Matthew 3:16
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him,

King James Bible
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

Darby Bible Translation
And Jesus, having been baptised, went up straightway from the water, and lo, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him:

World English Bible
Jesus, when he was baptized, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him.

Young's Literal Translation
And having been baptized, Jesus went up immediately from the water, and lo, opened to him were the heavens, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him,

Matthew 3:16 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Out of the water - This shows that he had descended to the river. It literally means, "he went up directly from the water." The original does not imply that they had descended into the river, and it cannot be proved, therefore, from this passage, that his baptism was by immersion; nor can it be proved that even, if his baptism was by immersion, that therefore the same mode is binding on people now. In order to demonstrate from this passage that immersion is essential, it is necessary to demonstrate:

(a) that he went into the river;

(b) that, being there, he was wholly immersed;

(c) that the fact that he was immersed, if he was, proves that all others must be, in order that there could be a valid baptism.

Neither of these three things has ever been demonstrated from this passage, nor can they be.

The heavens were opened unto him - This was done while he was praying, Luke 3:21. The ordinances of religion will be commonly ineffectual without prayer. If in those ordinances we look to God, we may expect that he will bless us; the heavens will be opened, light will shine upon our path, and we shall meet with the approbation of God. The expression, "the heavens were opened," is one that commonly denotes the appearance of the clouds when it lightens. The heavens appear to open or give way. Something of this kind probably appeared to John at this time. The same appearance took place at Stephen's death, Acts 7:56. The expression means that he was permitted to see far into the heavens beyond what the natural vision would allow.

To him - Some have referred this to Jesus, others to John. It probably refers to John. See John 1:33. It was a testimony given to John that this was the Messiah.

He saw - John saw.

The Spirit of God - See Matthew 3:11. This was the third person of the Trinity, descending upon him in the form of a dove, Luke 3:22. The dove, among the Jews, was the symbol of purity of heart, harmlessness, and gentleness, Matthew 10:16; compare Psalm 55:6-7. The form chosen here was doubtless an emblem of the innocence, meekness, and tenderness of the Saviour. The gift of the Holy Spirit, in this manner, was the public approbation of Jesus John 1:33, and a sign of his being set apart to the office of the Messiah. We are not to suppose that there was any change done in the moral character of Jesus, but only that he was publicly set apart to his work, and solemnly approved by God in the office to which he was appointed.

Matthew 3:16 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Dove of God
'He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him.' MATT. iii. 16. This Gospel of Matthew is emphatically the gospel of the Kingdom. It sets forth Jesus as the long-promised Messiah, the Son of David. And this conception of Him and of His work, whilst it runs through the whole of the Gospel, is more obviously influential in shaping the selection of incidents and colouring the cast of the language, in the early portion. Hence the genealogy with which the Gospel begins dwells
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Repentance,
And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of Heaven is at band.--MATT. iii. 2. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.--MATT. iv. 17. "Whereupon, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Qentiles, that they should repent and torn to God, and do works meet for repentance."--ACTS xxvi. 19,20. In the mouths of three
Catherine Booth—Godliness

My Beloved is White and Ruddy, the Chiefest among Ten Thousand.
My Well-beloved, replies the Spouse, is white by His purity, innocence and simplicity. He is ruddy by His charity, and because He has chosen to be dyed and purpled in His own blood. He is white by His frankness, ruddy by the fire of His love. He is chiefest among ten thousand, that is to say, He is above all I have chosen and preferred Him to every other. His Father has chosen Him above all the children of men as His Beloved Son in whom He is well pleased (Matt. iii. 17). In short, if you would know,
Madame Guyon—Song of Songs of Solomon

"Because I have Lived So Many Years"
Monday, 20.--We embarked between three and four in the morning, in a very small, inconvenient sloop, and not a swift sailer; [38] so that we were seven hours in sailing what is called seven leagues. About eleven we landed at St. Helier, and went straight to Mr. Brackenbury's house. It stands very pleasantly, near the end of the town; it has a large, convenient garden, with a lovely range of fruitful hills, which rise at a small distance from it. I preached in the evening to an exceedingly serious
John Wesley—The Journal of John Wesley

Cross References
Isaiah 11:2
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

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.

Ezekiel 1:1
Now it came about in the thirtieth year, on the fifth day of the fourth month, while I was by the river Chebar among the exiles, the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.

Mark 1:10
Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him;

Luke 3:22
and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased."

John 1:32
John testified saying, "I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.

John 1:51
And He said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."

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