Acts 1:5
For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
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(5) John truly baptized with water.—See Note on Matthew 3:11. The words threw the disciples back upon their recollection of their first admission to the Kingdom. Some of them, at least, must have remembered also the teaching which had told them of the new birth of water and of the Spirit (John 3:3-5). Now they were told that their spirits were to be as fully baptised, i.e., plunged, into the power of the Divine Spirit, as their bodies had then been plunged in the waters of the Jordan. And this was to be “not many days hence.” The time was left undefined, as a discipline to their faith and patience. They were told that it would not be long, lest faith and patience should fail.

1:1-5 Our Lord told the disciples the work they were to do. The apostles met together at Jerusalem; Christ having ordered them not to depart thence, but to wait for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. This would be a baptism by the Holy Ghost, giving them power to work miracles, and enlightening and sanctifying their souls. This confirms the Divine promise, and encourages us to depend upon it, that we have heard it from Christ; for in Him all the promises of God are yea and amen.For John truly baptized ... - These are the words of Jesus to his apostles, and he evidently has reference to what was said of John's baptism compared with his own in Matthew 3:11; John 1:33. In those verses John is represented as baptizing with water, but the Messiah who was to come, as baptizing with the Holy Spirit and with fire. This promise was now about to be fulfilled in a remarkable manner. See Acts 2.

Not many days hence - This was probably spoken not long before his ascension, and of course not many days before the day of Pentecost.

5. ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence—ten days hence, as appears from Le 23:15, 16; but it was expressed thus indefinitely to exercise their faith. For John truly baptized with water, Matthew 3:11; water being of a purifying nature, plentiful, and easy to come by.

But ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost; his gifts and graces, which were (as water on baptized persons) largely bestowed upon them on the day of Pentecost:

1. That the apostles and all others might be assured of the doctrine of the Gospel.

2. That they might be enabled to fulfil their ministry, and obey our Saviour’s commands left with them. Not many days hence; it was but ten days after his ascension; but our Saviour would not prefix a certain day, that they might watch every day. For John truly baptized with water,.... Or "in water", as he himself says, Matthew 3:11 John's baptism was water baptism, an immersion of persons in water: he was the first administrator of it, and therefore is here mentioned by name; and his, and the baptism of the Spirit, are opposed; for there were others, as the disciples of Christ, that baptized in water as well as John: and these words are not to be understood of the words of the Lord, by the mouth of John, which the disciples heard, for they were not then called when John spoke the words in Matthew 3:11 nor indeed are they the same with these; but these are the words of Christ himself, and which the apostles heard from his own mouth, as is clear from Acts 11:16 though they are not recorded by any of the evangelists; and these are not the only words which Luke repeats, that the evangelists are silent about; see Acts 20:35.

but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost; that is, by himself; for it is Christ's prerogative to baptize with the Spirit, as John foretold of him, and it designs such an extraordinary and plentiful donation of the gifts of the Spirit, as may be expressed by a baptism; in which the apostles, on the day of "Pentecost", were, as it were, to be immersed, and with them covered; as Cyril of Jerusalem (h) observes,

"as he, , "who is plunged in water, and baptized", is encompassed by the water on every side, so are they that are wholly baptized by the Spirit.

Not many days hence; within ten days, for this was on the fortieth day from his death, which was at the passover, these words were said; and on the fiftieth day from thence was the feast of Pentecost, when this had its fulfilment,

(h) Cateches. 17. sect. 8. p. 247.

For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized {d} with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

(d) Either by the Father, or by me: so that either the Father or Christ is set here contrasted with John, as the Holy Spirit is contrasted with water, as things that are comparable to one another.

Acts 1:5. Reminiscence of the declaration of the Baptist, Luke 3:16; John 1:33. “For on you the baptism of the Spirit will now soon take place, which John promised instead of his baptism of water.”

βαπτισθήσεσθε] τὴν ἐπίχυσιν καὶ τὸν πλοῦτον τῆς χορηγίας σημαίνει., Theophyl.; Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; Acts 11:16. Moreover, comp. on John 1:33.

