(public domain)

Herodias was one of the Bible’s most famed villainesses. She to be a Jewish princess and also the ruler of Galilee.

You are watching: Why did salome want john head

<1> She was the mam of the renowned Herod Antipas, that played a big part in the execution that Jesus of Nazareth. Herodias is best known for prompting she daughter Salome to have actually John the Baptist’s “head ~ above a silver platter.” <2>

Herodias was a Jewish princess. She parents were Aristobulus, the child of Herod the great, and also Bernice, the daughter that Herod the Great’s sister, Salome.<3> Her siblings contained Herod Agrippa, the future king that Judea,<4> and sister Mariamme.<5> 

Herodias married she half-uncle, Herod “Without-Land”.<6> Shortly after she marriage, she boring a daughter named Salome. It to be not lengthy when she husband’s brother, Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, dropped in love through Herodias and also desired come marry her.<7> However, both Herodias and Herod Antipas were married. Herod Antipas had married the daughter the the Nabataean King Aretas IV. However, this difficulty did not seem to become an obstacle to them. Castle divorced your spouses and married each various other in 27 A.D. Historians assume the the reason why Herodias married Herod Antipas to be for ambitious reasons.<8> Her ex-husband was supposed to it is in the heir of Herod the Great, yet he easily fell the end of favour. Herod Antipas was the ruler of Galilee and Perea. Whereas Herod “Without-Land” to be lazy and had no politics ambition or power.<9>

The marriage in between Herod Antipas and also Herodias resulted in outrage amongst the people, that saw it together a violation the the Jewish law since it to be forbidden because that a guy to marry his brother’s divorced wife.<10> John the Baptist was the leader the the opposition, and also Antipas had actually him imprisoned.<11>

It is at this suggest that the scriptures would immortalise she forever as the one who instigated the death of john the Baptist. According to the Bible, Herodias wanted john the Baptist dead since of his opposition. Herod admired john for his honesty and goodness and also was reluctant to death him. Throughout a banquet because that Herod’s birthday feast, Salome danced for Herod and pleased that greatly. The told she “Ask me anything, and also I will provide it to you.” <12> He additionally swore, “I will provide you anything you ask, even half the kingdom.” <13> Salome visited her mother and asked she what she need to ask for, and Herodias replied, “The head of john the Baptist.” <14> When Salome said Herod the she wanted john the Baptist’s head ~ above a silver- platter, Herod hated to kill him however didn’t want to break his oath. He had actually John executed, lugged the head top top the silver- platter, and gave it to Salome, in which she gave it to she mother.<15>

While this popular story has come down to united state for millenniums, the truth of this story is highly unlikely.<16> Respectable ladies at the moment did not dine v men.<17> Only women of dishonourable call would have danced in ~ the banquet.<18> Salome, gift a princess, would not have danced for Herod because it would have actually damaged her reputation in the marital relationship market. Salome additionally may not have been of age to dance because that Herod.<19> Therefore, the legend the Salome is most likely a principles tale that is called to store women virtuous.<20> Even if Herodias did have actually a hand in man the Baptist’s death, the many likely human who arranged john the Baptist’s fatality is Herod Antipas himself for politics reasons.<21> 

During her marital relationship to Herod Antipas, Herodias to be deeply connected in politics and was a significant force throughout Herod Antipas’s reign and rivalries, particularly with her brother, Herod Agrippa.<22> When Emperor Caligula make Herod Agrippa king in 37 A.D., Herodias was humiliated at she brother’s elevation.<23> In 39 B.C., she convinced her husband to go to Rome to look for the same title himself.<24> However, when Herod Antipas arrived in Rome, the Emperor, believing in Herod Agrippa’s slanders around Herod Antipas, banished him come Lugdunum (modern-day Lyons) in Gaul.<25> Herod Antipas likewise had come give every one of his fortune to Herod Agrippa. Emperor Caligula allowed Herodias to remain in Galilee. However, Herodias made decision to go through her husband to exile.<26> She died sometime ~ 40 A.D.<27>

Herodias was a mrs of politics ambition. Together Herod Antipas’s wife, she worked out power and control every her life, which led to criticism amongst ancient writers favor Josephus, Mark, and also Matthew.<28> Was she undoubtedly the scheming villainess who was responsible because that the death of john the Baptist, or has she to be made a scapegoat that history? nobody knows, however there is no denying the reality that Herodias was a powerful, prominent woman in the early on Roman empire.


“Herodias.” Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 13 Aug. 2017.

“Herodias (c. 14 BCE–after 40 C.E.).” Dictionary of females Worldwide: 25,000 women Through

the Ages, edited by anne Commire and also Deborah Klezmer, vol. 1, Yorkin Publications,

2007, p. 867.

Kraemer, Ross S. “Implicating Herodias and also Her Daughter in the fatality of john the Baptizer: A

(Christian) Theological Strategy?” Journal that Biblical Literature, vol. 125, no. 2, 2006,

pp. 321-349.

Schalit, Abraham. “Herodias.” Encyclopaedia Judaica, edited by Michael Berenbaum and also Fred

Skolnik, 2nd ed., vol. 9, Macmillan recommendation USA, 2007, p. 39.

The brand-new American Bible, revised Edition. 1986th ed., Saint Benedict Press, 2011.

See more: How Much Does A Ton Of Asphalt Cover S How Many Square Feet At 3 Inches Thick?

Walsh, J. P. M. “Herodias.” New Catholic Encyclopedia, second ed., vol. 6, Gale, 2003, p. 804.