1When everything was ready, the LORD said to Noah, "Go into the boat with all your family, for among all the people of the earth, I can see that you alone are righteous.
2Take with you seven pairs—male and female—of each animal I have approved for eating and for sacrifice,* and take one pair of each of the others.
3Also take seven pairs of every kind of bird. There must be a male and a female in each pair to ensure that all life will survive on the earth after the flood.
4Seven days from now I will make the rains pour down on the earth. And it will rain for forty days and forty nights, until I have wiped from the earth all the living things I have created."
5So Noah did everything as the LORD commanded him.
6Noah was 600 years old when the flood covered the earth.
7He went on board the boat to escape the flood—he and his wife and his sons and their wives.
8With them were all the various kinds of animals—those approved for eating and for sacrifice and those that were not—along with all the birds and the small animals that scurry along the ground.
9They entered the boat in pairs, male and female, just as God had commanded Noah.
10After seven days, the waters of the flood came and covered the earth.
11When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month, all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky.
12The rain continued to fall for forty days and forty nights.
13That very day Noah had gone into the boat with his wife and his sons—Shem, Ham, and Japheth—and their wives.
14With them in the boat were pairs of every kind of animal—domestic and wild, large and small—along with birds of every kind.
15Two by two they came into the boat, representing every living thing that breathes.
16A male and female of each kind entered, just as God had commanded Noah. Then the LORD closed the door behind them.
17For forty days the floodwaters grew deeper, covering the ground and lifting the boat high above the earth.
18As the waters rose higher and higher above the ground, the boat floated safely on the surface.
19Finally, the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth,
20rising more than twenty-two feet* above the highest peaks.
21All the living things on earth died—birds, domestic animals, wild animals, small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the people.
22Everything that breathed and lived on dry land died.
23God wiped out every living thing on the earth—people, livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and the birds of the sky. All were destroyed. The only people who survived were Noah and those with him in the boat.
24And the floodwaters covered the earth for 150 days.
1In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was,
2"Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.*"
3The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said,
"He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
`Prepare the way for the LORD's coming!
Clear the road for him!'"*
4John's clothes were woven from coarse camel hair, and he wore a leather belt around his waist. For food he ate locusts and wild honey.
5People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John.
6And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
7But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize,* he denounced them. "You brood of snakes!" he exclaimed. "Who warned you to flee God's coming wrath?
8Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.
9Don't just say to each other, `We're safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.' That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.
10Even now the ax of God's judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.
11"I baptize with* water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I'm not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.*
12He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire."
13Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.
14But John tried to talk him out of it. "I am the one who needs to be baptized by you," he said, "so why are you coming to me?"
15But Jesus said, "It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.*" So John agreed to baptize him.
16After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened* and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.
17And a voice from heaven said, "This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy."