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Page 390

 

So shall He sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at Him; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.

-Isaiah 52:15

Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

-Ezekiel 36:25

 


 

And John also was baptizing in AEnon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.

-John 3:23

And His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters.

-Revelation 1:15

And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps,

-Revelation 14:2

And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven angels, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters,

-Revelation 17:1

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

- Revelation 19:6

 

    "priests and Levites from Jerusalem," to investigate (John 1: 19). These legalists were very particular concerning every procedure and detail connected with purification sprinklings, for "they which were sent were of the Pharisees" (John 1:24). Had John introduced a new mode of immersing people, they would have violently opposed his baptism as a transgression of ceremonial law and tradition.

    After seeing John's baptism, these Jewish investigators asked him if he was Elijah or Christ (John 1:19-25). They asked this because they knew from the Old Testament prophecies that the coming of Christ would be marked by baptism. These prophecies referred to baptism by sprinkling, not by immersion (Isaiah 52:15 and Ezekiel 36:25).

  • The Greek word "AEnon" where John was baptizing is literally translated into English as "a place of springs." "And John also was baptizing in AEnon near to Salim, because there was much water there" (John 3:23a). The expression translated as "much water" is in the original Greek, "polla hudata." "Polla" is a plural form of "polus," an adjective of degree, which can be translated as "many" or "much." In the New Testament "polus" is translated as "many" 208 times and as "much" 73 times. The context determines which should be used.

  • In this verse, the "much" or "many" waters refer to many springs, or much spring water. This is verified by the name of the place in Scripture -"AEnon," "a place of springs." It is also confirmed by geography. This area is about six miles northeast of Jerusalem where many springs bubble forth from rocky crevices for some miles.

    At the time of year when John was baptizing, the Jordan overflowed its banks and its water was very muddy. Ceremonial purifications required clear water (Leviticus 11:36). Therefore this "place of springs" was a logical choice by John the Baptist.

    When certain immersionists refer to John's baptizing in AEnon because there was "much water" there, interpreting


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