Matthew 14:6

When Herod's birthday came (genesioi genomenoi tou Hhrwidou). Locative of time (cf. Mark 6:21 ) without the genitive absolute. The earlier Greeks used the word genesia for funeral commemorations (birthdays of the dead), geneqlia being the word for birthday celebrations of living persons. But that distinction has disappeared in the papyri. The word genesia in the papyri (Fayum Towns, 114-20, 115-8, 119-30) is always a birthday feast as here in Matthew and Mark. Philo used both words of birthday feasts. Persius, a Roman satirist (Sat. V. 180-183), describes a banquet on Herod's Day. Danced in the midst (wrchsato en twi meswi). This was Salome, daughter of Herodias by her first marriage. The root of the verb means some kind of rapid motion. "Leaped in the middle," Wycliff puts it. It was a shameful exhibition of lewd dancing prearranged by Herodias to compass her purpose for John's death. Salome had stooped to the level of an alme, or common dancer.