy. On the north stood the table of showbread; on the south the golden candlestick. As Zechariah entered, therefore, with his face to the west, the angel would stand on the north, or near the table of showbread. That table was 18 inches square and 3 feet high. The top, as well as the sides and horns, was overlaid with pure gold, and it was finished around the upper surface with a crown or border of gold. Just below this border, four golden rings were attached to each side of the altar, one near each corner. The staves or rods for bearing the altar passed through these rings, and were made of the same wood with the altar itself, and richly overlaid with the same precious metal. Upon this altar incense was burned every morning and every evening, so that it was literally perpetual, Exodus 30:8. Neither burnt-sacrifice, nor meat-offering, nor drink-offering was permitted upon this altar; nor was it ever stained with blood except once annually, when the priest made atonement, Leviticus 16:18-19.
on Luke 1 :11