At that time Herod, the ruler of Galilee, heard about Jesus.
"He is really John the Baptist, who has come back to life," he told his officials. "That is why he has this power to perform miracles."
For Herod had earlier ordered John's arrest, and he had him tied up and put in prison. He had done this because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. 1
References for Matthew 14:3
14.3, 4 Lk 3.19, 20.
For some time John the Baptist had told Herod, "It isn't right for you to be married to Herodias!" 2
References for Matthew 14:4
14.4 Lv 18.16; 20.21.
Herod wanted to kill him, but he was afraid of the Jewish people, because they considered John to be a prophet.
On Herod's birthday the daughter of Herodias danced in front of the whole group. Herod was so pleased
that he promised her, "I swear that I will give you anything you ask for!"
At her mother's suggestion she asked him, "Give me here and now the head of John the Baptist on a plate!"
The king was sad, but because of the promise he had made in front of all his guests he gave orders that her wish be granted.
So he had John beheaded in prison.
The head was brought in on a plate and given to the girl, who took it to her mother.
John's disciples came, carried away his body, and buried it; then they went and told Jesus.