Mark 6:25
And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.
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(25) By and by.—We hardly recognise in this word, so much has its meaning altered, St. Mark’s familiar “forthwith” or “immediately.” At the period when our version was made it was, however (as we find in Shakespeare), in common use as an equivalent. (Comp. Matthew 13:21.)

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.

25. I will that thou give me by and by—rather, "at once."

in a charger—large, flat trencher.

the head of John the Baptist.

See Poole on "Mark 6:24"

And she came in straightway with haste unto the, king,.... Having had her mother's advice, and being hastened by her, she immediately returned to the hall, where the king and his guests were, with much Concern, eagerness, and diligence:

and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger, the head of John the Baptist: her petition proceeding upon a promise with an oath, is presented by way of demand; insisting upon it, that in a very little time, "this hour", as the Syriac version renders it, within an hour's time, or less; and "here", as Matthew has it, Matthew 14:8, in that very place, and whilst the company was there; that orders should be given to cut off the head of John the Baptist, and that that should be brought, in a large dish, unto her; and this was what she had to ask, and insisted upon the immediate and punctual performance of it; See Gill on Matthew 14:8.

And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.
Mark 6:25. εὐθὺς μετὰ σπουδῆς, without delay and with quick step, as of one whose heart was in the business. There had been no reluctance then on the girl’s part, no need for much educating to bring her to the point; vide remarks on προβιβασθεῖσα in Matthew 14:8. Her mother’s child.—ἐξαυτῆς (supply ὥρας), on the spot, at once; request proffered with a cool pert impudence almost outdoing the mother.

25. straightway with haste] Observe the ready alacrity, with which she proved herself a true daughter of her mother.

by and by] i. e. “immediately.” Comp. Matthew 13:21, “when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended;” Luke 17:7, “which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by?Luke 21:9, “but the end is not by and by,” In all these instances the expression has its old meaning of “at once,” “immediately.” Thus Edward IV. is reported to have said on his death-bed, “I wote not whether any prechers’ woordes ought more to moue you than I that is goyng by and by to the place that they all preche of,” Hall, Ed. v. fol. 116; “Men dare not give the name of emperor to any other, for he punisheth his offender and traitor by and by; but they dare give the name of God to others, because He for repentance suffereth the offenders;” Homily Against Idolatry, pt. iii.

a charger] = “a large dish,” or “platter.” This word only occurs here and in the parallel, Matthew 14:8. It comes from the Fr. charger and O. E. charge = “to load;” hence it means “that on which anything is laid, a dish,” as the Hebrew word thus rendered (Numbers 7:13, &c.) is elsewhere given (Exodus 25:29). Thus Fuller says of Oswald, king of Northumberland, when he was told that a number of poor people were at his gate, that he commanded “not onely that the meat set before him should be given them, but also that the large Silver-Charger holding the same should be broken in pieces and (in want, perchance, of present coin) parted betwixt them:” Ch. Hist. ii. 76.

Mark 6:25. Μετὰ σπουδῆς) promptly.—θέλω [I will] I wish) Boldness of speech.

Verse 25. - I will that thou forthwith give me in a charger (ἐπὶ πίνακι) the head of John the Baptist. John the Baptist seems to have had a presentiment of his speedy end when he said, "He must increase, but must decrease." Mark 6:25Mark's narrative emphasizes the eager haste with which the murder was pushed. She came in straightway and demanded the boon forthwith.

By and by (ἐξαυτῆς)

Obsolete in the old sense of immediately. The A. V. translates αὐθὺς, straightway, in Matthew 13:21, by and by: εὐθέως, Mark 4:17, immediately: and the same word in Luke 21:9, by and by. Ἐξαυτῆς is rendered immediately, Acts 10:33; Acts 11:11 : straightway, Acts 23:30 : presently, Philippians 2:23. Rev., forthwith. The expression by and by in older English was sometimes used of place. Thus Chaucer.

"Right in the same chamber by and by" (close by).


"Two young knights lying by and by" (near together).

Edward IV. is reported to have said on his death-bed: "I wote (know) not whether any preacher's words ought more to move you than I that is going by and by to the place that they all preach of."


See on Matthew 14:8.

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