57 Herod thinks John the Baptizer has returned from the dead.

Leviticus 18:16; 20:21; Matthew 14:1–12; Mark 6:14–29; Luke 9:7–9

If John the Baptizer performed no miracles, why might Herod have believed he was the source of Jesus’ power to do miracles (Mark 6:14–16)?

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Why did people have different ideas about who Jesus was (Mark 6:14–15)?

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In what ways were people’s freedom of speech limited (Mark 6:17–18)?

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Why might people have thought John was a prophet (Matthew 14:5)?

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What do you think Herod liked about John’s message (Mark 6:19–20)?

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Who attended Herod’s birthday feast (Mark 6:21)?

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What was so pleasing about Herodias’s daughter’s dance (Mark 6:22)?

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Why was John’s head on a platter worth more than “half the kingdom” (Mark 6:23–24)?

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Why was Herod obligated to do what Herodias’s daughter asked (Mark 6:25–28)?

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How did John’s disciples learn the details about what had happened (Mark 6:29)?

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Why did John’s disciples think it was important to tell Jesus (Matthew 14:12)?

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Herod the tetrarch, ruler of Galilee, received reports about Jesus because news was spreading everywhere. “The spirit of John the Baptizer has returned from the dead,” some said. “That is why he has the power to do such miracles.” Others said, “He is Elijah,” or, “He is like one of the great prophets who lived long ago.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:1 When Herod, ruler of Galilee, received reports about Jesus,
Mark 6:14–15 King Herod heard about Jesus because news was spreading everywhere. “The spirit of John the Baptizer has returned from the dead,” some said. “That is why he has the power to do such miracles.” Others said, “He is Elijah,” or, “He is like one of the great prophets who lived long ago.”
Luke 9:7–8 When Herod the tetrarch received reports about Jesus, he was troubled because some had said the spirit of John had returned from the dead. Others said, “He is Elijah,” or, “He is like one of the great prophets who lived long ago.”
King James

Matthew 14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
Mark 6:14–15 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.
Luke 9:7–8 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead; And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again.

When Herod heard all of this, he said, “It is John. The spirit of the one I beheaded has come back from the dead.” He was troubled. “No,” he said, “I had John beheaded. So who is the man who is doing such amazing things?” Herod wanted to see him.

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:1–2 When Herod, ruler of Galilee, received reports about Jesus, he said to his aides, “He must have the spirit of John the Baptizer who has returned from the dead. That is why he has the power to do such miracles.”
Mark 6:16 But when Herod heard all of this, he said, “It is John. The one I beheaded has come back from the dead.”
Luke 9:9 “I had John beheaded,” Herod said, “so who is the man who is doing such amazing things?” Herod wanted to see him.
King James

Matthew 14:1–2 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
Mark 6:16 But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.
Luke 9:9 And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.

Earlier, Herod had taken Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, to be his wife. He had John arrested, bound in chains, and put in prison for saying to him, “Under God’s law, you have no right to be married to her.”

Eyewitness

Leviticus 18:16 Never be intimate with your sister-in-law. She is your brother’s wife.
Leviticus 20:21 If a man marries his brother’s wife, he has done wrong, disgracing his brother. They will have no children.
Matthew 14:3–4 Earlier, Herod had taken Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, to be his wife. He had John arrested, bound in chains, and put in prison for saying to him, “Under God’s law, you have no right to be married to her.”
Mark 6:17–18 Earlier, Herod had taken Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, to be his wife. He had John arrested, bound in chains, and put in prison for saying to him, “Under God’s law, you have no right to be married to her.”
King James

Leviticus 18:16 Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: it is thy brother’s nakedness.
Leviticus 20:21 And if a man shall take his brother’s wife, it is an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall be childless.
Matthew 14:3–4 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.
Mark 6:17–18 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife.

Herodias was furious with John and wished she had the power to have him killed. She could not, because Herod respected John as a righteous and holy man and feared all the people who thought he was a prophet. He found John’s words to be disturbing, yet he liked listening to him.

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:5 He would have put him to death, but he feared all the people who thought John was a prophet.
Mark 6:19–20 Herodias was furious with John and wished she had the power to have him killed. She could not, because Herod respected John as a righteous and holy man. He found John’s words to be disturbing, yet he liked listening to him.
King James

Matthew 14:5 And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
Mark 6:19–20 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

An opportunity came for Herodias during Herod’s birthday feast. Important government officials, military commanders, and prominent citizens of Galilee attended. Her daughter danced before Herod and his guests in a way that immensely pleased him. “Ask me for anything you want,” he said, “and I will give it to you. I swear, whatever you ask I will give, up to half my kingdom.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:6–7 During Herod’s birthday feast, Herodias’s daughter danced before his guests in a way that immensely pleased him, so much so that he swore to give her anything she wanted.
Mark 6:21–23 An opportunity came for Herodias during Herod’s birthday feast. Important government officials, military commanders, and prominent citizens of Galilee attended. Her daughter danced before Herod and his guests in a way that immensely pleased him. “Ask me for anything you want,” he said, “and I will give it to you. I swear, whatever you ask I will give, up to half my kingdom.”
King James

Matthew 14:6–7 But when Herod’s birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.
Mark 6:21–23 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.

The dancer left and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?”

Eyewitness

Mark 6:24 The dancer left and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” Her mother said, “The head of John the Baptizer.”
King James

Mark 6:24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.

Her mother said, “The head of John the Baptizer.”

Eyewitness

Mark 6:24 The dancer left and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” Her mother said, “The head of John the Baptizer.”
King James

Mark 6:24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.

Immediately, she went before the king and said, “Bring me John the Baptizer’s head on a platter.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:8 She answered with what her mother had told her to say. “Bring me John the Baptizer’s head on a platter.”
Mark 6:25 Immediately, she went before the king and said, “Bring me John the Baptizer’s head on a platter.”
King James

Matthew 14:8 And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.
Mark 6:25 And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.

This grieved the king, but because he had sworn an oath before his guests, he gave the order to the executioner to bring John’s head. So the executioner went to the prison and beheaded John. He brought the head on a platter and gave it to the girl, who took it to her mother.

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:9–11 This grieved the king, but because he had sworn an oath before his guests, he gave the order to have John beheaded in prison. The head was given to her on a platter, and she took it to her mother.
Mark 6:26–28 This grieved the king, but because he had sworn an oath before his guests, he gave the order to the executioner to bring John’s head. So the executioner went to the prison and beheaded John. He brought the head on a platter and gave it to the girl, who took it to her mother.
King James

Matthew 14:9–11 And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.
Mark 6:26–28 And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.

When John’s disciples heard what had happened, they claimed the body and buried him.

Eyewitness

Matthew 14:12 John’s disciples claimed the body, buried him, and then went and told Jesus what had happened.
Mark 6:29 When John’s disciples heard what had happened, they claimed the body and buried him.
King James

Matthew 14:12 And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
Mark 6:29 And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.