When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about Jesus,
References for Matthew 14:1
he said to his advisers, “This must be John the Baptist raised from the dead! That is why he can do such miracles.”
For Herod had arrested and imprisoned John as a favor to his wife Herodias (the former wife of Herod’s brother Philip).
John had been telling Herod, “It is against God’s law for you to marry her.”
Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of a riot, because all the people believed John was a prophet.
But at a birthday party for Herod, Herodias’s daughter performed a dance that greatly pleased him,
so he promised with a vow to give her anything she wanted.
At her mother’s urging, the girl said, “I want the head of John the Baptist on a tray!”
Then the king regretted what he had said; but because of the vow he had made in front of his guests, he issued the necessary orders.
So John was beheaded in the prison,
and his head was brought on a tray and given to the girl, who took it to her mother.
Later, John’s disciples came for his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what had happened.