Divers washings are simply different kinds of Baptisms. The Jewish religion had many types of ceremonial purifications, washings, and sprinklings. The word baptism doesn't always make reference to immersion. Here it means "washing". Heb 9:10...Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings
, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Notice two things in this passage. First, to leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ. Second, it mentions the doctrine of baptisms (plural). Not just one paricular baptism which by the way is different types of ceremonial purifications used under the Law of Moses. Heb 6:1-2...Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms,
and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
In the book of Numbers 19 you had waters of separation that were sprinkled in ceremonial purification. In Hebrews 9 it stated that Moses sprinkled water and the blood in certain ceremonial rituals used according to Jewish Law. This water used fro purification purpose was used in Jewish rituals and ceremonies. John 2:6...And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews,
containing two or three firkins apiece.
Notice Saint John said there were questions about Jews who were purifying. Questions arose between John's disciples and the Jews about waters of purification. John 3:23-25...And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews about purifying.
The following "washing of pots" were also a Jewish baptism according to the Greek text. Washing was performed with waters of purification that Jews used to make certain vessels clean. These washings were considered Baptisms. Mark 7:8...For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups:
and many other such like things ye do.
According to Jewish custom before a Jew could enter the Temple and minister...he must first be sprinkled with waters of purification to make the unclean vessel, clean. Acts 21:26...Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself
with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purifcation, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them.
Many customs, washings, sprinklings, and pourings were considered different types of Baptisms or ceremonial rituals according to Jewish Law. I like the following verse the Apostle used in relation to these ordinances that were not necessary after the death of a Saviour.
Col 2:20-22...Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,(Touch not; taste not; handle not; Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
No religious work or ritual can offer Salvation to the human soul. Many leaned to subjection to ordinances, or to the sense of religious ritual or worship... but the Apostle said these rudiments of the world would "perish".
All that is needed is Christ. His Person, His power, and His Salvation. Glory! I'm glad Christ nailed the rituals of the Law to the cross and allowed His Grace to flow freely (into our hearts) through "belief, faith, and trust" in Him. It's called the simplicity of Christ who is not received by religious works...but through belief. Glory! Grace is not to be complicated or mixed with religious works! Any man Jew or Gentile can receive...freely and find peace and rest upon the human soul.