John 3:23

23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized.

Read John 3:23 Using Other Translations

And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.
John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized
At this time John the Baptist was baptizing at Aenon, near Salim, because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to him for baptism.

What does John 3:23 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
John 3:23

And John also was baptizing in Aenon
The Syriac and Persic versions call it "Ain", or "In you", the fountain of the dove; and the Arabic version reads it, the fountain of "Nun": and whether it was a town, or river, it seems to have its name from a fountain near it, or that itself was one, where was an abundance of water, as the text shows. There is a city of this name in the Septuagint version of ( Joshua 15:61 ) , and mention is made of Hazerenon in ( Numbers 34:9 ) ( Ezekiel 47:17 ) , but neither of them seem to be the same with this; but be it where, and what it will, it was

near to Salim;
and where that was, is as difficult to know as the other, some take it to be Shalem, a city of Shechem, mentioned in ( Genesis 33:18 ) , but that is not the same name with this; and besides was in Samaria; and indeed is by some there thought not to be the proper name of any place. Others are of opinion, that it is the same with Shalim in ( 1 Samuel 9:4 ) , though it seems rather to be the place which Arias Montanus calls F15 "Salim juxta torrentem", Salim by the brook; and which he places in the tribe of Issachar: and might be so called, either because it was near this Aenon, and may be the brook, or river intended, by which it was; or because it was not far from the place where the two rivers, Jabbok and Jordan, met; and so the Jewish maps place near Jordan, in the tribe of Manasseh, bordering on the tribe of Issachar, a Shalem, and by it Ain-yon. And the Septuagint in ( Joshua 19:22 ) mention "Salim by the sea", as in the tribe of Issachar. There is a passage in the Talmud F16, which, whether it has any regard to this Aenon, and Salim, I leave to be considered:

``the wine of Ogedoth, why is it forbidden? because of the village Pegesh; and that of Borgetha, because of the Saracene palace; and of Ain-Cushith, because of the village Salem.''

Nonnus here calls Aenon, a place of deep waters; and Salim he reads Salem; and so some copies. Aenon, where John baptized, according to Jerom F17, was eight miles from Scythopolis, to the south, and was near Salim and Jordan; and he makes Salim to be at the same distance from Scythopolis. However, John was baptizing in these parts, at the same time that Christ was teaching and baptizing: he did not leave off on that account. This was the work he was sent to do, and which he continued in as long as he had his liberty; and be chose this place,

because there was much water there;
or "many waters"; not little purling streams, and rivulets; but, as Nonnus renders it, abundance of water; or a multitude of it, as in the Arabic version; see ( Revelation 1:15 ) ( 14:2 ) ( 17:1 ) ( 19:6 ) ( Song of Solomon 8:7 ) and the Septuagint in ( Psalms 78:16 ) ( Psalms 107:23 ) , and what was sufficient to immerse the whole body in, as Calvin, Aretius, Piscator, and Grotius, on the place, observe; and which was agreeable not only to: the practice of the Jews, who used dipping in their baptisms, and purifications, as Musculus and Lightfoot assert; but to John's method and practice elsewhere:

and they came, and were baptized.
The Ethiopic version renders it, "they came to him", that is, to John, "and he baptized them"; as the Persic version adds, "there", in Aenon, near Salim, in the much water there: it may be understood of the people coming both to John and Christ, and of their being baptized by them; though it seems rather to be said of John; and so Nonnus paraphrases it.


FOOTNOTES:

F15 Antiqu. Jud. l. 2. c. 3.
F16 T. Hieros. Avoda Zara, fol. 44. 4.
F17 De locis Hebraicis fol. 89. C. & fol, 94. F.
California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information  California - CCPA Notice