Herodias was the granddaughter of Herod the Great, the Herod who had all the baby boys killed in Bethlehem. This was the same Herod who murdered his wife and three of his sons.
Herodias married Herod’s son Philip, her uncle. They had a daughter named Salome. One day Philip’s half brother, Herod Antipas came for a visit. Antipas and Herodias fell in lust with each other, divorced their spouses, and marred each other.
John the Baptist called out Herod Antipas, saying that his marriage to Herodias was unlawful. This angered Antipas, but he didn’t do anything because he feared John’s followers. He considered John a just man, and he enjoyed listening to John speak, but he couldn’t abide by John’s treasonous behavior, so he did put John in prison.
Herodias was not a fan of John. She wanted to get rid of John the Baptist. Her opportunity came at her husband’s birthday celebration.
As part of the birthday entertainment for his feast with the nobles, high officers, and chief men of Galilee, Herodias’ daughter Salome danced provocatively for Antipas and his guests.
Caught up in the moment, Herod Antipas offered Salome anything she wanted up to half the kingdom. Not knowing what to ask for, she turned to her mother. Herodias told Salome to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter.
Though Antipas liked John, he couldn’t say no without losing face, so he ordered the beheading of John and brought his head to Salome and Herodias.
Herodias was guilty not only of the murder of John the Baptist, but also for involving her daughter and her husband in her dirty deed.
Read about Herodias: Matthew 14:3-12
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