Matthew 3:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."

New Living Translation
And a voice from heaven said, "This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy."

English Standard Version
and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Berean Study Bible
And a voice from heaven said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!"

Berean Literal Bible
And behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, "This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I was well pleased."

New American Standard Bible
and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."

King James Bible
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And there came a voice from heaven: This is My beloved Son. I take delight in Him!

International Standard Version
Then a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love. I am pleased with him!"

NET Bible
And a voice from heaven said, "This is my one dear Son; in him I take great delight."

New Heart English Bible
And look, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And behold a voice from Heaven that said, “This is my Son, The Beloved, in whom I am delighted.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love-my Son with whom I am pleased."

New American Standard 1977
and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
and, behold, a voice from the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

King James 2000 Bible
And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

American King James Version
And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

American Standard Version
and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And behold a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Darby Bible Translation
and behold, a voice out of the heavens saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I have found my delight.

English Revised Version
and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Webster's Bible Translation
And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Weymouth New Testament
while a voice came from Heaven, saying, "This is My Son, the dearly loved, in whom is My delight."

World English Bible
Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

Young's Literal Translation
and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, 'This is My Son -- the Beloved, in whom I did delight.'
Study Bible
The Baptism of Jesus
16As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. Suddenly the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and resting on Him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased!”
Cross References
Psalm 2:7
"I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

Isaiah 42:1
"Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.

Matthew 12:18
"Here is My servant, whom I have chosen, My beloved, in whom My soul delights. I will put My Spirit on Him, and He will proclaim justice to the nations.

Matthew 17:5
While Peter was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!"

Mark 1:11
And a voice came from heaven: "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased."

Mark 9:7
Then a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and a voice came from the cloud: "This is My beloved Son. Listen to Him!"

Luke 3:22
and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in a bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased."

Luke 9:35
And a voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is My Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him!"

John 5:20
The Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does. And to your amazement, He will show Him even greater works than these.

John 5:37
And the Father who sent Me has Himself testified about Me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form,
Treasury of Scripture

And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

lo.

John 5:37 And the Father himself, which has sent me, has borne witness of me. …

John 12:28-30 Father, glorify your name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, …

Revelation 14:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and …

This.

Matthew 12:18 Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul …

Matthew 17:5 While he yet spoke, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and …

Psalm 2:7 I will declare the decree: the LORD has said to me, You are my Son; …

Isaiah 42:1,21 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights; …

Mark 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, You are my beloved Son, …

Mark 9:7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out …

Luke 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove on him, …

Luke 9:35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved …

Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted …

Colossians 1:13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated …

2 Peter 1:17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came …

(17) A voice from heaven.--The words were heard, so far as the record goes, as the sign was seen, by our Lord and the Baptist only. It was a testimony to them, and not to the multitude. The precise force of the latter clause, in whom I was well pleased, points (to speak after the manner of men) rather to a definite divine act or thought, than to a continued ever-present acceptance. He who stood there was the beloved Son, in whom, "in the beginning," the Father was well-pleased. To the Baptist this came as the answer to all questionings. This was none other than the King to whom had been spoken the words, "Thou art my Son" (Psalm 2:7), who was to the Eternal Father what Isaac was to Abraham (the very term "beloved son" is used in the Greek of Genesis 22:2, where the English version has "only"), upon whom the mind of the Father rested with infinite content. And we may venture to believe that the "voice" came as an attestation also to the human consciousness of the Son of Man. There had been before, as in Luke 2:49, the sense that God was His Father. Now, with an intensity before unfelt, and followed, as the sequel shows, with entire change in life and action, there is, in His human soul, the conviction that He is "the Son, the beloved."

