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Salome

Meaning: perfect

The name of two biblical women…

  1. The wife of Zebedee and mother of James and John (Matthew 27:56), and probably the sister of Mary, the mother of our Lord (John 19:25)

    She sought for her sons places of honor in Christ's kingdom (Matthew 20:20-21; compare 19:28). She witnessed the crucifixion (Mark 15:40), and was present with the other women at the sepulchre (Matthew 27:56).

  2. Princess Salome—“The daughter of Herodias,” not named in the New Testament

    On the occasion of the birthday festival held by Herod Antipas, who had married her mother Herodias, in the fortress of Machaerus, she “came in and danced, and pleased Herod” (Mark 6:14-29). John the Baptist, at that time a prisoner in the dungeons underneath the castle, was at her request beheaded by order of Herod, and his head given to the damsel in a charger, “and the damsel gave it to her mother,” whose revengeful spirit was thus gratified.

    “A luxurious feast of the period was not regarded as complete unless it closed with some gross pantomimic representation; and doubtless Herod had adopted the evil fashion of his day. But he had not anticipated for his guests the rare luxury of seeing a princess, his own niece, a grand-daughter of Herod the Great and of Mariamne, a descendant, therefore, of Simon the high priest and the great line of Maccabean princes, a princess who afterwards became the wife of a tetrarch [Philip, tetrarch of Trachonitis] and the mother of a king, honoring them by degrading herself into a scenic dancer” (Farrar, Life of Christ).

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