|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:1-12 The terror and reproach of conscience, which Herod, like other daring offenders, could not shake off, are proofs and warnings of a future judgment, and of future misery to them. But there may be the terror of convictions, where there is not the truth of conversion. When men pretend to favour the gospel, yet live in evil, we must not favour their self-delusion, but must deliver our consciences as John did. The world may call this rudeness and blind zeal. False professors, or timid Christians, may censure it as want of civility; but the most powerful enemies can go no further than the Lord sees good to permit. Herod feared that the putting of John to death might raise a rebellion among the people, which it did not; but he never feared it might stir up his own conscience against him, which it did. Men fear being hanged for what they do not fear being damned for. And times of carnal mirth and jollity are convenient times for carrying on bad designs against God's people. Herod would profusely reward a worthless dance, while imprisonment and death were the recompence of the man of God who sought the salvation of his soul. But there was real malice to John beneath his consent, or else Herod would have found ways to get clear of his promise. When the under shepherds are smitten, the sheep need not be scattered while they have the Great Shepherd to go to. And it is better to be drawn to Christ by want and loss, than not to come to him at all.
Verse 12. - And his disciples came. "And when his disciples heard thereof, they came" (Mark). Perhaps they were not permitted to be so much with him as at an earlier period in his imprisonment (Matthew 11:2). But if the murder was in the evening, as would appear probable from the circumstances of it, they would naturally not be in the castle at the time. And took up the body; the corpse (Revised Version, τὸ πτῶμα). And buried it; him, (Revised Version, αὐτόν). It is right in Mark, but St. Matthew has preserved the more popular form of expression. And (Revised Version adds they) went and told Jesus. Matthew only. In Mark (Mark 6:30; cf. also Luke 9:10) this expression dearly belongs to the next paragraph, and is predicated of the twelve apostles on their return from their mission (Mark 6:7-12; our Matthew 10:5). It looks as though some confusion had arisen in the source before St. Matthew used it. As the words stand here they show the kindly feelings which both John and his disciples felt towards our Lord
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And his disciples came,.... To the prison where his body was left, and to which they had liberty of recourse before; see Matthew 11:2 and very probably, upon hearing what was done, might apply to Herod, as Joseph of Arimathea did to Pilate, for the body of Jesus; who might, as he did, give them leave to take it: and
took up the body and buried it. Theophylact says, his body was buried in Baste Caesarea, and that his head was first reposited in Emesesa. This was the last office of love to their master, and was done in respect and gratitude to him, and to show that they still abode by his doctrine; and was what decency and the belief of the resurrection of the dead, as well as the will of God, require should be done:
and went and told Jesus; that their master was dead, what kind of death he suffered, and by what means it was brought about; and how that they had interred him; and what Herod also had said of Jesus, that he was John risen from the dead. Their coming to Christ, and informing him of all this, show, that they were taught by their master to respect him as the Messiah, and believe in him, and adhere to him; and it is very likely that they continued with him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Mt 14:12-21. Hearing of the Baptist's Death, Jesus Crosses the Lake with Twelve, and Miraculously Feeds Five Thousand. ( = Mr 6:30-44; Lu 9:10-17; Joh 6:1-14).
For the exposition of this section—one of the very few where all the four Evangelists run parallel—see on Mr 6:30-44.
Matthew 14:12 Parallel Commentaries
Matthew 14:12 NIV
Matthew 14:12 NLT
Matthew 14:12 ESV
Matthew 14:12 NASB
Matthew 14:12 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible