|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:14-29 Herod feared John while he lived, and feared him still more when he was dead. Herod did many of those things which John in his preaching taught him; but it is not enough to do many things, we must have respect to all the commandments. Herod respected John, till he touched him in his Herodias. Thus many love good preaching, if it keep far away from their beloved sin. But it is better that sinners persecute ministers now for faithfulness, than curse them eternally for unfaithfulness. The ways of God are unsearchable; but we may be sure he never can be at a loss to repay his servants for what they endure or lose for his sake. Death could not come so as to surprise this holy man; and the triumph of the wicked was short.
Verse 29. - The taking up of the corpse by the disciples would seem to intimate that it lay uncared for and unburied until the disciples showed their respect for it. Josephus says that after the beheading, the mutilated remains were east out of the prison and left neglected. God's judgments at length found out Herod. For not long after this he was defeated by Aretas in a great battle, and put to an ignominious flight. Herodias herself and Herod were banished by a decree of the Roman Senate to Lyons, where they both perished miserably; and Nicephorus relates that Salome, the daughter of Herodias, died by a remarkable visitation. She fell through some treacherous ice over which she was passing, and fell through it in such a manner that her head was caught while the rest of her body sank into the water, and thus it came to pass that in her efforts to save herself her head was nearly severed by the sharp edges of the broken ice.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when his disciples heard of it,.... That is, when the disciples of John heard of this barbarous execution of their master,
they came; to the prison in the castle of Machaerus,
and took up his corpse; the trunk of his body; for his head was carried away, to glut the revenge of Herodias;
and laid it in a tomb; See Gill on Matthew 14:12.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
29. And when his disciples heard of it—that is, the Baptist's own disciples.
they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb—"and went and told Jesus" (Mt 14:12). If these disciples had, up to this time, stood apart from Him, as adherents of John (Mt 11:2), perhaps they now came to Jesus, not without some secret reflection on Him for His seeming neglect of their master; but perhaps, too, as orphans, to cast in their lot henceforth with the Lord's disciples. How Jesus felt, or what He said, on receiving this intelligence, is not recorded; but He of whom it was said, as He stood by the grave of His friend Lazarus, "Jesus wept," was not likely to receive such intelligence without deep emotion. And one reason why He might not be unwilling that a small body of John's disciples should cling to him to the last, might be to provide some attached friends who should do for his precious body, on a small scale, what was afterwards to be done for His own.
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