In the fifteenth year of Emperor Tiberius' rule; when Pontius Pilate was governor of Y'hudah, Herod ruler of the Galil, his brother Philip ruler of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene,
with `Anan and Kayafa being the cohanim g'dolim; the word of God came to Yochanan Ben-Z'kharyah in the desert.
He went all through the Yarden region proclaiming an immersion involving turning to God from sin in order to be forgiven.
It was just as had been written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Yesha`yahu, "The voice of someone crying out: `In the desert prepare the way for ADONAI! Make straight paths for him!
Every valley must be filled in, every mountain and hill leveled off; the winding roads must be straightened and the rough ways made smooth.
Then all humanity will see God's deliverance.'"
Therefore, Yochanan said to the crowds who came out to be immersed by him, "You snakes! Who warned you to escape the coming punishment?
If you have really turned from your sins, produce fruit that will prove it! And don't start saying to yourselves, `Avraham is our father'! For I tell you that God can raise up for Avraham sons from these stones!