Give thanks, O daughter, that thy crownings have been doubled;—for lo! thy temples and thy sons rejoice. —The dedication of thy temples is in the ministration;—The dedication of thy sons is in the anointing.—Blessed art thou that at once…[art] the tabernacle for them that dwell in thee,—and the Spirit has abode upon thy sons!
Our Lord opened up Baptism—in the midst of Jordan the blessed river.—The height and the depth rejoiced in Him;—He brings forth the first fruits of His peace from the water,—for they are first fruits, the fruits of Baptism.—The good God in His compassion will bring to pass—that His peace shall be first fruits on earth.
Moses stretched out the temporal Tabernacle;—the priests bathed themselves in water,—and went in and ministered; and were stricken and punished,—because their heart within was not cleansed.—Blessed art thou that in the Passover of the great Passion,—the priests by the savour of their oblations,—lo! are cleansing souls in thee!
Great was the mystery that the Prophet saw,—the torrent that was mighty.—Into its depths he gazed and beheld—thy beauty instead of himself; thee it was he saw, for thy faith passes not away,—thou whose flood unseen shall overwhelm—the subtleties of idolatry.
Though John was great among them that are born of women,—yet he that is little is greater than he,—in this that his baptized were again baptized,—in the baptism that was of the Apostles.—Blessed art thou that thy priest is greater than he—in this alone that forever—abides his baptism.
The baptism that was of Siloam—did not bring mercy to the man that was laid there—who for thirty and eight years awaited it,—for he was a respecter of the persons of the Levites.—Blessed art thou that thy healing is in thee for all men,—and thy priests are devoted and ready—for all that are in need of thy help.
The Prophet healed the waters that were unwholesome,—and cured the disease of the land that was barren,—so that its death was done away and its region resounded, for its offspring increased and its bosom was filled.—Greater is Thy grace, Lord, than Elisha’s!—Multiply my lambs and my flocks—at the great stream of my fountain!
Great is the marvel that is within thy abode;—the flocks together with the Shepherds,—those at the stream of the waters,—two unseen with one manifest who baptizes.—Blessed is he who is baptized in their fountains!—for three arms have upheld him,—and three Names have preserved him!
Ephrem the Syrian (c.306-373): Fifteen Hymns on the Epiphany, 11.