Mat 14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch, Herod of Antipas, heard the news about Jesus, Mat 14:2 and said to his servants, "This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him." Mat 14:3 For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. Mat 14:4 For John had been saying to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her." Mat 14:5 Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet. Mat 14:6 But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod, Mat 14:7 so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. Mat 14:8 Having been prompted by her mother, she *said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist." Mat 14:9 Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests. Mat 14:10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. Mat 14:11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. Mat 14:12 His disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus.
Matthew 14 is another fully charged chapter in book of Matthew. There is much to learn within this chapter. Some of it for Christians was familiar like Jesus walking on water, the beheading of John the Baptist and much more. The first 12 verses are about John the Baptist. You can learn more by listening to the audio Got questions.org Audio is here.
Let’s research the people who are important in these verses. I will take them in the order they appear in the verses.
Herod the tetrarch; also named Herod of Antipas; Tetrarch refers to 1/4th of Herod the Great’s land keeping ¼ for his own. Herod the Antipas was the son of Herod the Great he was the Herod that had all the male children killed when Christ was born, Matthew 2:16. Herod the Great had four sons, Herod Antipas, Herod Archelaus, and Herod II. Without further study I do not know all of the mothers. Herod the Great had five wives I think.
Herod of Antipas beheaded John the Baptist because Herodias danced for him. Herod offered her anything and she asked for John the Baptist’s head. Herod of Antipas arrested John the Baptist because John was calling Herod’s marriage to Herodias illegal. It have been adultery.
John the Baptist John the Baptist was related to Jesus through the mothers, Luke 1:36. John was prophesized, Isaiah 40:3; Mal. 3:1; Matt. 3:3,;
Herodias She was the wife of Herod II Son of Herod the Great. The Herods were an extremely construed family. The following is r Life Application New Testament Commentary. Herod’s personal guilt was well placed, for he had ordered John to be arrested and imprisoned. Ironically, this “powerful” king did this in response to pressure from Herodias (the former wife of Herod’s brother Philip). Philip was Herod’s half brother. When Herod Antipas met Herodias, his brother’s wife, he divorced his first wife and married Herodias. Herodias was the daughter of Aristobulus, another half brother. Thus, Herodias was a half niece to both Philip and Herod (and they, in turn, were her half uncles). She married her half uncle Philip and then divorced him to marry another half uncle, Herod. Thus, in marrying, Herodias and Herod had committed adultery, as well as a type of incest. John the Baptist condemned Herod and Herodias for living immorally. It was illegal for Herod to be married to her.
This was a horrible family and they were drunk with their own power. Herod of Antipas feared the reprisal that might have come from those that loved John the Baptist but when Herodias danced, I would thing in a sensuous manner, he offered anything she wanted. She asked for John’s head and Herod of Antipas was cornered. He had dinner guest there along with Herodias’s mother so to avoid embarrassment he decapitated John.
There is a moral here. If you put yourself in a position where peer pressure can be used to force you to do something that you do not want to do. It would be better to say nothing than to commit a sin in the Lord’s eyes.