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Salome Suffered the Same Death She Decreed on John the Baptist

Updated on April 12, 2020
Cheryl E Preston profile image

Cheryl is a freelance writer, poet, newspaper columnist, minister and published author, and founder of two outreach ministries.

Salome dancing before Heord
Salome dancing before Heord

The daughter of Herodius

The Bible tells us in Matthew chapter 14:3-12 that Herod the tetrarch was married to his brother Phillip's wife Herodias, and John the Baptist told the ruler he was sinning. Herod had the prophet arrested even though he was intrigued by what he had to say. Herodias hated John and saw an opportunity to get rid of him. She asked her daughter to dance for the king and he was overtaken by lust for this girl. Herod promised Salome anything she wanted up to half of his kingdom. She spoke with her mother, who told Salome to request that Herod present her with the prophet's head and Salome complied. The king was beyond horrified but because of his oaths and the fact that his dinner guests heard him promise his stepdaughter whatever she wanted, he granted the evil request. John was beheaded and his head was given to Salome on a platter.

Today it is commonly said that she requested his head on a silver platter but scripture nor history indicates this is true. The temptress father receiving what she asked for, in turn, gave the prophet's head to her mother. John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus. The Bible does not name this girl but the Jewish historian Josephus says her name was Salome. This name has become synonymous with treachery, deceit, and the spirit of seduction over the years. Herodias basically prostituted her daughter out to her husband, using his lustful, incestuous eyes against him. Herod had sexual thoughts for his own brother's daughter and it led to the downfall of all three.

John the baptist preaching
John the baptist preaching

Josephus speaks

Josephus, the Jewish historian fills in details of this story that the Bible does not. In addition to giving a name to the daughter of Herodias, he also shares her final fate. Herod was overthrown by Aretas and lost his kingdom. Both he and Herodias were condemned to banishment by Emperor Caligula to Vienna, a city bordering upon Gaul, which lies in the utmost west of the area. They were later forced to go to Sapin, which was to be their place of exile and many believe it was God's judgment upon this wicked couple because of what they did to His prophet. Salome is said to have married her uncle Phillip, reigned as a queen and given birth to two children. No details are given of what transpired but at some point, this wicked girl made a fateful choice to leave the life she was living and it cost the temptress, her life.

Josephus writes that Salome could not bear to be apart from her mother and stepfather and decided to join them in exile. It's not clear if the daughter of Herodias met her end as she was on her way to Spain or if it happened while she was already living there. What is known is that it was wintertime, and Salome was crossing the river"Sikirus.": I was not able to find any reference to this particular river, except in the story as told by Josephus, but his works are considered by the Jewish people to be accurate. That body of water probably has a different name today.

Icy river
Icy river

Ice Ice baby/off with her head

It was reported that this wicked temptress was crossing the river on foot when the ice broke beneath her. She immediately sank down into the cold water up to her neck. The story goes that she wriggled, and jiggled, the lower part of her body that was beneath the water. History does not indicate who was with her to report this horrific tale but it is said that her movements underwater were similar to the same way she seductively danced, for the king when she asked for John's head. If true this is ironic indeed and I have no doubt that indeed this was the judgment of the Lord. Salome's head was glazed by the ice and eventually severed from her body by the sharp jagged edges, of the frozen water. John's beheading was swift and instant but the woman who asked for his head, suffered long before she died. In those moments of shock and impending death, I wonder if she recalled what she had done to the man of God and had a chance to repent.

The Lord does not tolerate those who come against His true prophets and this bears out today as well as it did in biblical times. In 2 Kings 2, 42 young boys made fun of Elisha by calling him bald head and 2 bears came out of nowhere and tore them to pieces. In 2 King chapter 9 Jezebel, who persecuted prophets of the Lord was thrown out a window and eaten by dogs. All that remained of this evil woman was the palm of her hands, the bottoms of her feet and her skull. In 2 Kings 1, two groups of 50 men were killed by fire from heaven because of the way they approached Elisha, but the captain of the third group of 50, asked for and received mercy. I know of several situations within the past decade where prophets went to a number of pastors and Bishops with warnings from the Lord and were mocked. Later these spiritual leaders all died. If there is any lesson to be learned from the story of Herod, Herodias, and Salome it is this: Heed the warnings of his prophets and keep your hands off of them, lest His wrath come upon you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Cheryl E Preston


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    • emge profile image

      MG Singh 

      2 weeks ago from Singapore

      I have known of this tale for years. It's awesome and your presentation superb.

    • OGUNDARE OLUSEGUN profile image


      2 weeks ago from NIGERIA

      Isa 3:11 Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.


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