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Matthew 3 King James Version (KJV)

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Matthew 3 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Preaching of John the Baptist

Now in those days John the Baptist *[a]came, [b]preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven [c]is at hand.” For this is the one referred to [d]by Isaiah the prophet when he said,

The voice of one [e]crying in the wilderness,
Make ready the way of the Lord,
Make His paths straight!’”

Now John himself had [f]a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 10 The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “As for me, I baptize you [g]with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you [h]with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

The Baptism of Jesus

13 Then Jesus *arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 But Jesus answering said to him, “Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he *permitted Him. 16 After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and [i]he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and [j]lighting on Him, 17 and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is [k]My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 3:1 Or arrived, or appeared
  2. Matthew 3:1 Or proclaiming as a herald
  3. Matthew 3:2 Lit has come near
  4. Matthew 3:3 Or through
  5. Matthew 3:3 Or shouting
  6. Matthew 3:4 Lit his garment
  7. Matthew 3:11 The Gr here can be translated in, with or by
  8. Matthew 3:11 The Gr here can be translated in, with or by
  9. Matthew 3:16 Or He
  10. Matthew 3:16 Lit coming upon Him
  11. Matthew 3:17 Or My Son, the Beloved
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

Matthew 3 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

John’s Witness to Israel’s Leaders

In those days, John the Immerser came proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea, “Turn away from your sins, for the kingdom of heaven is near!” [a] For he is the one Isaiah the prophet spoke about, saying,

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way of Adonai, and make His paths straight.’”[b]

Now John wore clothing from camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts[c] and wild honey. Then Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the region around the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were being immersed by him in the Jordan River.

But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his immersion, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Therefore produce fruit worthy of repentance; and do not think that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father’! For I tell you that from these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 Already the axe is laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire!

11 “As for me, I immerse you in water for repentance. But the One coming after me is mightier than I am; I am not worthy to carry His sandals. He will immerse you in the Ruach ha-Kodesh and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He shall clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn; but the chaff He shall burn up with inextinguishable fire.”[d]

The Heavens Open at Yeshua’s Mikveh

13 Then Yeshua came from the Galilee to John, to be immersed by him in the Jordan. 14 But John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be immersed by You, and You are coming to me?”

15 But Yeshua responded, “Let it happen now, for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” So John yielded to Him.

16 After being immersed, Yeshua rose up out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Ruach Elohim[e] descending like a dove and coming upon Him. 17 And behold, a voice from the heavens said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased!”[f]

Tree of Life Version (TLV)

Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

Matthew 3 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Preaching of John the Baptist

In those days [a]John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the Wilderness of Judea [along the western side of the Dead Sea] and saying, [b]Repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” This is the one who was mentioned by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

The voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
Prepare the road for the Lord,
[c]Make His highways straight (level, direct)!’”

Now this same John had clothing made of camel’s hair and a [wide] leather [d]band around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem was going out to him, and all Judea and all the district around the Jordan; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.

But when he saw many of the [e]Pharisees and [f]Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the [divine] wrath and judgment to come? So produce fruit that is consistent with repentance [demonstrating new behavior that proves a change of heart, and a conscious decision to turn away from sin]; and do not presume to say to yourselves [as a defense], ‘We have Abraham for our father [so our inheritance assures us of salvation]’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children (descendants) for Abraham. 10 And already the axe [of God’s judgment] is [g]swinging toward the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “As for me, I baptize you [h]with water because of [your] repentance [that is, because you are willing to change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret your sin and live a changed life], but He (the Messiah) who is coming after me is mightier [more powerful, more noble] than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to remove [even as His slave]; He will baptize you [who truly repent] with the Holy Spirit and [you who remain unrepentant] with [i]fire (judgment). 12 His [j]winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear out His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat (believers) into His barn (kingdom), but He will burn up the chaff (the unrepentant) with unquenchable fire.”

The Baptism of Jesus

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan [River], to be baptized by him. 14 But John tried to prevent Him [vigorously protesting], saying, “It is I who need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?” 15 But Jesus replied to him, “Permit it just now; for this is the fitting way for us [k]to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John permitted [it and baptized] Him. 16 After Jesus was baptized, He came up immediately out of the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he (John) saw the [l]Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him (Jesus), 17 and behold, a [m]voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased and delighted!”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 3:1 Considered the last of the Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist was the son of Zecharias (Zechariah) the priest and his wife, Elizabeth. Elizabeth and Mary, the mother of Jesus, were related (Luke 1:36), and Mary may have been with Elizabeth at the time John was born (Luke 1:56). John the Baptist is not to be confused with John the Apostle who along with his brother, James, was among the twelve disciples of Jesus.
  2. Matthew 3:2 Jews believed they would automatically be granted entrance into the Messianic kingdom, so this new teaching that repentance was required was very difficult to accept.
  3. Matthew 3:3 A ruler or nobleman traveling in the wilderness would have a crew of workmen preparing and clearing the road ahead of him. In spiritual terms, the message was clearing the way for the arrival of the Messiah by preparing the hearts of His followers.
  4. Matthew 3:4 This band (sash, girdle) was about six inches wide and had clasps or fasteners in front. It was used to carry personal items such as a dagger, money or other necessary things.
  5. Matthew 3:7 The Pharisees identified with the common people and had control over them. They were prominent legalistic leaders in Judaism who were experts in Mosaic Law and its rituals and traditions. They believed in the resurrection of the dead, immortality of the soul and in the existence of angels and spirits.
  6. Matthew 3:7 The Sadducees were aristocratic members of a priestly group (religious party) who controlled the temple. They denied the possibility of a resurrection and the existence of any spiritual beings apart from God. Although the Sadducees were in the minority, they were leaders of the Sanhedrin, controlling the Jewish High Court.
  7. Matthew 3:10 Lit laid at.
  8. Matthew 3:11 The Greek here can be translated in, with, or by.
  9. Matthew 3:11 Another view of “fire” purports that the text refers to the fiery baptism of the Holy Spirit, not judgment. According to this view the fire indicates that the believer is purified as in the refining of gold. Fire burns up the impurities and the gold (the believer) survives (cf 1 Cor 3:12, 13; James 1:3). The Holy Spirit promised here has been associated with Pentecost, purification, testing, and judgment. Each person who accepts Jesus is filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5-8).
  10. Matthew 3:12 A tool roughly resembling a pitchfork, used to separate grains of wheat from the chaff by throwing the wheat into the air, and allowing the wind to blow away the lighter chaff.
  11. Matthew 3:15 This act of baptism identified Jesus with sinners whose sins He would ultimately bear, and to whom His righteousness would be imparted.
  12. Matthew 3:16 The descent of the Holy Spirit identified Jesus in His humanity for His ministry as the Messiah.
  13. Matthew 3:17 This is the first instance recorded in the Gospels of the Father speaking audibly to His Son. Also see Matt 17:5; Mark 1:11; 9:7; Luke 3:22; 9:35; John 12:28.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

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