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Although the story about Zacharias & Elizabeth is great, the details are not clear. so that here are my stupid questions.

But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. (Luke 1:13, KJV)

  1. When someone is called "barren" due to advanced age, does it mean that she is known to be menopausal?

  2. Does the above telling by the angel suggest due physical efforts from Zacharias? or does it suggest that the pregnancy shall be by the Holy Spirit or something else?

The reason I am asking the above ones is to figure out what part of the story is considered a miracle. After the Annunciation, I imagine Mary talking about the Annunciation with Elizabeth enthusiastically because Elizabeth will understand Mary thanks to her own "impossible" experience. But unfortunately, I am not sure about the impossible part of the above story. Just can't imagine what Elizabeth experienced through.

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so that (sic) here are my stupid questions.
The only stupid questions are the ones one hasn't asked or is afraid to ask, etc.


Q1. When someone is called "barren" due to advanced age, does it mean that she is known to be menopausal?

The pertinent verse is [b]ut they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years. [cf. Lk 1:7 (RSVCE)].

Elizabeth was barren and advanced in age (scripture does not say whether she was menopausal or not but advanced in age may be indicative of it).

Perhaps both are mentioned to show how remarkable the miracle of John's conception was.

Q2. Does the above telling by the angel suggest due physical efforts from Zacharias? or does it suggest that the pregnancy shall be by the Holy Spirit or something else?

Pertinent verses are [a]nd when his time of service was ended, he went to his home. After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived [cf.Lk 1:23-24 (RSVCE)], therefore it seems after Zechari′ah and Elizabeth had marital relations with God intervening because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in age.


The reason I am asking the above ones is to figure out what part of the story is considered a miracle. After the Annunciation, I imagine Mary talking about the Annunciation with Elizabeth enthusiastically because Elizabeth will understand Mary thanks to her own "impossible" experience. But unfortunately, I am not sure about the impossible part of the above story. Just can't imagine what Elizabeth experienced through.

The difference between Mary and Zechari′ah is that Mary believed the angel's message and only inquired how it would be accomplished since she was a virgin and from her words, since her marriage with Joseph was virginal (she knew how babies are ordinarily made). Hence Elizabeth's praise, '[a]nd blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.' [cf. Lk 1:45 (RSVCE)].

By constrast, Zechari′ah doubted the angel's words because even though the angel foretold the birth of John the Baptist, he couldn't see how this was possible since he reasoned that [he was] an old man, and [his] my wife was advanced in years. [cf. Lk 1:18 (RSVCE)]. He wanted proof: 'How shall I know this?'


Please see also: Did Mary have other children?.

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The miracle of the birth of John the Baptist, is in the fact that God does the impossible to accomplish his goals.

Had not both of them been beyond the age of normal conception, it would not have been worthy of being specifically noted in the Bible. And is in the same category, as the following Scriptures:

All Scripture is quoted from the King James translation unless otherwise noted

Genesis 21:5 And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.

Exodus 14:21 and 22 And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

Numbers 22:28 And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times?

2nd Kings 1:10 And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.

2nd Kings 1:12 And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.

2nd Kings 2:11 And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.

These are only a few examples, and to give all of them would be too long for this site.

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