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He told his officials, “This man has to be John the Baptizer who has come back from the dead. That’s why he has this power to work miracles.”[a]

For Herod had earlier arrested John for confronting him over taking the wife of his brother Philip. He had John thrown in prison and placed in chains because John had repeatedly said to him, “It’s not legal or proper for you to be married to Herodias, your sister-in-law!”[b]

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  1. Matthew 14:2 The Aramaic is “This is why powers are emanating from him.” Herod believed that it was the spirit of John working through Jesus, not the Spirit of God.
  2. Matthew 14:4 Herod Antipas wanted to take his brother’s wife so he divorced his wife, a Nabatean princess, and Herodias divorced Philip so they could marry each other. This was why John confronted Herod. See Lev. 18:16.