Matthew 2:16; Matthew 2:17–3:17

Herod Kills the Children

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men.


17 aThen was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:

18  bA voice was heard in Ramah,

weeping and loud lamentation,

Rachel weeping for her children;

she refused to be comforted, because they care no more.

The Return to Nazareth

19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for dthose who sought the child’s life are dead. 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and ebeing warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. 23 And he went and lived in a city called fNazareth, gso that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

hIn those days iJohn the Baptist came preaching in jthe wilderness of Judea, kRepent, for lthe kingdom of heaven is at hand.1 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,

mThe voice of one crying in the wilderness:

nPrepare2 the way of the Lord;

make his paths straight.

Now John wore oa garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was plocusts and qwild honey. Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, rconfessing their sins.

But when he saw many of sthe Pharisees and tSadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, uYou brood of vvipers! Who warned you to flee from wthe wrath to come? Bear fruit xin keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, yWe have Abraham as our father, for I tell you, God is able from zthese stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. aEvery tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

11 bI baptize you with water cfor repentance, but dhe who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you ewith the Holy Spirit and ffire. 12 His gwinnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and hgather his wheat into the barn, ibut the chaff he will burn with junquenchable fire.

The Baptism of Jesus

13 kThen Jesus came lfrom Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 mJohn would have prevented him, saying, I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me? 15 But Jesus answered him, Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, othe heavens were opened to him,3 and he psaw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, qa voice from heaven said, rThis is my beloved Son,4 with whom I am well pleased.