Acts 16:33
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(33) He . . . washed their stripes; and was baptized . . .—The two-fold washings, that which testified of the repentance of the gaoler and his kindly reverence for his prisoners, and that which they administered to him as the washing of regeneration, are placed in suggestive juxtaposition. He, too, was cleansed from wounds which were worse than those inflicted by the rods of the Roman lictors. No certain answer can be given to the question whether the baptism was by immersion or affusion. A public prison was likely enough to contain a bath or pool of some kind, where the former would be feasible. What has been said above (see Note on Acts 16:15) as to the bearing of these narratives on the question of infant baptism applies here also, with the additional fact that those who are said to have been baptised are obviously identical with those whom St. Paul addressed (the word “all” is used in each case), and must, therefore, have been of an age to receive instruction together with the gaoler himself.

16:25-34 The consolations of God to his suffering servants are neither few nor small. How much more happy are true Christians than their prosperous enemies! As in the dark, so out of the depths, we may cry unto God. No place, no time is amiss for prayer, if the heart be lifted up to God. No trouble, however grievous, should hinder us from praise. Christianity proves itself to be of God, in that it obliges us to be just to our own lives. Paul cried aloud to make the jailer hear, and to make him heed, saying, Do thyself no harm. All the cautions of the word of God against sin, and all appearances of it, and approaches to it, have this tendency. Man, woman, do not ruin thyself; hurt not thyself, and then none else can hurt thee; do not sin, for nothing but that can hurt thee. Even as to the body, we are cautioned against the sins which do harm to that. Converting grace changes people's language of and to good people and good ministers. How serious the jailer's inquiry! His salvation becomes his great concern; that lies nearest his heart, which before was furthest from his thoughts. It is his own precious soul that he is concerned about. Those who are thoroughly convinced of sin, and truly concerned about their salvation, will give themselves up to Christ. Here is the sum of the whole gospel, the covenant of grace in a few words; Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. The Lord so blessed the word, that the jailer was at once softened and humbled. He treated them with kindness and compassion, and, professing faith in Christ, was baptized in that name, with his family. The Spirit of grace worked such a strong faith in them, as did away further doubt; and Paul and Silas knew by the Spirit, that a work of God was wrought in them. When sinners are thus converted, they will love and honour those whom they before despised and hated, and will seek to lessen the suffering they before desired to increase. When the fruits of faith begin to appear, terrors will be followed by confidence and joy in God.And he took them - To a convenient place for washing. It is evident from this that, though the apostles had the gift of miracles, they did not exercise it in regard to their own sufferings or to heal their own wounds. They restored others to health, not themselves.

And washed their stripes - The wounds which had been inflicted by the severe scourging which they had received the night before. We have here a remarkable instance of the effect of religion in producing humanity and tenderness. This same man, a few hours before, had thrust them into the inner prison, and made them fast in the stocks. He evidently had then no concern about their stripes or their wounds. But no sooner was he converted than one of his first acts was an act of humanity. He saw them suffering; he pitied them, and hastened to minister to them and to heal their wounds. Until the time of Christianity there never had been a hospital or an almshouse. Nearly all the hospitals for the sick since have been reared by Christians. They who are most ready to minister to the sick and dying are Christians. They who are most willing to encounter the pestilential damps of dungeons to aid the prisoner are, like Howard, Christians. Who ever saw an infidel attending a dying bed if he could help it? and where has infidelity ever reared a hospital or an almshouse, or made provision for the widow and the fatherless? Often one of the most striking changes that occurs in conversion is seen in the disposition to be kind and humane to the suffering. Compare James 1:27.

And was baptized - This was done straightway; that is, immediately. As it is altogether improbable that either in his house or in the prison there would be water sufficient for immersing them, there is every reason to suppose that this was performed in some other mode. All the circumstances lead us to suppose that it was not by immersion. It was at the dead of night; in a prison; amidst much agitation; and was evidently performed in haste.

33. And he took them—the word implies change of place.

the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes—in the well or fountain which was within or near the precincts of the prison [Howson]. The mention of "the same hour of the night" seems to imply that they had to go forth into the open air, which, unseasonable as the hour was, they did. These bleeding wounds had never been thought of by the indifferent jailer. But now, when his whole heart was opened to his spiritual benefactors, he cannot rest until he has done all in his power for their bodily relief.

and was baptized, he and all his, straightway—probably at the same fountain, since it took place "straightway"; the one washing on his part being immediately succeeded by the other on theirs.

The same hour of the night; he did not delay to show forth the fruits of his faith, and real conversion.

And washed their stripes; which his stripes had made, using such means as might assuage their pain, and heal their wounds.

He and all his: See Poole on "Acts 16:15", See Poole on "Acts 16:32". Of baptism administered without any delay, upon their profession of faith in Christ, we have had examples, Acts 8:38,10:47, and in Acts 16:15. And he took them the same hour of the night,.... After they had done preaching to him, and to his family:

and washed their stripes; which were very many and heavy, and whereby they were covered with blood; and which by this time began to fester, and to produce corrupt matter; and all this in a pool, which Grotius supposes was within the bounds of the prison, he washed off from them: his faith worked by love, and showed itself in fruits of charity and righteousness, and in obedience to Christ, and submission to his ordinance, as follows:

and was baptized, he and all his, straightway; by immersion, that being the only way in which baptism was administered, or can be, so as to be called a baptism: and which might be administered, either in the pool, which Grotius supposes to have been in the prison; or in the river near the city, where the oratory was, Acts 16:13 and it is no unreasonable thought to suppose, that they might go out of the prison thither, and administer the ordinance, and return to the prison again before morning unobserved by any; and after that, enter into the jailer's house and be refreshed, as in the following verse; and as this instance does not at all help the cause of sprinkling, so neither the baptism of infants; for as the jailer's family were baptized as well as he, so they had the word of the Lord spoken to them as well as he, and believed as well as he, and rejoiced as he did; all which cannot be said of infants; and besides, it must be proved that he had infants in his house, and that these were taken out of their beds in the middle of the night, and baptized by Paul, ere the instance can be thought to be of any service to infant baptism.

