New Defender's Study Bible Notes
6:20 Herod feared John. John the Baptist, observed carefully and responsively by Herod, was acknowledged by the latter to be righteous and godly in all respects. It was only the anger of his illicit wife, Herodias, that caused him to arrest John, and then the influence of the sensuous dancing of her daughter that persuaded him to execute John. At least he would not allow John’s body to be further defiled, turning it over to his disciples for honorable burial. John, the first Christian preacher, thus became the first Christian martyr.