6 Feb 2009
King Herod heard of it, for Jesusâ€™ name had become known. Some were saying, â€œJohn the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.â€ But others said, â€œIt is Elijah.â€ And others said, â€œIt is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.â€ But when Herod heard of it, he said, â€œJohn, whom I beheaded, has been raised.â€
Â For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philipâ€™s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, â€œIt is not lawful for you to have your brotherâ€™s wife.â€ And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, â€œAsk me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.â€ And he solemnly swore to her, â€œWhatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.â€ She went out and said to her mother, â€œWhat should I ask for?â€ She replied, â€œThe head of John the baptizer.â€ Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, â€œI want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.â€ The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring Johnâ€™s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.