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Salome No. 1

The Woman Whose Dancing Meant Death

Scripture ReferencesMatthew 14:6-11; Mark 6:22-28

Name Meaning—Salome is the feminine form of Solomon, and according to Wilkinson, is the Greek form in shalom meaning “peace.” Cruden, however, says that Salome implies, “very shady,” which is truer of the debased character of the daughter of Herodias—which was indeed shady, morally. The New Testament does not name her. It is Josephus the Jewish historian who identifies her as Salome.

Family Connections—She was the daughter of Herodias by her first husband, Herod Philip, a son of Herod the Great. Josephus tells us that Salome was married first to Philip the tetrarch, and afterward to Aristobulus, king of Chalcis, the grandson of Herod, and brother of Agrippa.

Mention has already been made of the part Salome played at the birthday of Herod, and how through her sensual dancing John the Baptist was beheaded, and Herod lost his kingdom (see Herodias). Kitto, tells us that, “In the age of Herod, dancing was exceedingly rare and almost unheard of, and therefore the condescension of Salome, who volunteered to honour that monarch’s birthday by exhibiting her handsome person as she led the mazy dance in the saloons of Machaerus, felt it to be a compliment that merited the highest reward.” It was more at the instigation of her evil-minded mother, however, than her own initiative that Salome took part in her dance of death.

Devotional content drawn from All the Women of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer. Used with permission.

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