{18} And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

(18) God with the very same hand wounds and heals when it pleases him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Acts 16:33-34. Παραλαβ. αὐτοὺςἔλουσεν] he took and washed them. Vividness of delineation. Probably he led them to a neighbouring water, perhaps in the court of the house, in which his baptism and that of his household was immediately completed.[60]

ἀπὸ τῶν πληγῶν] a pregnant expression: so that they were cleansed from the stripes (from the blood of the inflicted wounds, Acts 16:22 f.). See Buttmann, neut. Gr. p. 276 f. [E. T. 322].

παραχρῆμα] the adverb emphatically placed at the end; comp. on Matthew 2:10, and Kühner, § 863. 1.

ἀναγαγών] We are to think of the official dwelling of the jailor as being built above the prison-cells; comp. Acts 9:39; Luke 4:5; Luke 22:67.

παρέθηκε τράπεζαν] quite the Latin apposuit mensam, i.e. he gave a repast; to be explained from the custom of setting out the table before those who were to be entertained, Hom. Od. v. 92, xxi. 29; Polyb. xxxix. 2. 11.

πανοικί] σὺν ὅλῳ τῷ οἴκῳ, Phavorinus. It belongs to πεπιστ. A more classical form (yet see Plat. Eryx. p. 392 C), according to the Atticists, would have been πανοικίᾳ or πανοικησίᾳ, Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 514 ff. See examples from Philo in Loesner, p. 208.

πεπιστευκὼς τῷ Θεῷ] because he had become and was a believer on God (perfect). He, the Gentile, now believed the divine promises of salvation announced to him by Paul and Silas (Acts 16:32); comp. Acts 16:15; Acts 18:8. That this his πιστεύειν was definitely Christian faith, and accordingly equivalent to πιστεύειν τῷ Κυρίῳ, was self-evident to the reader; see also Acts 16:32.

That, after Acts 16:34, Paul and Silas had returned to prison, follows from Acts 16:36-40.

[60] This is confirmed by the fact that baptism took place by complete immersion,—in opposition to Baumgarten, p. 515, who, transferring the performance of baptism to the house, finds here “an approximation to the later custom of simplifying the ceremony,” according to which complete immersion did not take place. Immersion was, in fact, quite an essential part of the symbolism of baptism (Romans 6).Acts 16:33. ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὥρᾳ τῆς νυκτὸς, cf. Acts 16:18, “at that hour of the night”; the jailor will not delay for a moment his first Christian duty, Matthew 25:36.—ἔλουσεν ἀπὸ τῶν πληγῶν: “and washed them of their stripes,” Ramsay; i.e., the stains of the wounds caused by the lictors (for similar construction of λούειν ἀπό see Deissmann, Neue Bibelstudien, p. 54). Hobart, p. 112, compares Galen’s words, τὸ αἷμα τοῦ τετρωμένου μέρους ἀποπλῦναι.—καὶ οἱ αὐτοῦ πάντες: for the bearing of the words on Infant Baptism, see on Acts 16:15. It may of course be said that the expression evidently implies the same persons who are instructed in Acts 16:32, but it cannot be said that the phrase may not include any other members of the household. The two washings are put in striking juxtaposition: the waters of baptism washed the jailor from deeper stains and more grievous wounds than those of the lictors’ rods, Chrys., Hom., xxxvi.—παραχρῆμα, emphatic, see above on p. 106.33. the same hour of the night] It was midnight, see Acts 16:25. But a new day, a birthday, had already begun for him and it must be kept as a feast, and he does his utmost to shew his rejoicing by care for those who had caused it.

washed their stripes] An act of attendance that had not been bestowed before. They were thrust into the inner prison, with all their wounds bleeding and uncared for.Acts 16:33. Ἔλουσεν, washed: ἐβαπτίσθη, he was baptized) A beautiful interchange (correspondence) of offices of love.—παραχεῆμα, straightway) A wonderful turning-point of time (momentum).Verse 33. - Immediately for straightway, A.V. Washed their stripes. Mark the jailor's faith working by love. He and all his. The phrase seems purposely adapted to include family, slaves, and all under his roof. If the conversion of the jailor and his house was sudden, the circumstances which led to it were of unusual power - the earthquake, the loosing of the prisoners' bands, the midnight hour, the words of grace and love and lifo from the apostle's mouth. He took (παραλαβὼν)

Strictly, "took them along with (παρά) him:" to some other part of the prison.

Washed their stripes (ἔλουσεν ἀπὸ τῶν πληγῶν)

Properly, "washed them from (ἀπό) their stripes." The verb λούειν, expresses the bathing of the entire body (Hebrews 10:23; Acts 9:37; 2 Peter 2:22); while νίπτειν commonly means the washing of a part of the body (Matthew 6:17; Mark 7:3; John 13:5). The jailer bathed them; cleansing them from the blood with which they were besprinkled from the stripes.

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