A Voice Crying

& LOY Commentary 16 Comments

An examination of the Jewish setting of John the Baptist's proclamation of an immersion of repentance for the release of Israel's sin indebtedness.

Matt. 3:1-6; Mark 1:1-6; Luke 3:1-7a

(Huck 1; Aland 13; Crook 16)[1]

Revised: 11 March 2022

וּבִשְׁנַת חֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת טִיבִירְיוֹס קֵיסַר בִּמְשֹׁל פּוֹנְטִיּוֹס פִּילָטוֹס בִּיהוּדָה וּבִמְלֹךְ הֵרוֹדֵיס בַּגָּלִיל וּבִמְלֹךְ פְּלִיפּוֹס אָחִיו בִּיטוּר וּטְרָכוֹן וּבִמְלֹךְ לוּסַנְיָה בָּאֲבֵילִין וּבְכַהֵן חָנָן כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל וְקַיָּפָא הָיָה דְּבַר אֱלֹהִים עַל יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זְכַרְיָה בַּמִּדְבָּר וַיָּבֹא אֶל כָּל כִּכַּר הַיַּרְדֵּן וַיִּקְרָא טְבִילַת תְּשׁוּבָה לִשְׁמִטַּת עֲוֹנוֹת כַּכָּתוּב בְּסֵפֶר דִּבְרֵי יְשַׁעְיָה הַנָּבִיא קוֹל קוֹרֵא בַּמִּדְבָּר פַּנּוּ דֶּרֶךְ יי [וְהִנֵּה אֻכְלוּסִים גְּדוֹלִים יֹצְאִים אֵלָיו לִטְבּוֹל לְפָנָיו]

Now in the fifteenth year of the imperial rule of Emperor Tiviryos, during the governorship of Pontiyos Pilatos in Yehudah, and during the reign of Herodes in the Galil, and during the reign of his brother Pelipos in Yetur and Trachon, and during the reign of Lusanyah in the Avelin, and during the high priesthood of Hanan and Kayafa, the word of God came to Zecharyah’s son, Yohanan the Immerser, who was in the desert. So Yohanan went into the whole Yarden Valley and proclaimed a repentance immersion for the cancellation of Israel’s debt of sin, as it is written in Yeshayah the prophet’s book of oracles, A voice cries, “Prepare the LORD’s way in the desert[Isa. 40:3].

Large crowds went out to Yohanan the Immerser to be purified under his supervision.[2]

A reproduction of our reconstruction in an ancient Hebrew script. Font, based on the Isaiah Scroll from Qumran (1QIsaa), created by Kris Udd.

Reconstruction

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  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin
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    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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    Joshua N. Tilton

    Joshua N. Tilton

    Joshua N. Tilton studied at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, where he earned a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies (2002). Joshua continued his studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, where he obtained a Master of Divinity degree in 2005. After seminary…
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