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Posts tagged ‘Herodias’

Matthew 14:1-13 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: John Beheaded

|| Mark 6:14-29; Luke 9:7-9

MT14:1 At this time Herod[1] the Tetrarch[2] heard what people were saying about Jesus. MT14:2 Herod told his servant-boys, “This person is John the Baptist raised from the dead, and it is because of this he is able to perform dynamic works.” MT14:3 For Herod, because of his woman Herodias[3] (wife of his brother Philip[4]), had seized John and put him in prison. MT14:4 John had been telling Herod, “It is illegal for you to have her.”[5] MT14:5 So Herod wanted to kill John but he feared the crowd because they thought John was a prophet. MT14:6 Now when Herod’s birthday[6] was being celebrated the daughter of Herodias[7] danced among them and pleasured Herod so much MT14:7 that he made a sworn oath to give her whatever she requested. MT14:8 Having been coached by her mother, she said, “Here, upon a plate, the head of John the Baptist!” MT14:9 This grieved the king because of his oaths and [because] of those reclining with him. So he gave the command MT14:10 and sent for John to be beheaded in prison. MT14:11 John’s head was delivered on a plate and given to the maiden[8] and she took it to her mother. MT14:12 John’s disciples came forward, removed the corpse and buried him. Others arrived and reported back to Jesus. MT14:13 Having heard this Jesus departed from there in a boat into a solitary and secluded place.[9] When the crowds[10] heard this they set out on foot from the cities to follow him.


[1] Herod: The name occurs 55 times in the Gospels. It is a family name of Edomites. Their history is recorded by Josephus. This is Herod Antipas. Search the word Herod and see dictionaries.

[2] Tetrarch: Meaning “ruler of one-fourth.” Or, TCNT: prince; GDSP: governor.

[3] Herodias: Compare Matthew 14:1-11; Mark 6:16-28; Luke 3:19, 20; 9:9. See Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 240-256 (vii, 1, 2); The Jewish War, II, 181-183 (ix, 6).

[4] Philip: The father of Salome by Herodias, the “maiden” who danced for Herod Antipas.

[5] It is illegal for you to have her: Or, KJV: it is not lawful; RIEU: telling him he could not marry; NJB: it is against the Law. Compare Leviticus 18:16 and Leviticus 20:21 (Matthew 19:9).

[6] Birthday: The Greek is GENESIOIS. Only one other “birthday” is mentioned directly in the Bible (Genesis 40:20). Some feel birthdays are meant in Job 1:4, 5 and Hosea 7:5. Renowned historian Augustus Neander says: “The notion of a birthday festival was far from the ideas of the Christians of this period.” (The History of the Christian Religion and Church, During the Three First Centuries, translated by H. J. Rose, 1848, p. 190) The Catholic Encyclopedia states: “Origen [a writer of the third century C.E.]… insists that ‘of all the holy people in the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his birthday. It is only sinners (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great rejoicings over the day on which they were born into this world below.’” (1913, Vol. X, p. 709) M’Clintock and Strong’s Cyclopaedia (1882, Vol. I, p. 817) says, “(The Jews) regarded birthday celebrations as parts of idolatrous worship…, and this probably on account of the idolatrous rites with which they were observed in honor of those who were regarded as the patron gods of the day on which the party was born.” Whether Christians in modern periods should avoid birthday celebrations because Jews may have refused is a choice for each conscience. Some refrain others do not.

[7] Daughter of Herodias: She is known as Salome.

[8] The maiden: The Greek is KORASIO. Or, KJV: damsel; MON: young girl; NJB: girl. We can only speculate on the manner of her dance but we suppose it was intimate and erotic and perhaps directed at Herod.

[9] Into a solitary and secluded place: If the above was done to John because of his accusation against Herod’s relationship with Herodias, it can only be imagined what lays ahead for the Son of Humankind. Escaping into private and isolated spots was something Jesus did often. Or, KJV: desert place apart; TCNT: retired privately to a lonely spot; WEY: uninhabited and secluded; RIEU: a deserted place where he could be alone. Compare Mark 6:31; 9:10.

[10] The crowds: There is no rest for such a famous and renowned person. This “crowd” is later revealed to be at least 5,000 strong.



