New American Standard Bible
Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests.
King James Bible
And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.
Darby Bible Translation
And the king was grieved; but on account of the oaths, and those lying at table with him, he commanded it to be given.
World English Bible
The king was grieved, but for the sake of his oaths, and of those who sat at the table with him, he commanded it to be given,
Young's Literal Translation
and the king was grieved, but because of the oaths and of those reclining with him, he commanded it to be given;
Matthew 14:9 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
And the king was sorry - There might have been several reasons for this.
1. Herod had a high respect for John, and feared him. He knew that he was a holy man, and had "observed him," Mark 6:20. In the margin (Mark) this is "kept him," or "saved him." In fact he had interposed and saved John from being put to death by Herodias, who had had a quarrel with John, and would have killed him but for Herod, Mark 6:19. Herod, though a bad man, had a respect and veneration for John as a holy and just man, as wicked people often will have.
2. John was in high repute among the people, and Herod might have been afraid that his murder might excite commotion.
3. Herod, though a wicked man, does not appear to have been insensible to some of the common principles of human nature. Here was a great and most manifest crime proposed - no less than the murder of an acknowledged prophet of the Lord. It was deliberate. It was to gratify the malice of a wicked woman. It was the price of a few moments' entertainment. His conscience, though in feeble and dying accents, checked him. He would have preferred a request not so manifestly wicked, and that would not have involved him in so much difficulty.
For the oath's sake - Herod felt that he was bound by this oath; but he was not. The oath should not have been taken: but, being taken, he could not be bound by it. No oath could justify a man in committing murder. The true principle is, that Herod was bound by a prior obligation - by the law of God - not to commit murder; and no act of his, be it an oath or anything else, could free him from that obligation.
And them which sat with him at meat - This was the strongest reason why Herod murdered John. He had not firmness enough to obey the law of God and to follow the dictates of conscience against the opinions of wicked people. He was afraid of the charge of cowardice and want of spirit; afraid of ridicule and the contempt of the wicked. This is the principle of the laws of honor; this the foundation of dwelling. It is not so much for his own sake that one man murders another in a duel, for the offence is often a mere trifle - it is a word, or look, that never would injure him. It is because the "men of honor," as they call themselves, his companions, would consider him a coward and would laugh at him. Those companions may be unprincipled contemners of the laws of God and man; and yet the duellist, against his own conscience, against the laws of God, against the good opinion of the virtuous part of the world, and against the laws of his country, seeks by deadly aim to murder another merely to gratify his dissolute companions. And this is the law of honor! This is the secret of duelling! This the source of that remorse that settles in awful blackness, and that thunders damnation around the duellist in his dying hours! It should be added, this is the course of all youthful guilt. Young men are led along by others. They have not firmness enough to follow the teachings of a father and of the law of God. They are afraid of being called mean and cowardly by the wicked; and they often sink low in vice and crime, never to rise again.
At meat - That is, at supper. The word "meat," at the time the Bible was translated, meant provisions of all kinds. It is now restricted to flesh, and does not convey a full idea of the original.
LibraryPeter on the Waves
'And Peter answered Him and said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto Thee on the water.'--MATT. xiv. 28. We owe this account of an episode in the miracle of Christ's walking on the waters to Matthew alone. Singularly enough there is no reference to Peter's venturesomeness and failure in the Gospel which is generally believed to have been written under his special inspection and suggestion. Mark passes by that part of the narrative without a word. That may be because Peter was somewhat ashamed …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The King's Highway
Be of Good Cheer.
The Rationalistic Explanation.
thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, as follows: 'As for you and your wives, you have spoken with your mouths and fulfilled it with your hands, saying, "We will certainly perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her." Go ahead and confirm your vows, and certainly perform your vows!'
Having been prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist."
He sent and had John beheaded in the prison.
And although the king was very sorry, yet because of his oaths and because of his dinner guests, he was unwilling to refuse her.
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