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Then went out to him · Jerusalem, and all Judea, 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. And now also the ax 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.
And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise. Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.
· All the people of.
That is, be charitable to the distressed. c Collectors of a tribute paid to the Romans.
And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water ; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet' of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.
• The sole of the shoe worn without upper leathers was fastened with a thong across the top of the foot. I am not worthy to perform the meanest offices about the person of Christ.
END OF THE FIRST PART.
THE TRANSACTIONS OF A BOUT SIX MONTHS,
FROM JESUS' BAPTISM TILL THE BEGINNING OF THE ENSUING PASSOVER.
16. The Baptism of Christ.
Then cometh Jesus from Time.
Place. A. D. 30. Galilee to Jordan unto John, Jordan,
The first to be baptized of him. But year of bis John forbade him, saying, I have need ministry.
to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, “ Suffer it to be su now; for thus it “ becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." Then he suffered him. 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 in a bodily shape like a dove, and lighting upon him : and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am vell pleased.
And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age.
· Conform to every righteous ordinance.
Not in the form, but only the fluttering motion of a dove. c Was entered in his thirtieth year.
17. The Temptation of Christ. And Jesus, being full of the Holy Place. Ghost, returned from Jordan, and was led by the spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil, and was with the wild beasts. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus an, swered him, saying, “ It is written, That man “ shall not live by bread alone, but by every 66 word of God." And he brought him to Jerusalem, Place.
Jerusalem. and set him on a pinnacle of the
Temple. temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering, said unto him, “ It is said, “ Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give
• By the holy spirit. • Probably the great wilderness, near the river Jordan.
· As well by other means, viz. as God fed the Israelites with manna from heaven. Deut. iii. 8. s On the highest part. • Psalm xci, 11, 14
f Deut. vi. 16. & All the vast regions within their view, and those which the eye of imagination beheld.
thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto ine; and to whomsoever I will I
If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, “ Get thee behind me, Satan : for it “ is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. And behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
18. The Testimony of John the Baptist to Jesus,
and its Effects.
And this is the record of John, Place. when the Jews sent priests and Levites Bethabara. from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou ? And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then ? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet?' And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou ? that we may give an answer to them that sent us: what sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esais. And they which were sent were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest
* Satan afterwards employed the malicious Jews to persecute him.
• Whom we expect the forerunner of Christ.
• Or art thou Jeremiah, or any other of the prophets restored to life?
Josiah xl. 3.