Matthew 14:1-12

Herod's soldiers kill John the Baptist

1 At that time, people told Herod about the things that Jesus was doing. 2 Herod said to his servants, ‘That man Jesus is really John the Baptist. John died but he has become alive again. That is the reason why this man can do these very powerful things.’

14:1Herod was the ruler in one of the four parts of Israel at that time.

3 Before that, Herod had commanded his soldiers, ‘Take hold of John. Tie his hands and feet and put him in prison.’ Herod had done this because of his wife Herodias. Before Herod married her, she was the wife of Herod's brother Philip. 4 John had said to Herod, ‘Herodias was your brother's wife. So it is not right for you to have her as your wife.’

14:4Herodias had left Philip, her husband. Herod married her. So John told him what Moses had written in the Law. The Law said, ‘A man must not marry his brother's wife while his brother is still alive.’ Herod was not happy with John when he told him that. So Herod sent his men to put John in prison.

5 Herod wanted to tell his soldiers that they must kill John. But the people thought that John was a prophet from God. So Herod was afraid to kill him.

6 One day, when it was Herod's birthday, he asked people to come to a special meal. The daughter of Herodias danced in front of him and his visitors. Her dance caused Herod to become very happy. 7 He said to the girl, ‘Ask me for anything that you want. I make a strong promise that I will give it to you.’ 8 Herodias suggested to her daughter, ‘Ask Herod to give you John's head.’ So the girl said to Herod, ‘Give me the head of John the Baptist on a plate.’ 9 Then Herod felt sad. But he had made a special promise to the girl, and his visitors had heard him. So he sent his men to do what she had asked for. 10 He said to a soldier, ‘Go to the prison and cut off John's head.’ 11 The soldier did this. Then he brought the head on a plate and he gave it to the girl. The girl took it and gave it to her mother.

12 After this, John's disciples went to the prison. They took away John's body and they buried it. Then they went and they told Jesus what had happened.