Here, as before, it is instructive to note the legendary accretions that have gathered round the simple narrative of the Gospels. Justin (Dial. c., Tryph. p. 316) adds that "a fire was kindled in Jordan." An Ebionite Gospel added to the words from heaven, "This day have I begotten thee," and further adds, "a great light shone around the place, and John saw it, and said, 'Who art thou, Lord?' and again a voice from heaven, saying. 'This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.' And then John fell down, and said, 'I beseech Thee, O Lord, baptise Thou me.' But He forbade him, saying, 'Suffer it, for thus it is meet that all things should be accomplished.'

More important and more difficult is the question, What change was actually wrought in our Lord's human nature by this descent of the Spirit? The words of the Baptist, "He giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him" (John 3:34) imply the bestowal of a real gift. The words that follow here, "He was led by the Spirit" (Matthew 4:1), "The Spirit driveth Him" (Mark 1:12), show, in part, the nature of the change. We may venture to think even there of new gifts, new powers, a new intuition (comp. John 3:11), a new constraint, as it were, bringing the human will that was before in harmony with the divine into a fuller consciousness of that harmony, and into more intense activity; above all, a new intensity of prayer, uttering itself in Him, as afterwards in His people, in the cry, "Abba, Father" (Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6). There also we may think of the Spirit as "making intercession with groanings that cannot be uttered."

Verse 17. - Lo; peculiar to St. Matthew - a reminiscence of Aramaic diction. A voice. Similarly in Matthew 17:5 (Transfiguration, cf. 2 Peter 1:17, 18); John 12:28 (like thunder); [possibly Acts 2:6, Pentecost]; Acts 9:4 (Paul's conversion); 10:13, 15 (Peter). Talmudic and rabbinic writings often mention the Bath-Qol as speaking from heaven. The character of the occasions on which the voice is heard in the New Testament on the one hand, and in the Jewish writings on the other, shows the complete difference in the moral aspect of the two voices. The latter is at best little more than a parody of the former. (For the meaning of the expression Bath-Qol vide especially Weber, p. 188; Edersheim, 'Life,' 1:285.) From heaven; out of the heavens (Revised Version), pointing to the phrase in ver. 16. Saying. Western authorities add, "unto him," mostly reading the following words in the second person (cf. Mark and Luke). This is my beloved Son. Very similar if not identical words were spoken at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5), Matthew giving precisely the same, Mark and Luke only omitting "in whom I am well pleased," and Luke also reading "chosen" instead of "beloved." It would seem more natural to suppose that the words spoken on the two occasions were really slightly different, and that therefore Matthew is the less accurate. My .... Son (cf. Psalm 2:7). My beloved Son. The expression is probably based on Isaiah 42:1 (cf. infra, Matthew 12:18, note); but this does not necessitate the punctuation of the Revised Version margin, and Westcott and Herr margin: "My Son; my beloved in whom," etc. (For the expression, comp. also Mark 12:6 (not in the parallel passage, Matthew 21:37); Ephesians 1:6.) In whom I am well pleased; rather, in whom I have delight (cf. Isaiah 62:4, Authorized Version). The tense (εὐδόκησα) is equivalent to "my delight" fell on him, he became the object of my love" (Winer, 40:5, b, 2). The Spirit came, the Father bore witness. "Thus the Baptist receives through a revelation the certainty of the Messiahship of Jesus, and thus the reader learns that the Son of David, who through his birth (ch. 1.) and the fortunes of his childhood (ch. 2.) was certified as the Messiah, now also is announced to the last of the prophets as the Son of God, to whom Jehovah, in Psalm 2:7, etc., had promised the Messianic dominion of the world" (Weiss, 'Matthaus-Evang.'). Yet not only so; the words probably revealed to the Lord Jesus himself more of his exact relationship to the Father than he had before as Man realized. Such an assurance of his true nature, and of the Father's delight in him, would be of essential service in strengthening him for his work (cf. Matthew 17:5). There are two other matters connected with our Lord's baptism recorded by tradition (cf. especially Resch, 'Agrapha,'pp. 346-367)-additional words spoken, and an additional sign given. The words spoken are found in "Western" authorities of Luke 3:22, "Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee," evidently with a desire to emphasize the application of the second psalm. The additional sign is the light or fire. The simplest form of this is (Tatian's 'Diatessaron,' edit. Zahn), "A light rose upon the waters;" and in the Ebionite Gospel apud Epiph., "Immediately a great light shone round about the place;" more fully in Justin Martyr ('Trypho,' § 88), "When Jesus had gone down into the water, fire was kindled in the Jordan;" also in a now lost 'Pred. Paul,' "When he was being baptized, fire was seen upon the water;" and in the Cod. Vercellensis of the Old Latin, "When he was being baptized, an immense light shone round from the water, so that all who had come thither were afraid." Although there is no intrinsic objection to this symbol having taken place, it is very improbable that in this case the evangelists would not have recorded it. The legend may have arisen from ver. 11, or, and more probably, from an endeavour to make the baptism parallel to the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:2); cf. Ephraem, in Resch ('Agrapha,' p. 358), "John drew near and worshipped the Son, whose form an unwonted lustre surrounded."



