And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.
Herod's sin began in a very common place for the beginning of deadly sin. It began in the riot and levity of sensual amusement. The fact is, that Satan only wants the occasion of a beginning of a sin from us; however slight that may be though we may have removed from the sure ground of a clear and undefiled conscience, by a step of a hair's breadth, he has gained all that he wants. He has removed us from the ground where we could watch and pray: he has put the fear of God, and love of Christ, out of our hearts; he has withdrawn us from the presence of God, tempted us to come forth from the hiding place of His pavilion, and the secret of His tabernacle; and to come down from the rock on which we had been set up through His merciful protection; and then we are completely in his power. Who, then, that knowingly begins a sin, can tell where it will end? Most men begin it with a notion that they can stop in its course when they like, and that they will have the opportunity and the will to repent. But how miserably they are mistaken in both those notions; they hardly need even Herod's example to warn them. We have seen at length already, how utterly unable they are to stop; and a very few considerations will show how little reason they have to look forward to a genuine repentance. They forget, in the first instance, the nature of sin, which is to harden the heart, to sear the conscience, and to blind the understanding. All these effects are the very contrary to repentance. And they may, therefore (since they have put God out of the question), as well expect corn to come out of thistle seed as repentance out of wilful sin. On the whole, the text gives us a solemn warning upon the nature of sin. It is not always barefaced and audacious, even when most heinous. The sinner may even set about his dreadful task work which Satan has set him, with exceeding sorrow, as did Herod. But this does not avail to abate its violence, or to lessen their guilt.
(R. W. Evans, B. D.)The beginning of evil is like the letting out of water. The poet tells us that the destruction of the lute begins with the first rift; and the rottenness of the fruit with the first speck. Resist, I pray you, the first temptation. Endeavour to conquer Herod.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.