Salome, the Daughter of Herodias
Though she is unnamed in this passage from Mark, Salome, the daughter of Herodias and step-daughter of Herod Antipas, is among the most reviled women in the Bible.
She has been depicted in art, song and word as seductive and cruel.
Gruesome paintings depict her holding the severed head of John the Baptist on a platter.
Yet was she really the evil one in this story?
Salome was a young girl, likely in her early teens. Asked to dance for her step-father and his guests, she complies and likely is totally surprised when her step-father says: “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.”
She has no idea what to request, so she turns to her mother for advice.
It is her mother who asks for the head of John the Baptist on the platter.
She relays her mother’s request and it is granted. How horrified she must have been to receive the bleeding severed head.
A young girl, manipulated by her mother, now lives in infamy.
Perhaps she is more deserving of pity.
Betty Chandler, Hornby.