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The Flood Covers the Earth
7Â When everything was ready, theÂ LordÂ said to Noah, â€œGo into the boat with all your family, for among all the people of the earth, I can see that you alone are righteous.Â 2Â Take with you seven pairsâ€”male and femaleâ€”of each animal I have approved for eating and for sacrifice,Â and take one pair of each of the others.Â 3Â Also 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.Â 4Â Seven 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.â€
5Â So Noah did everything as theÂ LordÂ commanded him.
6Â Noah was 600 years old when the flood covered the earth.Â 7Â He went on board the boat to escape the floodâ€”he and his wife and his sons and their wives.Â 8Â With them were all the various kinds of animalsâ€”those approved for eating and for sacrifice and those that were notâ€”along with all the birds and the small animals that scurry along the ground.Â 9Â They entered the boat in pairs, male and female, just as God had commanded Noah.Â 10Â After seven days, the waters of the flood came and covered the earth.
11Â When 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.Â 12Â The rain continued to fall for forty days and forty nights.
13Â That very day Noah had gone into the boat with his wife and his sonsâ€”Shem, Ham, and Japhethâ€”and their wives.Â 14Â With them in the boat were pairs of every kind of animalâ€”domestic and wild, large and smallâ€”along with birds of every kind.Â 15Â Two by two they came into the boat, representing every living thing that breathes.Â 16Â A male and female of each kind entered, just as God had commanded Noah. Then theÂ LordÂ closed the door behind them.
17Â For forty days the floodwaters grew deeper, covering the ground and lifting the boat high above the earth.Â 18Â As the waters rose higher and higher above the ground, the boat floated safely on the surface.Â 19Â Finally, the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth,Â 20Â rising more than twenty-two feetÂ above the highest peaks.Â 21Â All the living things on earth diedâ€”birds, domestic animals, wild animals, small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the people.Â 22Â Everything that breathed and lived on dry land died.Â 23Â God wiped out every living thing on the earthâ€”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.Â 24Â And the floodwaters covered the earth for 150 days.
The Flood Recedes
8Â But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede.Â 2Â The underground waters stopped flowing, and the torrential rains from the sky were stopped.Â 3Â So the floodwaters gradually receded from the earth. After 150 days,Â 4Â exactly five months from the time the flood began,Â the boat came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.Â 5Â Two and a half months later,Â as the waters continued to go down, other mountain peaks became visible.
6Â After another forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boatÂ 7Â and released a raven. The bird flew back and forth until the floodwaters on the earth had dried up.Â 8Â He also released a dove to see if the water had receded and it could find dry ground.Â 9Â But the dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside.Â 10Â After waiting another seven days, Noah released the dove again.Â 11Â This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters were almost gone.Â 12Â He waited another seven days and then released the dove again. This time it did not come back.
13Â Noah was now 601 years old. On the first day of the new year, ten and a half months after the flood began,Â the floodwaters had almost dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the covering of the boat and saw that the surface of the ground was drying.Â 14Â Two more months went by,Â and at last the earth was dry!
15Â Then God said to Noah,Â 16Â â€œLeave the boat, all of youâ€”you and your wife, and your sons and their wives.Â 17Â Release all the animalsâ€”the birds, the livestock, and the small animals that scurry along the groundâ€”so they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth.â€
18Â So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat.Â 19Â And all of the large and small animals and birds came out of the boat, pair by pair.
20Â Then Noah built an altar to theÂ Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose.Â 21Â And theÂ LordÂ was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, â€œI will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things.Â 22Â As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.â€
God Confirms His Covenant
9Â Then God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, â€œBe fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth.Â 2Â All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power.Â 3Â I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables.4Â But you must never eat any meat that still has the lifeblood in it.
5Â â€œAnd I will require the blood of anyone who takes another personâ€™s life. If a wild animal kills a person, it must die. And anyone who murders a fellow human must die.Â 6Â If anyone takes a human life, that personâ€™s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beingsÂ in his own image.Â 7Â Now be fruitful and multiply, and repopulate the earth.â€
8Â Then God told Noah and his sons,Â 9Â â€œI hereby confirm my covenant with you and your descendants,Â 10Â and with all the animals that were on the boat with youâ€”the birds, the livestock, and all the wild animalsâ€”every living creature on earth.11Â Yes, I am confirming my covenant with you. Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth.â€
12Â Then God said, â€œI am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come.13Â I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth.Â 14Â When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds,Â 15Â and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life.Â 16Â When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.â€Â 17Â Then God said to Noah, â€œYes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.â€
18Â The sons of Noah who came out of the boat with their father were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. (Ham is the father of Canaan.)Â 19Â From these three sons of Noah came all the people who now populate the earth.
20Â After the flood, Noah began to cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard.Â 21Â One day he drank some wine he had made, and he became drunk and lay naked inside his tent.Â 22Â Ham, the father of Canaan, saw that his father was naked and went outside and told his brothers.Â 23Â Then Shem and Japheth took a robe, held it over their shoulders, and backed into the tent to cover their father. As they did this, they looked the other way so they would not see him naked.
24Â When Noah woke up from his stupor, he learned what Ham, his youngest son, had done.Â 25Â Then he cursed Canaan, the son of Ham:
â€œMay Canaan be cursed!
26Â Then Noah said,
â€œMay theÂ Lord, the God of Shem, be blessed,
28Â Noah lived another 350 years after the great flood.Â 29Â He lived 950 years, and then he died.
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3Â In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was,Â 2Â â€œRepent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.â€Â 3Â The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said,
â€œHe is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
4Â Johnâ€™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.Â 5Â People from Jerusalem and from all of Judea and all over the Jordan Valley went out to see and hear John.Â 6Â And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River.
7Â But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize,Â he denounced them. â€œYou brood of snakes!â€ he exclaimed. â€œWho warned you to flee Godâ€™s coming wrath?Â 8Â Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.Â 9Â Donâ€™t just say to each other, â€˜Weâ€™re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.â€™ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.Â 10Â Even now the ax of Godâ€™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.
11Â â€œI baptize withÂ water those who repent of their sins and turn to God. But someone is coming soon who is greater than I amâ€”so much greater that Iâ€™m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.Â 12Â He 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.â€
The Baptism of Jesus
13Â Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.Â 14Â But John tried to talk him out of it. â€œI am the one who needs to be baptized by you,â€ he said, â€œso why are you coming to me?â€
15Â But Jesus said,Â â€œIt should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.â€Â So John agreed to baptize him.
16Â After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were openedÂ and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him.Â 17Â And a voice from heaven said, â€œThis is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.â€