Zechariah’s turn to burn incense (Lk 1:9-1:9)


Was chosen by lot,

According to the custom

Of the priesthood.

He was to enter

The sanctuary

Of the Lord

To burn incense.”


κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἱερατείας ἔλαχε τοῦ θυμιᾶσαι εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸν ναὸν τοῦ Κυρίου,


Luke pointed out that not only was his group of priests on duty, Zechariah was also chosen by lot (ἔλαχε), as was the priestly custom (κατὰ τὸ ἔθος τῆς ἱερατείας), to enter the sanctuary of the Lord (εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὸν ναὸν τοῦ Κυρίου) to burn incense (τοῦ θυμιᾶσαι).  Apparently, as mentioned elsewhere, choosing by lot or chance was a fairly common way to make decisions, since God would guide the choice.  This Levite priestly custom meant that Zechariah got to enter the holy of holies, the inner sanctuary of the Temple, where he would burn incense, a big honor.

The interrogation of Jonah (Jon 1:8-1:8)

“Then they said

To Jonah.

‘Tell us!

Why has this calamity

Come upon us?

What is your occupation?

Where do you come from?

What is your country?

Of what people are you?’”

Now that Jonah had been chosen by lot, the other sailors began to question him.  They wanted to know where this storm came from.  They wanted to know why this calamity had come upon them.  Then they began to ask Jonah personal questions.  They wanted to know his occupation, what country he was from, and what was his nationality.