Herodias and Salome
Wife and Step-Daughter of Herod Antipas
Herodias is the Jezebel of the New Testament. First she married her uncle, Herod Phillip. Antipas, half-brother of Phillip, came to Rome to receive his investiture as a Tetrarch and was entertained by Phillip. The hospitality was basely rewarded by the intrigues of Herodias and Antipas. Ambitious and shameless she agreed to come to him upon his return and after he had divorced his wife. this was an accomplished.
John the Baptist fearlessly told Herod that it was not lawful for him to have his brother’s wife. Herodias was furious and swore vengeance upon John. Antipas, though a tyrant, feared John and for a time stood between the prophet and the woman who thirsted for his blood. Nothing but the death of John the Baptist would satisfy the resentment of Herodias. Though foiled once she continued to watch her opportunity.
There was a great banquet at Maræreus in honor of Herod’s birthday. While the drunken revelry was at its height, Herodias sent in her daughter Salome as a ballet dancer for the revelers. They were charmed, and Herod in his drunken delight promised to give anything she asked, even to the the half of his kingdom (though he could not give away the smallest village without permission from Rome). The royal dancer retired, consulted with her mother and returned, demanding the head of John on one of the great platters of the banquet table.
Herod was shocked into soberness and sought to extricate himself and save John, but he could neither face the laugh of his guests nor the wrath of Herodias, and the ghastly gift was brought.
Herod’s fortunes soon declined. Urged by Herodias, he sought the title of King, from Caesar. The jealousy of Agrippa was aroused; charges were brought against him, he was stripped of his power and banished. His guilty companion followed him and both died in exile. The only redeeming feature in this woman’s character is that she evidently loved Antipas and voluntarily chose exile with him.
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.