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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 14 - Verse 8

Verse 8. Being before instructed of her mother. Not before she danced, but afterwards; and before she made the request of Herod. See Mr 6:24. The only appearance of what was right in the whole transaction was her honouring her mother, by consulting her; and in this she only intended to accomplish the purposes of wickedness more effectually.

In a charger. The original word means a large platter, on which food is placed. We should have supposed that she would have been struck with abhorrence at such a direction. But she seems to have been gratified. John, by his faithfulness, had offended the whole family; and here was ample opportunity for an adulterous mother and dissolute child to gratify their resentment. It was customary then for princes to require the heads of persons ordered for execution to be brought to them. For this there were two reasons:

(1.) To gratify their resentment—to feast their eyes on the proof that their enemy was dead; and,

(2.) to ascertain the fact that the sentence had been executed. There is a similar instance in Roman history of a woman requiring the head of an enemy to be brought to her. Agrippina, the mother of Nero, who was afterwards emperor, sent an officer to put to death Lollia Paulins, who had been her rival for the imperial dignity. When Lollia's head was brought to her, not knowing it at first, she examined it with her own hands, till she perceived some particular feature by which the lady was distinguished. *

{*} "Lardner's Credibility, Part i., book i., chap. i" {z} "???" Pr 29:10 {a} "???" Jud 11:31,35; Da 6:14-16

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