For previously Herod had arrested John and had him bound and put in prison, all on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. For John had said to him, “It is not right for you to have this woman.” Herod wanted to kill him for this, but he was afraid of the people, since they all thought John was a prophet. But during Herod’s birthday celebrations Herodias’ daughter delighted him by dancing before his guests, so much so that he swore to give her anything she liked to ask. And she, prompted by her mother, said, “I want you to give me, here and now, on a dish, the head of John the Baptist!” Herod was aghast at this, but because he had sworn in front of his guests, he gave orders that she should be given what she had asked. So he sent men and had John beheaded in the prison. Then his head was carried in on a dish and presented to the young girl who handed it to her mother.
Herod had arrested John, put him in chains, and sent him to prison to placate Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. John had provoked Herod by naming his relationship with Herodias “adultery.” Herod wanted to kill him, but he was afraid because so many people revered John as a prophet of God.
Herod’s brother Philip had married a woman named Herodias, who eventually married Herod. John denounced Herod’s marriage to her as adulterous. Herod was incensed (not to mention a little fearful) and wanted to kill John, but he knew the people considered John a prophet. Instead, he bound John and put him in jail.
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