And king¹ Herod² heard of him;
(for his name³ was spread abroad⁴:)
and he said, That John⁵ the Baptist
was risen from the dead,
and therefore⁶ mighty works⁷ do
shew forth themselves⁸ in him.
¹) Leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king.
²) Herod (Herodes) means “heroic”.
³) The name is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, i.e. for one’s rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds etc.
⁴) Manifest i.e to be plainly recognised or known.
⁵) John means: “Yahweh is a gracious giver”. John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth, the forerunner of Christ. By order of Herod Antipas he was cast into prison and afterwards beheaded.
⁶) The ground or reason by which something is or is not done.
⁷) Strength, power, ability.
⁸) To be operative, be at work.
King Herod heard of it, for [Jesus'] name had become well known. He and they [of his court] said, John the Baptist has been raised from the dead; that is why these mighty powers [of performing miracles] are at work in Him. [AMP] King Herod heard of it, for Jesus' name had become known. Some said, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him." [ESV] Others said, "No, it's Elijah." Others said, "He's a prophet, just like one of the old-time prophets." [MSB] And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. [KJV] King Herod heard about this, for Jesus' name had become well known. Some were saying, "John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him." [NIV] Herod Antipas, the king, soon heard about Jesus, because people everywhere were talking about him. Some were saying, "This must be John the Baptist come back to life again. That is why he can do such miracles." [NLT] Now King Herod heard of Him, for His name had become well known. And he said, "John the Baptist is risen from the dead, and therefore these powers are at work in him." [NKJV]
Some further information
And king Herod heard of him.
Compare Luke 9:7-9.
The opinion of Herod concerning him. He heard of his name and fame, of what he said and what he did; and he said, “It is certainly John the Baptist” (Mark 6:14).
He is risen from the dead; and though while he was with us he did no miracle, yet, having removed for awhile to another world, he is come again with greater power, and now mighty works do show for themselves in him.’’
Herod surnamed “Antipas,” was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace, a Samaritan woman. After the death of his father he was appointed by the Romans tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea.
His first wife was the daughter of Aretas, king of Arabia; but he subsequently repudiated her and took to himself Herodias, the wife of his brother Herod Philip; and in consequence Aretas, his father–in–law, made war against him and conquered him.
He cast John the Baptist into prison because John had rebuked him for this unlawful connection; and afterwards, at the instigation of Herodias, he ordered him to be beheaded.
Induced by her, too, he went to Rome to obtain from the emperor the title of king. But in consequence of the accusations brought against him by Herod Agrippa I, Caligula banished him (A.D. 39) to Lugdunum in Gaul, where he seems to have died. He was light minded, sensual and vicious.
And he said
“unto his servants” ( Matthew 14:2 ), his councillors or court ministers.
That John the Baptist was risen from the dead
The murdered prophet haunted his guilty mind, and seemed to him alive again, and now clothed with unearthly powers, in the person of Jesus.
Baptize is to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash one’s self, bathe.
The Greek word “baptizo” should not be confused with “bapto”.Bible Study Magazine, James Montgomery Boice, May 1989
The clearest example that shows the meaning of baptizo is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B.C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words.
Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be ‘dipped’ (bapto) into boiling water and then ‘baptized’ (baptizo) in the vinegar solution.
Both verbs concern the immersing of the vegetable in a solution.
▪︎ But the first is temporary.
▪︎ The second, the act of baptising the vegetable, produces a permanent change.
When used in the New Testament, this word more often refers to our union and identification with Christ than to our water baptism. e.g. Mark 16:16. ‘He that believes and is baptised shall be saved’. Christ is saying that mere intellectual assent is not enough. There must be a union with him, a real change, like the vegetable to the pickle!
The word signifies powers, by which is meant the power of working miracles.
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In this section (Mark 6: 14-29), which begins with this verse. King Herod is the main character. By “Herod” is meant Herod Antipas, who from 4 BC to 39 AD. reigned as tetrarch over the districts of Galilee and Perea (Luke 3:1,19; 8:3; Acts 13:1f.). Mark here refers to him with the title of king, which actually did not belong to him.
In this verse Mark speaks about the attitude that Herod took towards the Lord Jesus (cf. Mark 6:16).
The evangelist begins by noting, ‘And King Herod heard …
He does not specify what Herod Antipas heard. From the parallel text (Luke 9:7) we can conclude that it had to do with the actions of the twelve disciples (see Mark 6:12,13).
Here we read only: “For His name was made common knowledge” (cf. Mark 1:28). All this made Herod think quite a bit. And he could find no other explanation than that John the Baptist would have risen from the dead and returned as Jesus (see also Mark 6:16).
Others had suggested this too (see Luke 9:7) and he now adopted this opinion (“he said”, as most manuscripts read; others have: “they said”). He declares (dia touto, “thereby”) that certain powers were active in Jesus.
Although no miracles are known of John the Baptist, his preaching must have made such a tremendous impression on Herod that he now believes that John the Baptist has come back to life in the person of Jesus.
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