Matthew 14:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.

New Living Translation
Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of a riot, because all the people believed John was a prophet.

English Standard Version
And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.

New American Standard Bible
Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet.

King James Bible
And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Though he wanted to kill him, he feared the crowd, since they regarded him as a prophet.

International Standard Version
Although Herod wanted to kill him, he was afraid of the crowd, since they regarded John as a prophet.

NET Bible
Although Herod wanted to kill John, he feared the crowd because they accepted John as a prophet.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he had wanted to kill him and he was afraid of the people who were holding him as a Prophet.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So Herod wanted to kill John. However, he was afraid of the people because they thought John was a prophet.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude because they counted him as a prophet.

King James 2000 Bible
And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

American King James Version
And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

American Standard Version
And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And having a mind to put him to death, he feared the people: because they esteemed him as a prophet.

Darby Bible Translation
And [while] desiring to kill him, he feared the crowd, because they held him for a prophet.

English Revised Version
And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

Webster's Bible Translation
And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

Weymouth New Testament
And he would have liked to put him to death, but was afraid of the people, because they regarded John as a Prophet.

World English Bible
When he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

Young's Literal Translation
and, willing to kill him, he feared the multitude, because as a prophet they were holding him.
Parallel Commentaries
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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude (cf. Luke 20:6). Mark has, "And Herodias set herself against him, and would have put him to death; and she could not; for Herod feared John." The more detailed account in Mark is doubtless the more exact. Perhaps the facts of the case were that, in the first heat of his resentment, Herod wished to kill John, but feared the anger of the people, and that afterwards, when he him in his power and Herodias still urged his death, Herod had himself learned to respect him. Observe

(1) that it is quite impossible to suppose that either evangelist had the words of the other in front of him. The difference does not consist merely of addition or explanation;

(2) that these are exactly the kind of verbal coincidences which might be expected to be found in two oral traditions starting from a common basis. For they counted him as a prophet (ὡς προφήτην αὐτὸν εϊχον); so Matthew 21:26 (cf. Matthew 21:46; Mark 11:32; Philippians 2:29).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And when he would have put him to death,.... As soon as he apprehended him, and put him into prison; being provoked by his reproving him, and being stirred up by Herodias, who was greatly incensed and enraged, and would have killed him herself, but could not, being hindered by Herod: who, though he had a good will and strong inclination to take away his life, yet what with fearing the terror of his own conscience, and the reverence and respect he had for John, as a good man; and especially for the reason here given, he did not do it, for

he feared the multitude: not God, but the multitude; and these, not only the large number of people that attended on John's ministry, and were baptized by him, and became his disciples, but the generality of the people, the whole body of the Jewish nation. So God is pleased oftentimes to restrain the wickedness of princes, by the fear of their subjects:

because they counted him as a prophet; a holy good man, and who was sent of God; they respected him as such, believing him to be a true and real prophet, and treated him with honour and reverence, suitable to his character; wherefore Herod was afraid, should he take away his life, that the people would mutiny, rise up against him, and revolt from him. In what esteem John was with the people of the Jews in general, may be learned from the character Josephus gives of him, as a good man; who stirred up the Jews to the practice of virtue, especially piety and justice; which made the common people fond of him and his doctrine; and who were of opinion, that the defeat of Herod's army, which followed the death of John, was a just judgment of God upon him for it (m).

(m) Antiqu. 1. 18. c. 6.



Matthew 14:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Beheading of John
4For John had been saying to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her." 5Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet. 6But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod,…
Cross References
Jeremiah 26:21
When King Jehoiakim and all his officers and officials heard his words, the king was determined to put him to death. But Uriah heard of it and fled in fear to Egypt.

Matthew 11:9
Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.
Treasury of Scripture

And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.

when.

Mark 6:19,20 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed …

Mark 14:1,2 After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread…

Acts 4:21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding …

Acts 5:26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without …

because.

Matthew 21:26,32 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John …

Mark 11:30-32 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me…

Luke 20:6 But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they …

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