“But the angel
Said to him.
‘Do not be afraid!
εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ ἄγγελος Μὴ φοβοῦ, Ζαχαρία,
Luke then has this oracle of the angel of God, almost like a theophany. Zechariah got a direct message from God, via this angel. First, the angel told Zechariah (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ ἄγγελος) not to be afraid (Μὴ φοβοῦ, Ζαχαρία). That was easier said than done. This was an attempt to set Zechariah at ease.