Luke 9:7
Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;
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(7-9) Because that it was said of some, . . .—See Notes on Matthew 14:1-2; Mark 6:14-16. In Matthew 14:2, and Mark 6:14, Herod is represented as himself expressing this belief. St. Luke states, probably from his knowledge of the Herodian household (see Introduction), that it did not originate with him, and that his mind was, for a time, in suspense.

Luke 9:7-9. Now Herod heard of all that was done by him — The twelve apostles preaching in the towns of Galilee, and confirming their doctrine by many mighty miracles, raised the attention and expectation of all men more than ever. For they could not but think it a most extraordinary and marvellous thing, that Christ could not only work miracles himself, but impart the power of working them to others, even to whomsoever he pleased; a thing never heard of in the world before, and which evidently rendered him far superior to all the prophets, and certainly was an amazing and most convincing proof of his being the Messiah. This circumstance, it seems, aggrandized him more than any other thing, and spread his fame so far, that it reached the court of Herod, tetrarch of Galilee, and occasioned many speculations there. And he (Herod) was perplexed. — Greek, διηπορει, much perplexed, as the same word is rendered Luke 24:4; and by the Vulgate consternatum esse, to be in a consternation; and elsewhere, stupere, to be amazed, or dismayed. The word, says Grotius, signifies wonder and astonishment; or, according to Doddridge, “such a mixture of doubt and fear, as necessarily throws the mind into a very uneasy situation.” The sense here seems to be, that the fame of our Lord’s miracles, and the diversity of opinions concerning him, so astonished Herod that he knew not what to think or believe concerning him. Because it was said of some — And soon after by Herod himself; that John was risen from the dead — He thought he had got clear of John, and should never be more troubled with him; but he now begins to fear he was mistaken, and that either John was come to life again, or that another had arisen in his power and spirit. And of some (it was said) that Elias had appeared — They say appeared, because, as he did not die, he could not rise again: and of others, that one of the old prophets — Who had been persecuted and slain long since; was risen again — To be recompensed for his sufferings by this honour put upon him. It is probable that this conversation at the court of Galilee, concerning Jesus, and Herod’s perplexity thereupon, happened soon after the Baptist’s death. The murder of him, it seems, was recent. Hence the stings of conscience which that crime occasioned to Herod were bitter; and the rather, that he had committed it in an unguarded hour, contrary to the dictates of his own mind. Hence, in the confusion of his thoughts, he followed the multitude, though a Sadducee, in fancying that John was risen from the dead, and dreaded the punishment of his crime. It may seem strange that any person should have ascribed Christ’s miracles to John risen from the dead, who during his life-time performed no miracle, John 5:41. Perhaps they imagined the power of working miracles was conferred on the Baptist to prove both his resurrection and his innocence; to clothe him with greater authority than formerly; and to render his person inviolable for the future. Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this? — Is he carrying on John’s work, or is he come to avenge John’s death? John baptized, but he does not; John wrought no miracle, but he works many; and therefore appears more formidable than John. Observe, reader, those who oppose God will find themselves more and more embarrassed. And he desired to see him — Whether he resembled John or not; and if he found it was John, perhaps expecting to effect a reconciliation with him. “He might soon have got his doubts resolved, if he would have informed himself, as he easily might, of what thousands knew, that Jesus preached and wrought miracles a great while before John was beheaded, and therefore could not be John risen from the dead. He desired to see him — And why did he not go and see him, or send for him? Probably because he thought it below him to do either the one or the other. He had had enough of John, and cared not for having to do with any more such reprovers of sin. He desired to see him; but we do not find that he ever did till he saw him at his bar, and then he and his men of war set him at naught, Luke 23:11. Had he prosecuted his convictions now, and gone to see him, who knows but a happy change might have been wrought in him; but delaying it now, his heart was hardened; and when he did see him, he was as much prejudiced against him as any other.” — Henry.9:1-9 Christ sent his twelve disciples abroad, who by this time were able to teach others what they had received from the Lord. They must not be anxious to commend themselves to people's esteem by outward appearance. They must go as they were. The Lord Jesus is the fountain of power and authority, to whom all creatures must, in one way or another, be subject; and if he goes with the word of his ministers in power, to deliver sinners from Satan's bondage, they may be sure that he will care for their wants. When truth and love thus go together, and yet the message of God is rejected and despised, it leaves men without excuse, and turns to a testimony against them. Herod's guilty conscience was ready to conclude that John was risen from the dead. He desired to see Jesus; and why did he not go and see him? Probably, because he thought it below him, or because he wished not to have any more reprovers of sin. Delaying it now, his heart was hardened, and when he did see Jesus, he was as much prejudiced against him as others, Lu 23:11.See the notes at Matthew 14:1-2. Compare Mark 6:14-16. Lu 9:7-9. Herod Troubled at What He Hears of Christ Desires to See Him.

