Why We Need to Observe the Lesson and the Warning from the Two Salomes in the Bible

One Salome is a follower of God and is there when Jesus is crucified on the cross. The other Salome is more concerned with her own desires and her mother than anyone else.

Contributing Writer
Published Jun 24, 2021
Why We Need to Observe the Lesson and the Warning from the Two Salomes in the Bible

Salome? Do you recognize the name? Perhaps you have heard the name pronounced differently. Have you read Scripture about two women named Salome? Maybe this is the first time you have heard of Salome. Each person in Scripture is unique and has been given purpose by God. Although we don’t know many details about either of these women named Salome, there is importance in their existence. Each woman has a role to play in furthering the kingdom of God. One Salome is a follower of God and is there when Jesus is crucified on the cross. The other Salome is more concerned with her own desires and her mother than anyone else.

Who Were The Two Salomes in the Bible?

According to historians, there were two women named Salome in the Bible. One is referred to as the “righteous” and the other woman is called the “unrighteous.” Only one Salome is mentioned by name in Scripture. Why would only one Salome be referred to by name? There is no answer found in the Bible for that question. Yet, we can learn lessons from each woman. Scripture has important messages and lessons for us to glean each time we open the Bible. From reading Scripture about these two women, we can know that while our names may not be mentioned in conversation, our actions speak loudly. The actions of both of these women show who is important in their lives. One Salome showed her love for Jesus. The other showed her love for herself.

What Did Salome, Herod’s Daughter, Do?

One woman named Salome is referred to as the “unrighteous” by some historians. Scripture tells how Herod had imprisoned John the Baptist because he spoke out against Herod and his marriage to Herodias. This Salome was surrounded by her mother Herodias and King Herod, who divorced his wife and married Herodias, the wife of his half-brother Philip. The family history was filled with corrupt people, selfishness, and the need for power.

John the Baptist had been put in prison for speaking out and condemning the marriage of Herod Antipas and Herodias. Although John the Baptist was imprisoned, Herod was reluctant to have him killed, because of John’s popularity. Herod knew an uprising could occur if he was the one to have John killed.

Salome was asked to dance for Herod and his guests at a festival. Her beauty and dancing were meant to impress the guests. He promised to give her whatever she wanted. Her mother prompted Salome to ask for the head of John the Baptist on a platter. What a gory and cruel thing to request! Herod was then forced to have John beheaded. Scripture tells that Herod was distressed, but felt he had to fulfill his oath to Salome (Mark 6:26 NIV). This unrighteous Salome took John’s head and presented it to her mother on a platter. How awful!

What Did Salome, A Follower of Jesus, Do?

Scripture tells that this righteous Salome, the mother of Zebedee’s sons, came to Jesus with a request that her sons sit in places of honor in the kingdom (Matthew 20:20-22 NIV). This Salome was a believer and wanted the best for her sons. Jesus responded by telling her that the decision for her sons to sit at his right or left in the kingdom was not for him to make. His Father would make those decisions.

Standing at the crucifixion of Jesus, Scripture shares that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome stood and watched as Jesus was on the cross. Imagine the pain and anguish of His mother and followers.

The Salome mentioned in the Bible was the wife of Zebedee, mother of John and James, who were disciples of Jesus.

After the crucifixion of Jesus, the “righteous” Salome was also one of the three women who encountered the angel at the tomb. These three women brought spices to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus. After encountering the angel, who shared the news that Jesus had indeed risen, the women went to tell the good news to others (Mark 16:1-8 NIV). The Gospel of Mark is the only one that mentions Salome by name.

Why Is it Important to Learn the Stories of These Two Women?

While we can always learn something from our mistakes and our successes, we can learn from other people, too. In reading Scripture about both women named Salome, we see that one woman is a follower of God. Even with her faith, life is filled with stress and sorrow. With those tumultuous times, this Salome follows God and shares His message. She is a believer. Even after the death of Jesus, she accompanies Mary the mother of Jesus, to the tomb to anoint His body.

The other Salome, who is not mentioned by name in the Bible, is self-centered and desires to please others. We don’t read about her having faith in God. Scripture shares her lineage and how she danced for guests at a festival, upon request of Herod. Did she have moments of sincerity? Did she long to have faith in God? Scripture doesn’t tell us. From reading, we are given the picture of a woman who has no morals and seeks for her own needs and the needs of her mother to be fulfilled.

What can we learn from each of these women? One important lesson to glean from reading about these women is that we have daily choices to make. We can choose to follow God, worship Him, praise Him, and share the message of the Gospel. Yes, there will be times of sorrow, and yes, there will be times of joy. In each moment, we know God is with us. Praise Him in the good times and praise Him in the bad times. Our faith can be strengthened in every situation.

The Salome who chose to follow her own path resulted in the beheading of John the Baptist. A horrible choice, yet through the death of John the Baptist, we are able to read how he followed and loved Jesus even in a terrible time.

The Salome who was a follower of Jesus showed us how even when we love the Lord, there will be times of heartache. Yet, through the faith we have in Him, we can find comfort in those times. We can rest assured the day will come when He will return again. As Christians, we find hope in knowing God is always with us. God’s plan is working during every moment (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

Have you read about the two women named Salome in the Bible? Have you read a book about them or perhaps watched a movie about these two women? When reading various translations/versions of the Bible, we can glean new information. One time we may read about the Salome who chose herself first and be reminded of a poor decision we made. Another time, we may read about the Salome who loved the Lord and be thankful to have faith and hope in God.

Reading through the Bible helps us to know more about God and His message. Every day is a good day to read His Word.

Which path will you take today? Will you choose a path filled with selfish desires or a path filled with the hope and love of God?

In His Name,

Melissa Henderson

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Simon Lehmann

Melissa HendersonAward-winning author Melissa Henderson writes inspirational messages sometimes laced with a bit of humor. With stories in books, magazines, devotionals, and more, Melissa hopes to encourage readers. 

Melissa is the author of Licky the Lizard and Grumpy the Gator. Her passions are helping in the community and church. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon, and Stephen Minister. 

Follow Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and at http://www.melissaghenderson.com


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