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Luke 9:7-9

Context
Herod’s Confusion about Jesus

9:7 Now Herod 1  the tetrarch 2  heard about everything that was happening, and he was thoroughly perplexed, 3  because some people were saying that John 4  had been raised from the dead, 9:8 while others were saying that Elijah 5  had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had risen. 6  9:9 Herod said, “I had John 7  beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” So Herod wanted to learn about Jesus. 8 

1 sn Herod refers here to Herod Antipas. See the note on Herod Antipas in 3:1.

2 sn See the note on tetrarch in 3:1.

3 tn Or “was very confused.” See L&N 32.10 where this verse is given as an example of the usage.

4 sn John refers to John the Baptist, whom Herod had beheaded (v. 9).

5 sn The appearance of Elijah would mean that the end time had come. According to 2 Kgs 2:11, Elijah was still alive. In Mal 4:5 it is said that Elijah would be the precursor of Messiah.

6 sn The phrase had risen could be understood to mean “had been resurrected,” but this is only a possible option, not a necessary one, since the phrase could merely mean that a figure had appeared on the scene who mirrored an earlier historical figure. The three options of vv. 7-8 will be repeated in v. 19.

7 tn Grk “John I beheaded”; John’s name is in emphatic position in the Greek text. The verb is causative, since Herod would not have personally carried out the execution.

8 tn The expression ἐζήτει ἰδεῖν αὐτόν (ezhtei idein auton, “was seeking to see him”) probably indicates that Herod, for curiosity’s sake or more likely for evil purposes, wanted to get to know Jesus, i.e., who he was and what he was doing. See I. H. Marshall, Luke (NIGTC), 357. Herod finally got his wish in Luke 23:6-12, with inconclusive results from his point of view.



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