Luke 1:21-25

Luke 1:21 (KJB)
And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.

The people in the court would have remained there until the priest came out from the holy place. However, at this time it seemed Zacharias was past the normal time for the burning of the incense. There was a sense that something had happened to him while in there. The High Priest could be struck dead by God if they violated some aspect of their duty and maybe they were wondering if something like that happened to Zacharias.

Luke 1:22 (KJB)
And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.

When Zacharias finally emerged from the holy place, he was unable to speak to the people and because of this they had perceived that he had seen a vision. He was making some type of signs to the crowd trying to convey what happened but he remained speechless. He also had to give the final blessing without being able to speak a word. Maybe he had a look on his face like Moses did when he came down from Sinai, that is heavenly glory. Zacharias had seen God’s messenger face to face.

Luke 1:23 (KJB)
And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

Zacharias had remained in the temple until the time of his service had ended. Once the days were over, he then went unto his own house where he would now wait until the birth of his son so he could once again speak. Some believed that he lived in Hebron which was about 20 miles (32 km) to the south of Jerusalem.

Luke 1:24 (KJB)
And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,

Soon after the time of service in the temple, Zacharias returned home and it was at that time that Elizabeth had conceived despite her barrenness and the unbelief of her husband. Our unbelief will never negate the will of God nor stop anything God plans to do. Our unbelief will only cause us to be blind to the greater working of God. At this point Elizabeth had remained in seclusion for five months which would have been about the time she would have started to show.

Luke 1:25 (KJB)
Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

Elizabeth then breaks out in a spirit of thanksgiving unto God because no longer will she be looked upon as one under God’s judgment but will now be looked at as one who has favor with God. The word “reproach” means disgrace or insult. No longer would she have to walk around with her head down and face the remarks of others. Rachel, Jacob’s wife, also saw it the same way that without children she was an insult to her husband but once she conceived, she too was joyful. (Gen 30:23 KJV) And she conceived, and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: