Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 14:2 - 14:2

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Matthew Poole Commentary - Matthew 14:2 - 14:2


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Ver. 1,2. This and the following history is related by Mark more largely, Mar_6:14-30; by Luke more shortly, Luk_9:7-9. We heard before, that the Romans, under whom the Jews now were, had altered the government of the Jews from a kingdom to a tetrarchy, or government of four. Luke telleth us who were the tetrarchs, Luk_3:1. Herod (as we read there) was the tetrarch of Galilee. He had before this time put John Baptist to death, upon what occasion, and in what manner, we shall hear by and by. He heareth of the fame of Jesus. Luke saith he heard of all that was done by him, and was perplexed; that some said John the Baptist was risen from the dead; others, that Elias had appeared; others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. But Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him. Mark saith, Mar_6:14, that 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 show forth themselves in him. Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets. But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead. So as it seems though others had various opinions, yet Herod was fixed in this, that this man was John the Baptist risen again from the dead. Though Luke reports him as speaking more doubtfully, (as he might do to the people), yet Matthew and Mark speak him affirming of it more confidently (probably to his courtiers and confidants). There was an opinion amongst the heathens, that the souls of men and women, when they died, went into other bodies. Some think that Herod was infected with that, and that this is the meaning of his suspicion that John was risen from the dead; that his soul, which he had forced from his body, was gone into another body, so as it might be revenged on him. Or else he thought that John was indeed raised from the dead, (which yet by search might quickly have been known), and therefore mighty works showed themselves in him.