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16 And as[a] Jesus rose up out of the water, the heavenly realm opened up over him[b] and he saw the Holy Spirit descend out of the heavens and rest upon him in the form of a dove.[c] 17 Then suddenly the voice of the Father shouted from the sky, saying, “This is my Son—the Beloved![d] My greatest delight is in him.”[e]

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  1. 3:16 There are Latin manuscripts and external evidence dating to Jerome indicating that the Hebrew Matthew included this sentence: “A great light flashed from the water, so that all who had gathered there were afraid.” (Diatessaron and Romanos Melodos, First Hymn on the Epiphany, XVI.14.7–10.)
  2. 3:16 See also Acts 7:56.
  3. 3:16 The dove is a symbol for both meekness and purity. Two gentle animals are pictured at the baptism of Jesus, a dove resting upon a lamb. If you want the presence of the Dove you need to have the nature of the Lamb. The implication is that the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus and never left him.
  4. 3:17 Jesus Christ is the Beloved referred to in the Song of Songs (Song. 1:13, 14; 2:3, 8, 9, 10; 6:10; 7:10).
  5. 3:17 Or “In him I find my delight.” See also Ps. 2:7; Isa. 42:1. The church historian Jerome affirms that additional words were spoken by the Father: “My Son, in all the prophets I was waiting for you, that you might come and I might rest in you. For you are my rest and my firstborn Son, who reigns forever!” (The Gospel of Matthew for the Hebrews and Commentary on Isaiah Chapter 4. Throckmorton: 14 fn. Nicholson: 43. OMG II: 156 et seq.)

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