Acts 8:38

38 He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.

Acts 8:38 Meaning and Commentary

Acts 8:38

And he commanded the chariot to stand still
That is, the eunuch ordered his chariot driver to stop; for to him it better agrees to give this order than to Philip; though otherwise the words are so placed, that it would be difficult to say who gave the command.

And they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch,
and he baptized him:
upon which Calvin has this note;

``hence we see what was the manner of baptizing with the ancients, for they plunged the whole body into water.''

And indeed, other mode had been practised then, as sprinkling or pouring of water, there would have been no necessity of their going out of the chariot, and much less of their going down into the water; and as for change of apparel, it cannot be reasonably thought that so great a man should take so long a journey without it. In like manner the Jewish ablutions and purifications, which were performed by immersion, and therefore called baptisms, ( Hebrews 9:10 ) are spoken of in the same sort of language as here: so a profluvious person, and a woman that had lain in, were obliged (lwbjl hdryv) , "to go down and dip" F11.

``It is a tradition of the Rabbins F12, that he that sees any nocturnal pollution on the day of atonement, (lbwjw drwy) , "goes down and dips himself".--And so all that are obliged to dipping, dip according to their custom on the day of atonement; the profluvious person, man or woman, the leprous person, man or woman, the husband of a menstruous woman, and one defiled with the dead, dip according to their custom on the day of atonement.''


FOOTNOTES:

F11 T. Bab. Nidda, fol. 42. 1. & 43. 1.
F12 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 88. 1.

Acts 8:38 In-Context

36 As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?"
38 He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.
39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing.
40 But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.

Footnotes 1