King Herod heard of Jesus, for Jesusâ€™ name had become known. Some were saying, â€˜John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.â€™ But others said, â€˜It is Elijah.â€™ And others said, â€˜It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.â€™ But when Herod heard of it, he said, â€˜John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.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€˜It 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€˜Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.â€™ And he solemnly swore to her, â€˜Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.â€™ She went out and said to her mother, â€˜What should I ask for?â€™ She replied, â€˜The head of John the baptizer.â€™ Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, â€˜I 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.