At that time Herod [Antipas], the tetrarch [who governed a portion of Palestine including Galilee and Perea], heard the reports about Jesus, and said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has been raised from the dead, and that is why the miraculous powers are at work in him.”
For Herod had John arrested and bound him and put him in prison [at the fortress of Machaerus, east of the Jordan, to keep him away] because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, for John had said to him, “It is not lawful (morally right) for you to have her [living with you as your wife].” Although Herod wished to have him put to death, he feared the people, for they regarded John as a prophet.
But when Herod’s birthday came, [his niece Salome], the daughter of Herodias danced [immodestly] before them and pleased and fascinated Herod, so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. She, being coached by her mother [Herodias], said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” The king was distressed, but because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests, he ordered it to be given her. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother [Herodias]. And John’s disciples came and took away the body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.