Now King Herod heard about all this, because Jesus' reputation had spread everywhere. Some people were saying, "John the Baptist has come back to life! That is why he has this power to perform miracles." 1
Others, however, said, "He is Elijah." Others said, "He is a prophet, like one of the prophets of long ago."
When Herod heard it, he said, "He is John the Baptist! I had his head cut off, but he has come back to life!"
Herod himself had ordered John's arrest, and he had him tied up and put in prison. Herod did this because of Herodias, whom he had married, even though she was the wife of his brother Philip. 2
John the Baptist kept telling Herod, "It isn't right for you to marry your brother's wife!"
So Herodias held a grudge against John and wanted to kill him, but she could not because of Herod.
Herod was afraid of John because he knew that John was a good and holy man, and so he kept him safe. He liked to listen to him, even though he became greatly disturbed every time he heard him.
Finally Herodias got her chance. It was on Herod's birthday, when he gave a feast for all the top government officials, the military chiefs, and the leading citizens of Galilee.
The daughter of Herodias came in and danced, and pleased Herod and his guests. So the king said to the girl, "What would you like to have? I will give you anything you want."
With many vows he said to her, "I swear that I will give you anything you ask for, even as much as half my kingdom!"
So the girl went out and asked her mother, "What shall I ask for?" "The head of John the Baptist," she answered.
The girl hurried back at once to the king and demanded, "I want you to give me here and now the head of John the Baptist on a plate!"
This made the king very sad, but he could not refuse her because of the vows he had made in front of all his guests.
So he sent off a guard at once with orders to bring John's head. The guard left, went to the prison, and cut John's head off;
then he brought it on a plate and gave it to the girl, who gave it to her mother.
When John's disciples heard about this, they came and got his body, and buried it.