οὐ μετὰ πολλ. ταύτ. ἡμέρ.] is not a transposition for οὐ πολὺ μετὰ ταύτ. ἡμέρ., but: not after many of these (now and, up to the setting in of the future event, still current) days. Comp. Winer, p. 152 [E. T. 201]. The position of the negative is to be explained from the idea of contrast (not after many, but after few). See Kühner, II. 628. On ταύτας, inserted between πολλ. and ἡμέρ., comp. Xen. Anab. iv. 2. 6, v. 7. 20, vii. 3. 30; Dem. 90. 11; Alc. 1. 14.Acts 1:5. ἐν πνεύματι: the omission of ἐν before ὕδατι and its insertion before πνεύμ. may be meant to draw a distinction between the baptism with water and the baptism in the Spirit (R.V. margin “in”). But in Matthew 3:11 we have the preposition ἐν in both parts of the verse; cf. John 1:31. On ἐν with the instrumental dative see Blass, Grammatik des N. G., p. 114, and Grotius, in loco; cf. the Hebrew בְּ.—οὐ μετὰ πολλὰς ταύτας ἡμέρας: not after many, i.e., after few. This use of οὐ with an adjective or adverb is characteristic of St. Luke, cf. Luke 15:13, Acts 27:14, in which places οὐ πολύς = ὀλίγος as here; cf. οὐ μετρίως, Acts 20:12; οὐ μακράν, Luke 7:6, Acts 17:27; οὐκ ἄσημος, Acts 21:39; οὐχ ὁ τυχών, Acts 19:11; Acts 28:2, cf. Hawkins, Horæ Syn., p. 153. No doubt μετʼ οὐ would be more correct, but the negative is found both before and after the preposition, so in Luke 15:13; cf. Josephus, Ant., i., 12, and xiii., 7, 1, for similar changes of allocation in the same words. ταύτας closely connects the days referred to with the current day; cf. also Winer-Schmiedel, p. 221. οὐ μετὰ πολλάς, φησὶν ἵνα μὴ εἰς ἀθυμίαν ἐμπέσωσιν· ὡρισμένως δὲ πότε, οὐκ εἶπεν, ἵνα ἀεὶ ἐκγρηγορῶσιν ἐκδεχόμενοι, Theophylact, in loco.5. ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost] Thus was now to be fulfilled that of which John the Baptist had spoken (Matthew 3:11), “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” Such an event, when it came to pass, could not fail to work mightily on the minds of those among Christ’s Apostles who had been disciples of John, as Andrew had been (John 1:40), and probably some of the others.Acts 1:5. Ὑμεῖς, ye) who are Mine. Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance—but—He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with tire.” This has a widely extended application: Acts 11:16.—βαπτισθήσεσθε, ye shall be baptized) by Me. Matt. l. c.—οὐ μετὰ πολλὰς, not many days hence) The number of days not being defined, kept the faith of the disciples in exercise.Verse 5. - Indeed for truly, A.V. Ye shall be baptized, etc. (Comp. Matthew 3:11; Luke 3:16; John 1:33.) St. Peter refers to this saying of the Lord's in his address to the Church of Jerusalem (Acts 11:16), and the record of it here may be an indication that St. Luke derived his information of these early events from Peter. A curious question arises as to the baptism of the apostles themselves. When were they baptized, and by whom? Chrysostom says, "They were baptized by John." But it is evident, from John 3:22; John 4:1, 2, that converts were baptized with Christian, as distinct from John's, baptism in our Lord's lifetime, and hence it may seem probable, especially considering that St. Paul was baptized, that the apostles may have been baptized by Christ (Bishop Wordsworth On John 4:2). If so, the baptism with the Holy Ghost at Pentecost was the complement of that baptism, not the substitute for it. "In our case," says Chrysostom, "both (the baptism of water and of the Spirit) take place under one act, but then they were divided."
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