Mark 6:24
And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.
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(24) She went forth, and said unto her mother.—This feature in the narrative is peculiar to St. Mark.

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.For Herod feared John - That is, he stood in awe of him on account of his sanctity, and his boldness and fearlessness in reproving sin.

Knowing that he was a just man and an Holy - A holy, pious, upright, honest man - a man who would not be afraid of him, or afraid to speak his real sentiments.

And observed him - Margin, "kept him, or saved him." This does not mean that he "observed" or obeyed his teachings, but that he kept him in safe custody in order to preserve him from the machinations of Herodias. He was willing to show his respect for John, and to secure him from danger, and even to do "many things" which might indicate respect for him - at least, to do so much as to guard him from his enemies.

And did many things - But he did not do the thing which was demanded of him - to break off from his sins. He attempted to make a compromise with his conscience. He still loved his sins, and did "other" things which he supposed might be accepted in the place of putting away, as he ought, the wife of his brother - the polluted and adulterous woman with whom he lived. Perhaps he treated John kindly, or spoke well of him, or aided him in his wants, and attempted in this way to silence his rebukes and destroy his faithfulness. This was probably before John was imprisoned. So sinners often treat ministers kindly, and do much to make them comfortable, and hear them gladly, while they are still unwilling to do the thing which is demanded of them - to repent and believe the gospel. They expect that their kind attentions will be accepted in the place of what God demands - repentance and the forsaking of their sins.

24. And she said, The head of John the Baptist—Abandoned women are more shameless and heartless than men. The Baptist's fidelity marred the pleasures of Herodias, and this was too good an opportunity of getting rid of him to let slip. See Poole on "Mark 6:14"

And she went forth and said unto her mother,.... The king having made such a promise to her, and annexed his oath to it, she thought proper before she asked any thing of him, to withdraw from the hall and company, and consider with herself, and consult with her mother, who was not at the entertainment; it being not usual in those eastern countries, for women to sit at table, at any grand festival: to whom she reported the offer the king had made, and desired she would be pleased to direct her, what request to make saying,

what shall I ask? To which her mother made answer, without taking any further time to think of it, being prepared for it, and determined in her mind, whenever she had an opportunity of asking a favour of the king, what it should be:

and she said, the head of John the Baptist. So sweet is revenge, that to have her will on that great and good man, was more to her, than to have half the king's dominions.

And {p} she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.

(p) For women did not used to eat with men.

Mark 6:24. She goes out to ask advice of her mother, implying that she had not previously got instructions as Matthew’s account suggests.

24. The head of John the Baptist] Herodias saw that her hour was come. No jewelled trinket, no royal palace, no splendid robe, should be the reward of her daughter’s feat—“Ask,” said she, “for the head of John the Baptizer.”

Verse 24. - And she went out, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? (τί αἰτήσομαι)- according to the best authorities (τί αἰτήσωμαι), What should I ask? Mark 6:24
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