Matthew 14:1

John the Baptist Beheaded

1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus,

Matthew 14:1 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
English Standard Version (ESV)
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus,
New Living Translation (NLT)
1 When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about Jesus,
The Message Bible (MSG)
1 At about this time, Herod, the regional ruler, heard what was being said about Jesus.
American Standard Version (ASV)
1 At that season Herod the tetrarch heard the report concerning Jesus,
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
1 At that time Herod, ruler of Galilee, heard the news about Jesus.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
1 At that time Herod, the ruler of Galilee and Perea, heard reports about Jesus.

Matthew 14:1 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 14:1

At that time Herod the tetrarch
Not Herod the Great, in whose reign Christ was born, and who slew the infants of Bethlehem, but his son; this was, as the Jewish chronologer F3 rightly observes,

``Herod Antipater, whom they call (yqrtyj) , "the tetrarch"; the son of Herod the First, and brother of Archelaus, and the third king of the family of Herod.''

And though he is here called a "tetrarch", he is in ( Mark 6:14 ) called a king: the reason of his being styled a "tetrarch" was this; his father Herod divided his large kingdom into four parts, and bequeathed them to his sons, which was confirmed by the Roman senate: Archelaus reigned in Judea in his stead; upon whose decease, that part was put under the care of a Roman governor; who, when John the Baptist began to preach, was Pontius Pilate; this same Herod here spoken of, being "tetrarch" of Galilee, which was the part assigned him; and his brother Philip "tetrarch" of Ituraea, and of the region of Trachonitis; and Lysanias, "tetrarch" of Abilene, ( Luke 3:1 ) the word "tetrarch": signifying one that has the "fourth" part of government: and in Munster's Hebrew Gospel, he is called "one of the four princes"; and in the Arabic version, "a prince of the fourth part"; and in the Persic, a "governor of the fourth part of the kingdom". The "time" referred to, was after the death of John the Baptist; and when Christ had been for a good while, and in many places, preaching and working miracles; the particular instant which respect is had unto, is the sending forth of the twelve disciples to preach and work miracles; and which might serve the more to spread the fame of Christ, and which reached the court of Herod; who, it is said here,

heard of the fame of Jesus:
what a wonderful preacher he was, and what mighty things were done by him.


F3 David Ganz. Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 25. 2. and so in Juchasin, fol. 142. 2.

Matthew 14:1 In-Context

1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus,
2 and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
3 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,
4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.”
5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Mark 8:15; Luke 3:1,19; Luke 13:31; Luke 23:7,8; Acts 4:27; Acts 12:1
  • 2. Luke 9:7-9
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