Today we’d like to tell you about one of the most vicious women in the Bible. Buckle up for this real-life horror story! Meet the one and only Herodias. Does her name ring a bell? Maybe you’re familiar with the male version of her name- Herod. He was her grandfather, and most widely recognized as either “Herod the Great” or “King Herod”, who ruled Judea during Jesus’ life on this earth. Perhaps evil runs through the bloodline, because Herodias was just as wicked as her grandfather!
Our story starts with some funky marriage relationships. Herodias first married her uncle (ew!) and then later, King Herod’s son (also named Herod- they sure loved to pass those family names down the line!) took Herodias, his own brother’s wife, to be his wife. Not sure which is worse here- the disgust or the low blow to his brother! But leave it to John the Baptist, one of Jesus’ faithful followers, to be there to confront Herod of these sinful ways. Of course, Herod hated this and immediately put John in prison. Wowza, sure seems a little harsh, but just wait- this is where the plot really thickens…
You see, Herodias was just as furious with John the Baptist as Herod was, because his words brought great shame to her too. His words were like a big flashing arrow pointing right to the impurity of her marriage. Just what every woman would want on display… NOT! Herodias knew she had to get John the Baptist to stop talking because what if her first husband got wind of this? What if she lost her position as queen? These were risks that Herodias wasn’t willing to let linger. So, she took matters into her own hands and concocted an evil plan. And when we say evil… we mean it.
She dressed her own daughter immodestly (uh oh, there goes her mom of the year award!) and sent her dancing to Herod when he was drunk. Are you surprised her daughter went along with this strange plan? She must’ve really loved and respected her mother! Being swept away in that moment, Herod agreed to give his daughter whatever she wanted. And following the direction from her conniving mother, she asked for the head of John the Baptist. THE HEAD! And without skipping a beat, Herod had John the Baptist beheaded and delivered his head on a plate to his daughter. Ummmm- gross!! If I was his daughter, I think I would’ve either vomited or fainted!
And there ya have it- Herodias went down in biblical history as the one who had the great John the Baptist’s beheaded. Not exactly the legacy we hope for! So, what in the world can we take away from Herodias’ story? She’s basically the poster child for what NOT to do! May we keep our marriages pure, holy, and honoring to God, and may we not run in fear when God confronts us of our sin, but instead repent, learn, and grow from our mistakes. And may we lead our children in such a way that honors God! Read more about Herodias’ crazy story in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, or Luke.
Story by Shelby Bowers