What does Mark 6:24 mean?
ESV: And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.”
NIV: She went out and said to her mother, 'What shall I ask for?' 'The head of John the Baptist,' she answered.
NASB: And she went out and said to her mother, 'What shall I ask for?' And she said, 'The head of John the Baptist.'
CSB: She went out and said to her mother, "What should I ask for? ""John the Baptist's head," she said.
NLT: She went out and asked her mother, 'What should I ask for?' Her mother told her, 'Ask for the head of John the Baptist!'
KJV: And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.
NKJV: So she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist!”
Verse Commentary:
Herod Antipas has imprisoned John the Baptist to keep him safe from Herodias, who wishes to kill him. John has publicly chastened Antipas for marrying his living brother's wife. Antipas feels both intrigued and uncomfortable about the message, but he hesitates to kill John for fear John's followers will rise up and rebel. His borders are already vulnerable thanks to his divorce from the daughter of the Nabatean king. If Nabatea invades at the same moment the Jews rebel, he could lose everything.

Herodias has the same ultimate concern, but she isn't as far-sighted as Antipas. She had divorced her husband, a prominent Roman citizen and Antipas' half-brother, and forced Antipas to divorce the Nabatean princess. Although Antipas isn't legitimately a king, in this overlooked and occupied territory, Herodias can pretend thanks to the Roman government who put him in power. Herodias, on her part, seems to believe that John and John alone is the threat. His message is disrespectful to her position as queen. She cares little for John's correct accusation that she's breaking Jewish laws of incest; she seems only to cares about her crown and reputation. To this end, Herodias has been trying to kill John the Baptist for a while. This impulsive promise Antipas gives her daughter provides the opportunity she has been waiting for.

Beheading was a manner of death used to demonstrate dominance, as well as confirm the victim's death. David cut off the head of Goliath to show he was dead (1 Samuel 17:51). The Old Testament offers other examples, generally during times of warfare (1 Samuel 31:9; 2 Samuel 4:7; 20:22; 2 Kings 10:6–8). In Acts 12:2, James the apostle is "killed … with the sword," likely indicating a beheading. This brutal form of execution is less violent and quicker than crucifixion, and the Romans often used it when they needed to end a life quickly, relatively humanely, and with incontrovertible proof.
Verse Context:
Mark 6:14–29 follows the disciples' success in continuing John the Baptist's work with a flashback of John's execution. John was Jesus' cousin (Luke 1:36) and the herald of Jesus' ministry (John 1:19–28). He preached repentance to many, including Andrew and Peter (John 1:35–42). He also baptized Jesus (Mark 1:9–11). Herod Antipas ruled over Galilee, where Jesus was from, and Perea, near where John preached. Antipas was fascinated by John, but his wife felt threatened by John's condemnation of their incestuous marriage. This story is also found in Matthew 14:1–12, Luke 3:19–20, and Luke 9:7–9.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus returns to His hometown of Nazareth, but the people there are faithless and skeptical. As a result, Jesus performs no more than a few minor miracles. He then assigns His twelve apostles to travel in pairs, preaching repentance and healing various conditions. Mark then takes a brief detour to explain the death of John the Baptist, beheaded after Herod Antipas is tricked by his wife. The focus then returns to Jesus, explaining His miraculous feeding of thousands of people, walking on water, and healing people in Gennesaret.
Chapter Context:
Even as the Twelve are given opportunity to wield some of Jesus' power and authority, they still struggle to understand. They misinterpret who He is, what He has come to do, and how much He will ask of them. They fear Jesus' display of deity, but seem to dismiss the murderous rejection of His hometown and the death of John the Baptist. It's easy to have faith in a prophet who seems poised to rescue Israel from foreign rule. It is still beyond them to understand that He is actually God.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 5/28/2024 12:13:09 AM
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