Salome with the head of John the Baptist by Caravaggio painting

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 15, Day 2: Matthew 14:1-12 Along With Mark 6:12-29


Herod heard about Jesus and thought he was John the Baptist risen from the dead. Herod had arrested John and put him in prison because John had told him taking his brother’s wife was unlawful. He wanted to kill John, but he was afraid.

Herod was tricked by Herodias’ daughter. She danced for him on his birthday and he liked it so much he promised to give her whatever she asked. Prompted by her mother, she asked for John the Baptist’s head on a platter. The king had to acquiesce since he took an oath and so many people were there. The girl took the head to her mother, and John’s  disciples buried John’s body and then they went and told Jesus.


Jesus had sent out his disciples to drive out demons and heal the sick. King Herod thought that John the Baptist had risen from the dead because of this. Others said he was Elijah. Herod had arrested John and thrown him in jail because he was saying it was unlawful for him to marry his brother’s wife. She did not like John and wanted him killed, but Herod feared John and protected him. He liked to listen to John.

On Herod’s birthday, he gave a banquet for his high officials. Herodias’ daughter dance for him, and he promised her he’d give her whatever she asked up to half his kingdom. The girl asked her mother what to ask for. She asked for the head of John the Baptist. The king could not back down. He immediately had John the Baptist beheaded and his head brought. The girl gave it to her mother, and John’s disciples buried John’s body.

BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 15, Day 2: Matthew 14:1-12 Along With Mark 6:12-29

3) He thought Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead. Because he knew John to be a prophet and genuinely believed this could happen. He was superstitious, and he felt guilty over killing him. Plus, scholars say John the Baptist looked a lot like Jesus.

4a) Herodias did not like how John said her marriage to Herod was unlawful. She wanted him dead so she concocted a scheme to do so.

b) She used her to dance and lure the king into promising her whatever she asked for.

c) He wanted to save face. He could not back down fearing he’d appear weak and his word would not be trusted.

5) Sin breeds sin, and it’s best to stop it as soon as possible rather than keep sinning when you know it to be wrong.

6) That they took John’s body to bury it, as was appropriate and that they told Jesus. This could have been because they knew how close they were or they wanted to Jesus to know becuase he may be in danger, too

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 15, Day 2: Matthew 14:1-12 Along With Mark 6:12-29

The saddest part of this story is how a mother uses her daughter to commit murder essentially. This obviously is not how a good parent should act. Also, Herod is very superstitious.

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End Notes BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 15, Day 2: Matthew 14:1-12 Along With Mark 6:12-29

Matthew 14:1-12

A tetrarch was a ruling of four people. In this case, when Herod the Great died, each of his four sons received a portion of the territory. This was a title, but Herod wanted to be called king. Herod (known as Herod Antipas) asked Roman Emperor Caligula for the title but was denied. He ruled over Galilee and therefore had heard a lot about Jesus. He thought Jesus might be John the Baptist reincarnated. John has been killed a year ago when this story is being told.

Herod had illegally divorced his first wife in order to marry his brother’s wife. No one said anything about this out of fear of death except John the Baptist. Later, the King of Petra would declare war on Herod since his daughter was Herod’s first wife.

Herod feared what the people would do if he killed John.

Herodias’ daughter was a teenager, and the dance would have been inappropriate to say the least. Why a ruler’s daughter would dance is unknown here.

Herodias knew Herod would promise her daughter anything. She knew immediately she wanted John’s head.

Herod did not want to kill John, but he gave in to societal pressure. He pleased people rather than God.

Both Herodias and Herod end up disgraced later in life all due to this sin, and they both commit suicide. Herod was accused of treason, and he was banished.

Mark 6:12-29

Jesus was taken as Elijah by some because it was prophesied Elijah would come before the Messiah did (Malachi 4:5). Jesus was also thought to be the Prophet whom Moses said would come after him (Deuteronomy 18:15).

No doubt Herodias’ daughter was hoping she could request something she wanted.

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bsf lesson 15 summary isaac marries rebekah

Friday Digest: BSF’s Study of Genesis Lesson 15


  • We should all serve God like the servant served Abraham
  • Seek God in all things in your life through prayer and guidance
  • All true Christians are led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:14).
  • Ask, seek, and you shall find with prayer and petition (Matthew 7:7)
  • Pray for God’s will in Jesus’ name. Then expect God to show up.
  • “I will go” should be your answer once you receive confirmation of God’s will

Take Away: When you have a servant’s heart and seek God’s will in your life, He will answer.

marriage of isaac and rebekah

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 5: Genesis 24:52-67

Summary Genesis 25:52-67:

The servant showered the entire family with precious and costly gifts for the dowry. The next morning Laban and Bethuel tried to delay the trip, but they left immediately on Rebekah’s acquiescence. The family blessed Rebekah and sent her on the long journey to Canaan.

Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi. He, whom we can assume had been praying for a wife as well, greets the return party, hears the tale of the servant, and marries Rebekah.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 5: Genesis 24:52-67

13) The servant wants to hurry back so that his task can be completed and so that God’s will to make Abraham’s descendants into a great nation can be fulfilled. Rebekah, who will most likely never see her family again, agrees to go right away, knowing this is God’s will, too.

14) Personal Question. My answer: Moving a lot has cost friendships and connections, as well as a lost church family. Truly, in the grand scope of things, God has it, and it all works out in the end.

15) Personal Question. My answer: Isaac obeyed God too in knowing this was the wife He chose for him. God’s timing is not our own, and if we are patient, God does bring great things.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 5: Genesis 24:52-67

It’s surprising that they left the decision up to Rebekah whether to leave right away since she’s a woman who in ancient times had no say.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 5: Genesis 24:52-67


After a long journey, most of us just want to get home as soon as possible. The servant knew that Abraham was old and perhaps in ill-health, so he was hoping to get back in time in order for Abraham to know he had succeeded. Rebekah showed remarkable faith and strength to leave the only things she ever knew and to probably never see her family again to follow God’s will.