And lo, a voice from heaven, saying,.... At the same time the heavens were opened, and the Spirit of God descended as a dove, and lighted on Christ, and whilst it abode upon him, an extraordinary voice was heard; hence the note of attention and admiration, "lo", is prefixed unto it, as before, to the opening of the heavens; being what was unusual and surprising; and as denoting something to be expressed of great moment and importance. The Jews, in order to render this circumstance less considerable, and to have it believed, that these voices from heaven heard in the time of Jesus, and in relation to him were common things, have invented a great many stories concerning , "the voice", or "the daughter of the voice from heaven"; which they pretend came in the room of prophecy: their (t) words are,

"after the death of the latter prophets, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, the holy Spirit departed from Israel, and thenceforwards they used "Bath Kol", the "voice". One time they were sitting in the chamber of the house of Guria in Jericho, and there came to them , "the voice from heaven", (saying;) there is one here, who is fit to have the Shekinah (or divine majesty) abide on him, as Moses our master; but because his generation was not worthy, therefore the wise men set their eyes on Hillell, the elder; and when he died, they said concerning him, this was a holy man, a meek man, a disciple of Ezra. Again, another time they were sitting in a chamber in Jabneh, and there came to them "the voice from heaven", (saying;) there is one here, who is fit to have the Shekinah dwell on him; but because his generation was not worthy, therefore the wise men set their eyes on Samuel the little.''

I have cited this passage at large, partly because, according to them, it fixes the date and use of "the voice"; and partly, because it affords instances of it, wherefore more need not be mentioned; for, it would be endless to repeat the several things spoken by it; such as encouraging Herod to rebel, and seize his master's kingdom (u); forbidding Ben Uzziel to go on with his paraphrase on the Hagiographa, or holy books, when he had finished his Targum on the prophets (w); declaring the words of Hillell and Shammai to be the words of the living God (x); signifying the conception, birth, and death of (y) persons, and the like; all which seem to be mere fiction and imagination, diabolical delusions, or satanical imitations of this voice, that was now heard, in order to lessen the credit of it. But, to proceed; this extraordinary voice from heaven, which was formed in articulate sounds for the sake of John; and, according to the other Evangelists, was directed to Christ, Mark 1:11 expressed the following words, "this is my beloved Son". "This" person, who had been baptized in water, on whom the holy Spirit now rested, is no other than the Son of God in human nature; which he assumed, in order to be obedient to this, and the whole of his Father's will: he is his own proper "son", not by creation, as angels, and men; nor by adoption, as saints; nor by office, as magistrates; but in such a way of filiation as no other is: he is the natural, essential, and only begotten Son of God; his beloved Son, whom the Father loved from everlasting, as his own Son; the image of himself, of the same nature with him, and possessed of the same perfections; whom he loved, and continued to love in time, though clothed with human nature, and the infirmities of it; appearing in the likeness of sinful flesh; being in his state of humiliation, he loved him through it, and all sorrows and sufferings that attended it. Christ always was, and ever will be considered, both in his person as the Son of God, and in his office as mediator, the object of his love and delight; wherefore he adds,

