The Death of John the Baptist

For it was Herod who had sent and seized John and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because he had married her. For John had been saying to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.

And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly.

But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. For when Herodias’s daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests.

And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you.” And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.”

And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?”

And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.”

And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”

And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given. And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb, and they went and told Jesus.

Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself.

Mark 6:17-18; Matthew 14:5; Mark 6:19-26; Matthew 14:9; Mark 6:27-29; Matthew 14:12-13