(See on [1607]Mr 6:14-30).

7. perplexed—at a loss, embarrassed.

said of some, that John was risen—Among many opinions, this was the one which Herod himself adopted, for the reason, no doubt, mentioned on Mr 6:14.

Ver. 7-9. This Herod was Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee, who had beheaded John the Baptist; he heareth of these great things done by Christ, and dihporei, saith the evangelist; it is a word that signifieth a great disturbance, and perplexity of mind, when a man is in doubt and fear, and knoweth not what counsels to take or follow: it is used Luke 24:4 Acts 2:12 5:24 10:17. The other evangelists say Herod himself guessed it was John the Baptist, whom he had beheaded. Oh the power of a guilty conscience! He had murdered John, now he is afraid his ghost haunted him, or that his soul was entered into another body, that it might be revenged on him. Others guessed variously. Herod knoweth not what to think, but desireth to see Christ, possibly that he might make up some judgment about him, possibly out of mere curiosity. But we read not that he did see him until Pilate sent him to him after his examination of him, Luke 23:8. Now Herod the tetrarch,.... Of Galilee, and who is called a king in Mark 6:14 as he is here in the Ethiopic version:

heard of all that was done by him; of all the miracles that were wrought by Christ, and his apostles; the fame of which were the more spread through the mission of the apostles, and the journey they took through all the towns and cities of Galilee, which were in Herod's jurisdiction; by which means he, and his court, came to the knowledge of them, the whole country, ringing with the account of the same:

and he was perplexed; anxious, and distressed, not knowing well what to think of Christ, and the different sentiments of men about him: be was afraid lest he should be John the Baptist risen from the dead, whom he had beheaded: he hesitated about it at first, though he afterwards was fully persuaded, in his own mind, that it was he, as some affirmed; and this gave him great uneasiness, and filled him with distress and horror:

because that it was said of some that John was risen from the dead; and he began to fear it was true, though willing to disbelieve it, at least to make a question of it, especially in public; though in private, to his own family and servants, he was free to tell his mind.

{2} Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he {b} was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;

(2) As soon as the world hears tidings of the gospel it is divided into differing opinions, and the tyrants especially are afraid.

(b) He stuck as it were fast in the mire.

Luke 9:7-9. See on Matthew 14:1 f.; Mark 6:14-16.

To the ἤκουσεν of Mark 6:14, which Luke in this place evidently has before him, he adds a definite object, although taken very generally, by means of τὰ γινόμενα πάντα: everything which was done, whereby is meant, which was done by Jesus (Luke 9:9).

διηπόρει] he was in great perplexity, and could not in the least arrive at certainty as to what he should think of the person of Jesus. This was the uncertainty of an evil conscience. Only Luke has the word in the New Testament. It very often occurs in the classical writers. On the accentuation ὑπό τινων, see Lipsius, Gramm. Unters. p. 49.

Luke 9:8. ἐφάνη] “Nam Elias non erat mortuus,” Bengel.

Luke 9:9. What Matthew and Mark make Herod utter definitely, according to Luke he leaves uncertain; the account of Luke is hardly more original (de Wette, Bleek), but, on the contrary, follows a more faded tradition, for the character of the secondary writer is to be discerned in the entire narrative (in opposition to Weizsäcker). The twofold ἐγώ has the emphasis of the terrified heart.

ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν αὐτόν] he longed to see Him. Comp. Luke 23:8. He hoped, by means of a personal conference (Luke 8:20) with this marvellous man, to get quit of his distressing uncertainty. That Herod seemed disposed to greet Him as the risen John, and that accordingly Christ had the prospect of a glowing reception at court, Lange reads into the simple words just as arbitrarily as Eichthal reads into them a partiality for Herod on the part of Luke.Luke 9:7-9. Herod’s interest in Jesus (Matthew 14:1-2, Mark 6:14-16).—ὁ τετράρχης as in Mt., βασιλεὺς in Mk.—τὰ γινόμενα πάντα, all the things which were happening, most naturally taken as referring to the mission of the Twelve, though it is difficult to believe that Herod had not heard of Jesus till then.—διηπόρει, was utterly perplexed, in Lk.’s writings only.—διὰ τὸ λέγεσθαι ὑπὸ τινῶν. What Lk. represents as said by some, Mt. and Mk., doubtless truly, make Herod himself say. Vide notes on Mt. and Mk.7-9. Herod’s Alarm.

. Herod the tetrarch] Antipas. See Luke 3:1.

by him] These words are omitted by א, B, C, D, L. The “all the things that had occurred” seems to be a special reference to the work of the Twelve which made our Lord’s name more widely known.

it was said of some] i.e. by some. To this opinion Herod’s guilty conscience made him sometimes incline, Mark 6:16. His alarm may have been intensified by the strong condemnation of his subjects, who, long afterwards, looked on his defeat by his injured father-in-law Aretas (Hareth) as a punishment for this crime (Jos. Antt. xviii. 5, §§ 1, 2).Luke 9:7. Διηπόρει, was perplexed) They who have not faith are liable to be miserably carried about by the various opinions of others. [And whosoever are given to self-indulgence (whoever indulge their appetites), their disquieting alarms are at once excited, as soon as ever anything falls upon them connected with spiritual matters.—V. g.]Verses 7-9. - Herod's terror. Verse 7. - Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him. This was Herod Antipas; he was a son of Herod the Great; his mother's name was Malthace. After his father's death he became tetrareh or prince-ruler of Galilee, Peraea, and of a fourth part of the Roman province of Syria. His first wife was daughter of Aretas, a famous Arabian sheik spoken of by St. Paul as "king of the Damascenes" (2 Corinthians 11:32). This princess he divorced, and contracted a marriage at once incestuous and adulterous with his niece Herodias, the beautiful wife of his half-brother Philip. Philip was not a sovereign prince, and it was probably from motives of ambition that she deserted Philip for the powerful tetrarch Herod Antipas. It was owing to his fearless remonstrances against this wicked marriage that John the Baptist incurred the enmity of Herodias, who was only satisfied with the head of the daring preacher who presumed to attack her brilliant wicked life. What Herod now heard was the report of the widespread interest suddenly aroused by the mission of the twelve - a mission, we know, supported by miraculous powers, following close upon the Galilaean ministry of the Lord, which, as far as regarded the numbers who thronged his meetings, and the outward interest his words and works excited, had been so successful. Rumours of all this at last reached the court circle, wrapped up in its own selfish and often wanton pleasures and false excitement. Because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead. Herod Antipas was probably inclined to the Sadducee creed, which believed in neither angel nor spirit. But Sadduceeism and the easy doctrines of Epicurus, which no doubt found favour in the luxurious palace of Herod, are but a flimsy protection at best against the ghastly reminiscences and the weird forebodings of a guilty conscience. The murder of John had been, Herod knew, strongly condemned by the public voice. He would not believe it was his old monitor risen, but vet the prince was anxious and perturbed in his mind. The murmur that the great prophet was Elias (Elijah) disquieted him, too. Herod could not help recalling to his mind the lifelong combat of that great and austere servant of God against another wicked sovereign and his queen, Ahab and Jezebel, whose great crime was that they, too, had slain the Lord's prophets. That history, Herod felt, had to some extent been reproduced by himself and Herodias. There was a rooted expectation among the Jews that Elijah would reappear again on earth, and that his appearance would herald the advent of the Messiah. There are numberless references in the Talmud to this looked-for return of the famous Elijah. The tetrarch

See on Matthew 14:1.

That was done (τὰ γινόμενα)

The present participle. Lit., all that is being done.

Was perplexed (διηπόρει)

Used by Luke only. From διά, through, and ὰπορέω, to be without a way out. The radical idea of the compound verb seems to be of one who goes through the whole list of possible ways, and finds no way out. Hence, to be in perplexity.

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