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Lesson # Matt. 14:6-11
Study Material - Matt. 14:6-11
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6 But [de] when Herod's [Herodes] birthday [genesia] was kept [ago] , the daughter [thugater] of Herodias [Herodias] danced [orcheomai] before them [en] [mesos] , and [kai] pleased [aresko] Herod [Herodes] .
7 Whereupon [hothen] he promised [homologeo] with [meta] an oath [horkos] to give [didomi] her [autos] whatsoever [hos] [ean] she would ask [aiteo] .
8 And [de] she, being before instructed [probibazo] of [hupo] her [autos] mother [meter] , said [phemi] , Give [didomi] me [moi] here [hode] John [Ioannes] Baptist's [Baptistes] head [kephale] in [epi] a charger [pinax] .
9 And [kai] the king [basileus] was sorry [lupeo] : nevertheless for [de] [dia] the oath's sake [horkos] , and [kai] them which sat with him at meat [sunanakeimai] , he commanded [keleuo] it to be given [didomi] her.
10 And [kai] he sent [pempo] , and beheaded [apokephalizo] John [Ioannes] in [en] the prison [phulake] .
11 And [kai] his [autos] head [kephale] was brought [phero] in [epi] a charger [pinax] , and [kai] given [didomi] to the damsel [korasion] : and [kai] she brought [phero] it to her [autos] mother [meter] . KJV-Interlinear
6 But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. 7 Thereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 And having been prompted by her mother, she said, 'Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.' 9 And although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests. 10 And he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl; and she brought it to her mother. NAS
Herod rejected Christ, and Christ rejected Herod. Herod had more fear of a woman, more fear of his reputation, more fear of his peers, more fear of his throne, and a lack of fear for God. When the promise of a wonderful life for all of eternity was just a thought away, but instead he damned his soul forever and ever.
In this world we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and other dates we deem important. Heaven forbid that we forget an important date, one that is important to someone in our family or to someone in our life. When you think about it, our date of salvation, the date that we first believed in Christ and became saved is far more important than any other date. But then who among us can remember when we first believed in Christ. I certainly can't remember when I first believed in Christ or even when I began understanding it all.
The world makes things which are unimportant, important, and that which should be important, unimportant. The birthday of Herod was not just any birthday. His oath and promise were not just any oath and promise. All were far less important than principles of honor and integrity, but honor and integrity in the jungle realm, become distorted and therefore lead to atrocities.
The birthday was a time of great partying. But not just any party. Birthdays were pagan in nature, surrounded with food, booze, and sex. The daughter who performed a dance before Herod and all the guests was Herods step daughter, Salome, the daughter of Philip and Herodias. The dance was not one for the younger generation, but was lewd and suggestive. Herod was happy, but this is a special kind of happiness. He was intoxicated and aroused by the dance of his step daughter.
The prompting (verse 8) by the mother indicates that the whole thing had been planned by her, in order to gain some favorable promise from Herod, in which case she was going to ask for the head of John. Thus the whole purpose of our reading of this account of John's death.
The greatest man who ever lived, was plotted against and killed by the worst form of persons, the scheming wife and seductive step daughter. They thought they had won a great victory, but instead sold their souls to the lake of fire.
John who was no doubt in his prison dungeon cell, and perhaps even praying as he would have nothing else to do during his days there, was probably curious when the guards came, opened up his cell, seized him, held him and cut off his head in a gruesome fashion. John went to Paradise immediately.
Herod was caught by surprise when he promised, while drunk, up to half of the kingdom, Mk. 6:23, and instead of being asked for half, was asked for John's head. Herods grief was more tuned to his appearance and reputation before his guests, rather than principles of honor and integrity.
Negative volition toward God eventually leads to the reduction of good morals to degenerate superficialities. Negative volition leads to abuses in society, in law and order, in everything that is right and true. Negative volition toward God is the biggest enemy of every living being. Promises of honor are forgotten and promises of dishonor become honorable (honor among thieves, not finking on lawlessness and so forth). Society comes up with derogatory terms like finking, or ratting, or promises on oaths in order to place pressure on those who would otherwise do what is right, but instead do that which is wrong.
John ended up in Paradise where he will enjoy a priceless eternal life, and the mother and daughter ended up with a dead head which they wished for as though it had some value, but was in fact a piece of worthless flesh.
Following this incident, Herod tried to meet Jesus, but with ulterior motives of murdering Him, Lk. 13:32, Lk. 9:9, but Jesus avoided any meeting from Herod. Herod was not interested his spiritual life. Since there were no repercussions in John's death, Herod became more bold in his attempts to see Jesus, but God prevented that meeting from occurring, until the very end of Jesus' ministry Jesus was not to die a secret death at the hand of some hired thug or ordered soldier, but at the hand of the system, society, and people in general, and in a public death on the Cross.
Jesus was not to die on just any day, but was to die on the Cross on the afternoon immediately preceding Passover. Who among us can so precisely schedule the events of the end of our life?
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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