Matthew 2:1-6 – Astrologers and Priests in a Satanic Plot

Matthew 13:53-58 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Where Did He Get Such Wisdom?

Matthew 14 – Faith Small and Great – Key words: Dynamic Works



  1. Daily Mass: The death of John the Baptist
  2. The Story of Two Feasts
  3. Herod Antipas: The Would-Be King
  4. Why It Is Important to Overcome Resentment
  5. Drama 7-15-18
  6. Mark 6:14-29 – Serving a head on a platter
  7. A not so great showman
  8. Herod and John the Baptist
  9. Day 47: A Pyrrhic Victory, a Small Girl, and a Lot of Food
  10. Before Herod
  11. A tale of two banquets
  12. Cowardly Power
  13. Confronting a narcissistic ruler
  14. The Life of John the Baptist: The Death of John the Baptist

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:18-20 – John’s Teaching and Imprisonment

Luke 3:18-20 – John’s Teaching and Imprisonment

|| Matthew 14:3-12;[1] Mark 6:17-29[2]

LK3:18 So with many words like these John continued to encourage the people as he preached the Good News. LK3:19 Now, Herod the tetrarch had been rebuked by John regarding Herodias who was his brother’s wife, and also about other evil things Herod did. LK3:20 On top of it all Herod also added the imprisonment of John.


[1] Matthew 14:3-12: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.

[2] Mark 6:17-29: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Mark.



Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:1, 2 – Factual Data

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:3-6 – John Preaches Baptism of Repentance

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:7-9 – Vipers, Repent!

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:10-14 – “What Shall We Do?”

Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:15-17 – The Baptisms of the One Coming


The life of Jesus began in north and central Palestine, a region between the Dead Sea and the Jordan River in the east and the Eastern Mediterranean in the west.

The three Magi before Herod, France, early 15t...

The three Magi before Herod, France, early 15th century. Stained glass: colored glass, grisaille; lead. Restored by F. Pivet, 1999. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This region was under Roman control since the 1st century BCE, initially as a tributary kingdom. The Roman campaigns, coupled with internal revolts and the incursion of the Parthians, made the region very unstable and chaotic up until 37 BCE, when Herod the Great (c.73 BCE – 4 BCE) became king king of Judea, and Malthace. The region gradually gained political stability and became prosperous. Although Jewish in religion, Herod was a vassal king who served the interests of the Roman Empire. When Herod the Great died his son Herod the tetrarch or Herod Antipater (Greek: Ἡρῴδης Ἀντίπατρος, Hērǭdēs Antipatros; born before 20 BC – died after 39 AD), known by the nickname Antipas, became as  tetrarch (“ruler of a quarter”) the much spoken of 1st-century ruler of Galilee and Perea. He is best known today for accounts in the New Testament of his role in events that led to the executions of John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth.

Herod the Great made great efforts to mollify the Jews by publicly observing the Law, by building a temple, and by re-establishing the Sanhedrin. He promoted Hellenisation and adorned most of his cities, especially Jerusalem.

Having felt the difficulty facing Jewish tradition Aantipas also tried to take in account Jewish believes. Antipas tried to avoid conflicts with the Jews and therefore when Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea from 26 AD to 36 AD, caused offence by placing votive shields in the Antonia palace at Jerusalem, Antipas and his brothers successfully petitioned for their removal.

Early in his reign, Antipas had married the daughter of King Aretas IV of Nabatea. Herod Antipas repudiated his wife, daughter of Aretas, to marry his niece Herodias, wife of his half-brother Herod Philip. On a visit to Rome he stayed with his half-brother Herod Philip I and there fell in love with Philip’s wife, Herodias, (granddaughter of Herod the Great and Mariamne I), and the two agreed to marry each other, after Herod Antipas had divorced his wife. The affair gained Herod Antipas many enemies, and the vaulting ambitions of Herodias eventually ruined him

Jesus saw his cousin John the Baptist as an authority and possibly a source of inspiration. It seems that he performed baptisms parallel to John the Baptist (John 3.22). This baptiser and preacher reached a lot of people but was not afraid to call Antipas his relation as incestuous and a sin against God. John called the leader ‘That fox Herod’ (Luke 13.32) Herodias may have fancied the preacher and was jealous of his popularity. She was responsible for the beheading of John the Baptist.

Herod Antipas was exiled by the Romans.


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