the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
(1) The custom of observing birthdays of great men, especially of kings, was widespread in ancient times (see Genesis 40:20 f, "the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday ," etc.; compare 2 Macc 6:7; and Herod. ix.110; in the New Testament, Matthew 14:6; Mark 6:21 , "Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords," etc., i.e. Herod Antipas). Here we see the ancient custom reflected in two conspicuous instances centuries apart: ( a ) Pharaoh, on his birthday "made a feast unto all his servants," etc., and ( b ) Herod on his birthday "made a supper to his lords, and the high captains," etc. The King James Version ( Matthew 14:6 ) has it "when Herod's birthday was kept," etc.
The correct text here (Tischendorf, Westcott-Hort) has a very peculiar construction, but without material difference of meaning. The locative case gives the time of the principal action, "danced on Herod's birthday, when it occurred." The construction is not unexampled (see Jelf, section 699). This need not be called "a case absolute," though it corresponds to the Latin ablative (locative) absolute; and the Greek genitive absolute is itself not really "absolute," i.e. it is not cut loose from the rest of the construction, but gives some event to which the principal action is referred, for the indication of its circumstances.
(2) The term "birthday" (τὰ γενέσια ,
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Birthday'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​isb/​b/birthday.html. 1915.