Mark 6:26-30

Mark 6:26 (KJB)
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.

The king was very grieved at this request but his hands were tied and there was no way he could get out of the oath since he made it in front of all his guests and no doubting the guests were those who had high standing in the community along with political officials. If he reneged on his oath, then the word would spread that his word was worthless and he could never be trusted, so to save face and keep his standing among his friends and associates, he gave the order to have it done.

Mark 6:27 (KJB)
And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,

There was no one in the room who came to Johnís defense, I guess because they all feared that if they did, then their head would come off along with Johnís. Now John was not being held in this palace but at his palace in Machaerus which was about four days journey from Tiberias where the birthday party was being held. John had no trial or sentence on his head, this was outright murder at the behest of a power hungry woman and a weak king. The executioner was a guardsman, probably a Roman guard because without Romeís approval, no one could be put to death.

Mark 6:28 (KJB)
And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.

Now apparently the time of the celebration of Herodís birthday was past and the head of John the Baptist was given to Herodias some time after the festivities were over. The word in the Greek for ďdamselĒ denotes that Salome was an unmarried, young woman. She had the same evil qualities as her mother did. Here is another parallel between Elijah and John the Baptist. Elijah contended with the evil queen Jezebel and John the Baptist contended with the evil queen Herodias. Now that she had the head of John the Baptist, she probably thought that there was smooth sailing ahead and that there was no chance of her becoming a divorcee.

Mark 6:29 (KJB)
And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.

Once Johnís disciples heard that he was beheaded in the prison, they took his headless body and had given it a proper burial. Like Paul, it seemed that since John had no official charges against him except telling the truth, he was allowed to have visitors and his disciples had visited him because he dispatched disciples to speak to Jesus and ask what was going on in His ministry, especially if He was the one they were waiting for or if they should look for another. Josephus, the Jewish historian, wrote that Herod never gave out the real reason why he had John beheaded. Instead he stated that his followers were about to instigate an armed uprising. It was probably from this time forward that the disciples of John became followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mark 6:30 (KJB)
And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.

Now the twelve Apostles completed their missionary journey and it may have been this missionary journey which caused Herod to believe that John the Baptist was risen from the dead. In verses 14 to 29, Mark gives the circumstances surrounding how John was put to death by Herod. It is placed here because to understand why Herod was worried about John rising from the dead, details would have to be known as to how he died. Then the apostles had come unto Jesus and reported to Him their teachings and the works which accompanied those teachings. Those works included miracles of healing and casting out devils from possessed people.