3. a. It seems Herodias likely encouraged her daughter to dance for Herod and his guests in celebration of his birthday. The fact that he offered to give anything she might ask leads me to believe she danced in a highly erotic manner. Herodias then encouraged her daughter to ask Herod to have John the Baptist decapitated. She did as her mother asked.
4. a. Herod respected and feared John and his followers. Because he believed John was a righteous and holy man and for fear of the people, Herod protected John. Herod was drawn to listen to John even though it left him miserable with guilt.
b. It seems Herod lacked backbone and strong moral convictions. High on alcohol and an atmosphere charged with lust and fueled by his enormous ego, he made a rash promise. It seems fear sobered him quickly when the girl made her evil request. To avoid embarrassment and humiliation he complied.
c. No. He made an unwise oath. If the oath involved something material as he expected, he should have kept it. Her request was unexpected and unreasonable. His ego led him to go against his better judgment.
d. Herod, although moved by John’s preaching, was unwilling to repent of taking his brother’s wife. Herod was troubled when he heard the rumors about Jesus. Herod may have been haunted by John’s blood on his hands. Perhaps he both hoped and feared John had come back from the dead. The only way to know was to see for himself. I also wonder if Herod still had a small shred of tenderness in his heart toward the message.
5. a. Jesus called Herod a fox.
b. Jesus remained silent when relentlessly questioned by Herod.
c. Jesus must have known Herod was a lost cause. His heart was hardened and unrepentant. He merely wanted to see Jesus perform for him.
6. Herod’s behavior reminds me of Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar, and Pharaoh. I must guard my own heart to ensure it remains tender and attentive to the Holy Spirit. Pride and arrogance lead to rebellion against God.