Matthew 3:1–12

The Preaching of John the Baptist

1 Now ain those days bJohn the Baptist * 1came, 2preaching in the cwilderness of Judea, saying,

2 aRepent, for bthe kingdom of heaven 1is at hand.”

3 For this is the aone referred to 1by Isaiah the prophet when he said,

bThe voice of one 2crying in the wilderness,

cMake ready the way of the Lord,

Make His paths straight!’ ”

4 Now John himself had 1aa garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist; and his food was blocusts and wild honey.

5 Then Jerusalem awas going out to him, and all Judea and all bthe district around the Jordan;

6 and they were being abaptized by him in the Jordan River, as they confessed their sins.

7 But when he saw many of the aPharisees and bSadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You cbrood of vipers, who warned you to flee from dthe wrath to come?

8 aTherefore bear fruit bin keeping with repentance;

9 and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘aWe 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 aaxe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore bevery tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 “As for me, aI baptize you 1with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; bHe will baptize you 1with the Holy Spirit and fire.

12 “His awinnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will bgather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the cchaff with dunquenchable fire.”

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