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Matthew 3-4 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

It was during those days that Yochanan the Immerser arrived in the desert of Y’hudah and began proclaiming the message, “Turn from your sins to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!” This is the man Yesha‘yahu was talking about when he said,

“The voice of someone crying out:
‘In the desert prepare the way of Adonai!
Make straight paths for him!’”[a]

Yochanan wore clothes of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Yerushalayim, from all Y’hudah, and from the whole region around the Yarden. Confessing their sins, they were immersed by him in the Yarden River.

But when Yochanan saw many of the P’rushim and Tz’dukim coming to be immersed by him, he said to them, “You snakes! Who warned you to escape the coming punishment? If you have really turned from your sins to God, produce fruit that will prove it! And don’t suppose you can comfort yourselves by saying, ‘Avraham is our father’! For I tell you that God can raise up for Avraham sons from these stones! 10 Already the axe is at the root of the trees, ready to strike; every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown in the fire! 11 It’s true that I am immersing you in water so that you might turn from sin to God; but the one coming after me is more powerful than I — I’m not worthy even to carry his sandals — and he will immerse you in the Ruach HaKodesh and in fire. 12 He has with him his winnowing fork; and he will clear out his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn but burning up the straw with unquenchable fire!”

13 Then Yeshua came from the Galil to the Yarden to be immersed by Yochanan. 14 But Yochanan tried to stop him. “You are coming to me? I ought to be immersed by you!” 15 However, Yeshua answered him, “Let it be this way now, because we should do everything righteousness requires.” Then Yochanan let him. 16 As soon as Yeshua had been immersed, he came up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, he saw the Spirit of God coming down upon him like a dove, 17 and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; I am well pleased with him.”

Then the Spirit led Yeshua up into the wilderness to be tempted by the Adversary. After Yeshua had fasted forty days and nights, he was hungry. The Tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, order these stones to become bread.” But he answered, “The Tanakh says,

‘Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of Adonai’”[b]

Then the Adversary took him to the holy city and set him on the highest point of the Temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “jump! For the Tanakh says,

‘He will order his angels to be responsible for you. . . .
They will support you with their hands,
so that you will not hurt your feet on the stones.’”[c]

Yeshua replied to him, “But it also says, ‘Do not put Adonai your God to the test.’”[d]

Once more, the Adversary took him up to the summit of a very high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their glory, and said to him, “All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 “Away with you, Satan!” Yeshua told him, “For the Tanakh says,

‘Worship Adonai your God, and serve only him.’” [e]

11 Then the Adversary let him alone, and angels came and took care of him.

12 When Yeshua heard that Yochanan had been put in prison, he returned to the Galil; 13 but he left Natzeret and came to live in K’far-Nachum, a lake shore town near the boundary between Z’vulun and Naftali. 14 This happened in order to fulfill what Yesha‘yahu the prophet had said,

15 “Land of Z’vulun and land of Naftali,
toward the lake, beyond the Yarden, Galil-of-the-Goyim
16 the people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
upon those living in the region, in the shadow of death,
light has dawned.” [f]

17 From that time on, Yeshua began proclaiming, “Turn from your sins to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!”

18 As Yeshua walked by Lake Kinneret, he saw two brothers who were fishermen — Shim‘on, known as Kefa, and his brother Andrew — throwing their net into the lake. 19 Yeshua said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers for men!” 20 At once they left their nets and went with him.

21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers — Ya’akov Ben-Zavdai and Yochanan his brother — in the boat with their father Zavdai, repairing their nets; and he called them. 22 At once they left the boat and their father and went with Yeshua.

23 Yeshua went all over the Galil teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing people from every kind of disease and sickness. 24 Word of him spread throughout all Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill, suffering from various diseases and pains, and those held in the power of demons, and epileptics and paralytics; and he healed them. 25 Huge crowds followed him from the Galil, the Ten Towns, Yerushalayim, Y’hudah, and ‘Ever-HaYarden.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 3:3 Isaiah 40:3
  2. Matthew 4:4 Deuteronomy 8:3
  3. Matthew 4:6 Psalm 91:11–12
  4. Matthew 4:7 Deuteronomy 6:16
  5. Matthew 4:10 Deuteronomy 6:13–14
  6. Matthew 4:16 Isaiah 8:23(9:1)–9:1(2)
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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