Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Notes on Mark - An Evil Woman's Revenge

MARK 6: 16-29
In the famous scene where Salome requests the head of John the Baptist as a reward for her dance, there is a lot revealed about Herodias merely in the fact that Salome dances at all. I always thought of her as an innocent pawn but Barclay makes it clear that in some ways she must not have been at all innocent.
In spite of John's rebuke Herod still feared and respected him, for John was so obviously a man of sincerity and of goodness; but with Herodias it was different. She was implacably hostile to John and determined to eliminate him. She got her chance at Herod's birthday feast which he was celebrating with his courtiers and his captains. Into that feast her daughter Salome came to dance. Solo dances in those days in such society were disgusting and licentious pantomimes. That a princess of the royal blood should so expose and demean herself is beyond belief because such dances were the art of professional prostitutes. The very fact that she did this is a grim commentary on the character of Salome, and of the mother who allowed and encouraged her to do so.
The Gospel of Mark
(The Daily Bible Series, rev. ed.)

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