Behead (עָרִŠ, araph', applied to an animal, to break the neck, De 21:6; like πελεκίζω, Re 20:4; but properly הֵסַיר הָראֹשׁ, αποκεφαλίζω, to take off the head, 2Sa 4:7; Mt 14:10; Mr 6:16,27; Lu 9:9), a method of taking away life, known and practiced among the Egyptians (Ge 40:17-19). This mode of punishment, therefore, must have been known to the Hebrews, and there occur indubitable instances of it in the time of the early Hebrew kings (2Sa 4:8; 2Sa 20:21-22; 2Ki 10:36). It appears, in the later periods of the Jewish history, that Herod and his descendants, in a number of instances, ordered decapitation (Mt 14:8-12; Ac 12:2). The apostle Paul is said to have suffered martyrdom by beheading, as it was not lawful to put a Roman citizen to death by scourging or crucifixion. SEE PUNISHMENT.