in whom I am well pleased. Jehovah the Father took infinite delight and pleasure in him as his own Son, who lay in his bosom before all worlds; and was well pleased with him in his office relation, and capacity: he was both well pleased in him as his Son, and delighted in him as his servant, Isaiah 42:1 he was pleased with his assumption of human nature; with his whole obedience to the law; and with his bearing the penalty and curse of it, in the room and stead of his people: he was well pleased with and for his righteousness, sacrifice and atonement; whereby his law was fulfilled, and his justice satisfied. God is not only well pleased in, and with his Son, but with all his people, as considered in him; in him he loves them, takes delight in them, is pacified towards them, and graciously accepts of them. It would be almost unpardonable, not to take notice of the testimony here given to the doctrine of the Trinity; since a voice was heard from the "father" in heaven, bearing witness to "the Son" in human nature on earth, on whom "the Spirit" had descended and now abode. The ancients looked upon this as so clear and full a proof of this truth, that they were wont to say; Go to Jordan, and there learn the doctrine of the Trinity. Add to all this, that since this declaration was immediately upon the baptism of Christ, it shows that his Father highly approved of, and was well pleased with his submission to that ordinance; and which should be an encouraging motive to all believers to follow him in it.

(t) T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 11. 1. Sota, fol. 48. 2. Yoma. fol. 9. 2.((u) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 3. 2. (w) Megilla, fol. 3. 1. (x) T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 3. 2. (y) T. Bab. Sanhedrim, fol. 22. 1. T. Hieros. Sabbat. fol. 8. 3.17. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is—Mark and Luke give it in the direct form, "Thou art." (Mr 1:11; Lu 3:22).

my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased—The verb is put in the aorist to express absolute complacency, once and for ever felt towards Him. The English here, at least to modern ears, is scarcely strong enough. "I delight" comes the nearest, perhaps, to that ineffable complacency which is manifestly intended; and this is the rather to be preferred, as it would immediately carry the thoughts back to that august Messianic prophecy to which the voice from heaven plainly alluded (Isa 42:1), "Behold My Servant, whom I uphold; Mine Elect, IN WHOM My soul delighteth." Nor are the words which follow to be overlooked, "I have put My Spirit upon Him; He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles." (The Septuagint perverts this, as it does most of the Messianic predictions, interpolating the word "Jacob," and applying it to the Jews). Was this voice heard by the by-standers? From Matthew's form of it, one might suppose it so designed; but it would appear that it was not, and probably John only heard and saw anything peculiar about that great baptism. Accordingly, the words, "Hear ye Him," are not added, as at the Transfiguration. 3:13-17 Christ's gracious condescensions are so surprising, that even the strongest believers at first can hardly believe them; so deep and mysterious, that even those who know his mind well, are apt to start objections against the will of Christ. And those who have much of the Spirit of God while here, see that they need to apply to Christ for more. Christ does not deny that John had need to be baptized of him, yet declares he will now be baptized of John. Christ is now in a state of humiliation. Our Lord Jesus looked upon it as well becoming him to fulfil all righteousness, to own every Divine institution, and to show his readiness to comply with all God's righteous precepts. In and through Christ, the heavens are opened to the children of men. This descent of the Spirit upon Christ, showed that he was endued with his sacred influences without measure. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. At Christ's baptism there was a manifestation of the three Persons in the sacred Trinity. The Father confirming the Son to be Mediator; the Son solemnly entering upon the work; the Holy Spirit descending on him, to be through his mediation communicated to his people. In Him our spiritual sacrifices are acceptable, for He is the altar that sanctifies every gift, 1Pe 2:5. Out of Christ, God is a consuming fire, but in Christ, a reconciled Father. This is the sum of the gospel, which we must by faith cheerfully embrace.
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