Matthew 14:7

7 so much that he promised on oath to grant her whatever she might ask.

Matthew 14:7 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 14:7

Whereupon he promised with an oath
On account of her fine dancing, and being extremely pleased with it himself; and the more, that it gave such pleasure to the whole court: he first promised her,

to give her whatsoever she would ask;
and then repeating it, he confirmed it with an oath; adding, as Mark says, that he would give it her, even "to the half of his kingdom": a way of speaking used by princes, when they give full power to persons to ask what they will of them; and to express their great munificence and liberality; signifying, let it be ever so great, or cost what it will, though as much as half a kingdom comes to, it shall be granted; see ( Esther 5:3 Esther 5:6 ) . A very foolish promise, and a rash oath these, which were made upon such a consideration, as only a fine dance. If she, as Theophylact observes, had asked for his head, would he have given it her? And if he swore by his head, which was a common form of swearing with the Jews F21, she very appropriately, though unjustly, as Dr. Lightfoot observes, answers to him; as you have swore by your head, give me John Baptist's head.


F21 Misn. Sanhedrim, c. 3. sect 2. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 3. 1. Derech Eretz, c. 6. fol. 18. 2.

Matthew 14:7 In-Context

5 Though Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded him as a prophet.
6 But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and she pleased Herod
7 so much that he promised on oath to grant her whatever she might ask.
8 Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter."
9 The king was grieved, yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he commanded it to be given;
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.