Matthew 14:7-12

Mat 14:7 (KJB)
Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.

Her dance was so moving to him, obviously in a sexual way that he was willing to make an oath in front of all the guests that he would grant her whatever she had asked. Alcohol and promiscuity are two major reasons for the downfall of many a politician. He promised her that whatever she asked for, he would do it.

Mat 14:8 (KJB)
And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger.

Basically her mother and her were in collusion about what to ask for. It was a planned event where Salome would dance very provocatively knowing that when a man has a few drinks, his defense mechanisms are lowered drastically plus he had made the oath in front of all the guests. So Salome already knew what she wanted and that was the murder of John the Baptist so there would be no further chance of John convincing Herod to abandon their marriage and send her packing. The charger was a big plate or platter.

Mat 14:9 (KJB)
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.

Sorry - Grieved, distressed, or sorrowful

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.

Mat 14:10 (KJB)
And he sent, and beheaded John 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.

Mat 14:11 (KJB)
And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought 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.

Mat 14:12 (KJB)
And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.

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. Once they had buried Johnís body, they had come and told Jesus the events which surrounded Johnís demise. 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.

Back