Mark 6

14 Herod was obviously concerned and confused about the reports he heard about Jesus. The message of Jesus was similar in many respects to John's message, which probably explains the confusion.
15 The Herods were of Jewish descent, but were far more concerned about politics than their religion. It is not surprising that he would have Jewish advisors that were more familiar with Jewish customs and Scripture. These advisors suggested that Jesus' ministry was more similar to that of a great prophet than to John's ministry.
18 Herod's marriage to Herodias was illegal in the eyes of Jewish Law (although not illegal under Roman law).
19 This so infuriated Herodias that she wanted John executed. Apparently, she saw herself above Jewish laws. She also apparently felt that any criticism of her (or Herod's) actions amounted to treason.
20 Herod, however, was intrigued by John. Perhaps he enjoyed the idea of having a prophet that he could listen to (and obviously ignore) whenever he wanted to. John was also popular among the Jews, and executing him for a supposed insult to his marriage would not be politically wise. Herod was already alienated by the Jewish people, and most of them agreed with John on the question of Herod's marriage.
22 It is thought that Herod may have had incestuous desires for his stepdaughter, Salome. Pagan dances were often intended to be seductive in nature, and were usually performed by slaves, not by princesses. It appears that Herodias used what she knew of Herod to set a trap for him.
23 This is an empty promise made to impress. It is unlikely that Herod had the authority to give half his kingdom to anyone without consent from Rome. Some have suggested that what Herod had in mind was for his stepdaughter to ask to be his next bride.
24 Salome hesitated to ask for a wish immediately. She had probably been prompted to speak to her mother if this opportunity came up. Herodias obviously planned this scenario, and used her daughter to get to Herod. Her daughter's wish was really a front for Herodias' wish.
25 This must have been a strange sight indeed. Salome rushes back to the king's side and demands the head of John the Baptist be delivered to her on a platter.
26 Obviously, this is not what Herod expected, and regretted that he could not take back his promise. Apparently in this atmosphere, it was "nobler" for Herod to keep his ill-made promise than to spare the life of a popular prophet.
28 Herod carried out the wish, and Herodias had her prize. Through cunning, she had killed a man for telling her that she had done something that offended God. Since it appears that Herodias never repented of these things, it is certain that she will face even a worse fate when she faces God on Judgement day.
29 John's disciples did what they could to give him a proper burial.