ANNUNCIATION The term generally employed for the advance announcement of the conception and birth of Jesus, usually in reference to the angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary (Lk. 1:26–38). Joseph also received word (Mt. 1:20f). In both instances indication is given of the agency of the Holy Spirit in the conception of the child and of the name to be given to Him. His mission is stated to Joseph in terms of redemption from sin, to Mary in terms of His kingly role.
Similarly, the birth of John the Baptist was intimated by angelic announcement to Zechariah the father (Lk. 1:11–20). Included were the following items: the name to be given, his greatness in the eyes of the Lord, his ascetic manner of life, his equipment with the Holy Spirit and his mission “to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
The pattern of annunciation occurs in the OT in connection with Samson (Jgs. 13:2–5), including his status as a Nazirite and his mission as the deliverer of Israel from the Philistines.
In all these cases the concern of God for His people is revealed along with His sovereignty in executing His purposes.
E. F. Harrison