Abilene Abile'ne Brother Caesar Cesar Fifteenth Galilee Government Governor Herod Ituraea Iturae'a Iturea Judaea Judea Lysanias Lysa'ni-as Lysanius Philip Pilate Pontius Region Reign Rule Ruler Tetrarch Tiberius Tiber'i-us Trachonitis Trachoni'tis Traconitis

3:1 Now {1} in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

(1) John comes at the time foretold by the prophets and lays the foundation of the gospel which is exhibited unto us, setting forth the true observing of the law and free mercy in Christ, which comes after John, using also baptism which is the outward sign both of regeneration and also forgiveness of sins.

3:1 Jesus Anointed by the Holy Spirit


John's Preaching and Baptism. John's Witness of Christ. Herod and Herodias. Jesus Baptized. The Anointing and the Voice from Heaven. The Genealogy of Christ.

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar. Tiberius, the second Roman emperor, was the step-son and successor of Augustus Caesar. See PNT Lu 2:1. Tiberius was raised to the throne A.U.C. 764 (after the founding of Rome), and the fifteenth year would be A.U.C. 779 Counting back thirty years from this, brings us to A.U.C. 749, which is about four years earlier than the common date of the birth of Jesus and before the death of Herod the king. See PNT Mt 2:1.

Pilate being governor of Judaea. Archelaus, the son of Herod the king, was deposed after ten years of rule, and Judea made a province under the rule of a Roman governor. Pontius Pilate was the fifth of these. See PNT Mt 27:2.

Herod being tetrarch of Galilee. See PNT Mt 2:1, on the Herods. It was this Herod, Herod Antipas, who murdered John the Baptist.

His brother Philip. This was not the husband of Herodias, but another brother Philip.

Abilene. North of Palestine.

3:1 The fifteenth year of Tiberius - Reckoning from the time when Angustus made him his colleague in the empire. Herod being tetrarch of Galilee - The dominions of Herod the Great were, after his death, divided into four parts or tetrarchies. This Herod his son was tetrarch of Galilee, reigning over that fourth part of his dominions. His brother reigned over two other fourth parts, the region of Iturea, and that of Trachonitis (that tract of land on the other side Jordan, which had formerly belonged to the tribe of Manasseh.) And Lysanias (probably descended from a prince of that name, who was some years before governor of that country) was tetrarch of the remaining part of Abilene, which was a large city of Syria, whose territories reached to Lebanon and Damascus, and contained great numbers of Jews. Mt 3:1; Mr 1:1.

3:1-14 The scope and design of John's ministry were, to bring the people from their sins, and to their Saviour. He came preaching, not a sect, or party, but a profession; the sign or ceremony was washing with water. By the words here used John preached the necessity of repentance, in order to the remission of sins, and that the baptism of water was an outward sign of that inward cleansing and renewal of heart, which attend, or are the effects of true repentance, as well as a profession of it. Here is the fulfilling of the Scriptures, Isa 40:3, in the ministry of John. When way is made for the gospel into the heart, by taking down high thoughts, and bringing them into obedience to Christ, by levelling the soul, and removing all that hinders us in the way of Christ and his grace, then preparation is made to welcome the salvation of God. Here are general warnings and exhortations which John gave. The guilty, corrupted race of mankind is become a generation of vipers; hateful to God, and hating one another. There is no way of fleeing from the wrath to come, but by repentance; and by the change of our way the change of our mind must be shown. If we are not really holy, both in heart and life, our profession of religion and relation to God and his church, will stand us in no stead at all; the sorer will our destruction be, if we do not bring forth fruits meet for repentance. John the Baptist gave instructions to several sorts of persons. Those that profess and promise repentance, must show it by reformation, according to their places and conditions. The gospel requires mercy, not sacrifice; and its design is, to engage us to do all the good we can, and to be just to all men. And the same principle which leads men to forego unjust gain, leads to restore that which is gained by wrong. John tells the soldiers their duty. Men should be cautioned against the temptations of their employments. These answers declared the present duty of the inquirers, and at once formed a test of their sincerity. As none can or will accept Christ's salvation without true repentance, so the evidence and effects of this repentance are here marked out.

Abilene Caesar Cesar Fifteenth Gained Galilee Governor Grew Herod Ituraea Jesus Judaea Judea Lysanias Older Philip Pilate Pontius Region Reign Tetrarch Tiberius Trachonitis Wisdom

Abilene Caesar Cesar Fifteenth Gained Galilee Governor Grew Herod Ituraea Jesus Judaea Judea Lysanias Older Philip Pilate Pontius Region Reign Tetrarch Tiberius Trachonitis Wisdom