Rebekah covers herself with a veil as was customary until she was married.

We have been nothing about Isaac since his near death experience at the top of Mount Moriah. (Genesis 22:19) Presumably, he was growing strong in the Lord.

Here, in Isaac and Rebekah, we can see this as a picture of Jesus as the bridgroom and us as the people.

  • God chose a wife for his Son (the people)
  • The son died and was resurrected for them
  • A servant, or God’s helper, was the mediator
  • The bride (us) were called and cared for until the wedding day
  • The bride (us) were loved by the bridegroom (Jesus)

map of beer lahai roi

Note that this marriage was an arranged one that God arranged through prayer. Modern-day love is important, but it’s not the end-all, be-all.

Last go-around in BSF’s study of Genesis, we were asked how this passage relates to God, Jesus, and us. Here was my response:  A father desires a bride for his son.  Abraham for Isaac.  God for us.  A son was dead and then raised from the dead.  Isaac and Jesus.  The bride is chosen for marriage before they knew it (Ephesians 1:3-4).  Rebekah and us.  The bride is divinely chosen, called, and then lavished with gifts. (Revelation 19:7-8)  Rebekah and us.  She is entrusted to the care of the servant before she meets her bridegroom.  Rebekah and us.

Note how God had a plan for Rebekah from the beginning  (Ephesians 1:3-4) for His eternal purpose (Ephesians 3:10-11). She shared in the glory of the son because of her faith (John 17:22-23). She was loved. Just like the church.

Isaac and Jesus were both promised, born from a miracle, sacrificed, resurrected, and prepared a place for the bride for eternity.

Fun fact: Isaac was 40 when he married.

Love came last here, after marriage.

Good read on Bride of Christ HERE

rebekah goes to isaac

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 4: Genesis 24:28-51

Summary of Genesis 24:28-51:

Rebekah ran home and told all what had happened. Laban, Rebekah’s brother, ran out to the servant to bring him to their house. So the servant, his men, and his camels were brought to Rebekah’s house and provided for. Before he ate, the servant told them his story, how he came there seeking a wife for Abraham’s son, and how Rebekah had been the girl to answer his prayer to God.

Laban and Bethuel agreed that this was God’s will so they let Rebekah go.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 4: Genesis 24:28-51

9) Laban addresses the servant as one being blessed by the Lord upon seeing the gold offerings he gave to Rebekah (Verse 31). They believed the servant’s story and let Rebekah go as the Lord has directed.

10) The servant was to find a wife amongst Abraham’s father’s clan and one who was not a pagan. God grants the servant’s request for the sign exactly and grants him success.

11) He says that God is the one who will grant him success (verse 42). He praised God who led him on the right road to Rebekah (verse 48). He prayed ahead of time for the one instead of choosing himself, and he recounts the story with God first.

12) Isaiah 48:11 says God does not yield his glory to another. 1 Corinthians 1:27-31 says how no one can boast before God. God rewards those who humble themselves. God rewards the faithful like He did Abraham. He wants to guide us and lead us. All we have to do is ask.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 4: Genesis 24:28-51

Just as key as the servant’s humble attitude is the belief of Laban and Bethuel in God to let Rebekah go. This would have completely changed history if they had refused.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 4: Genesis 24:28-51

Note that Laban was generous after he saw the gold Rebekah had received.

Fun Fact: the word master occurs 22 times in this chapter alone. Eliezer is determined to let it be known that he is working for his master who is the one God has blessed. He is filling in Abraham’s brother on how he’s doing after so many decades. He says that Isaac is the only heir, which is probably so that the family would know that Rebekah would be taken care of.

There seems no hesitancy on the part of Rebekah’s family. They knew this would be a good match for her and that this was indeed God’s will.

rebekah watered the camels in bible

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 3: Genesis 24:15-27

Summary of Genesis 24:15-27:

Rebekah was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. She was beautiful and a virgin. She had gone down to fill her jar with water. Eliezar approached her and asked her for a drink. She gave him one and offered to water his camels, too. After the camels had drunk, Eliezar asked Rebekah if he could stay at her father’s house. He offered gold as payment. She said they have plenty of room. Eliezar praised God for His faithfulness to Abraham with this sign and for leading him to the house of his master’s relatives.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 3: Genesis 24:15-27

6) Rebekah offered him a drink and offered to water all of his camels when asked, which was the sign Eliezar asked for.

7) Personal Question. My answer: Our new house, new career, new direction in life, new connections

8 ) Personal Question. My answer: Immediate prayer and gratitude by the servant. A serving heart and open heart by Rebekah.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 3: Genesis 24:15-27

God answers reasonable prayers to show his guidance. The best part of this story is the heart of the servant. I would wager he was probably treated well by Abraham but servants in ancient times had extremely rough lives and had no social status nor class. They were nothing in the eyes of many. So the willingness of this servant to serve his master is a great picture of how we are to serve the Lord. Everything is credited to God. The servant is merely the instrument in God’s work. This is how we need to approach life.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 15, Day 3: Genesis 24:15-27

God knows our needs before we do and sometimes answers before we even know it.  Isaiah 65:24

Rebekah was the granddaughter of Abraham’s brother, Nahor. When the Bible says she was beautiful, she most definitely was. Other women the Bible says are beautiful include:

The servant made sure Rebekah was a woman of her word and finished the job of watering his camels and did not give up half-way through. Then he knew God had answered his prayers. He offers gifts to Rebekah, thanked God for answering his prayers.