Quotes & Notes on:
John Wesley's Notes:
His brother Philip's wife-Who was still alive. Mr 6:17.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge:
* Herod. Mt 4:12; Mr 6:17; Lu 3:19,20; Joh 3:23,24
This infamous woman was the daughter of Aristobulus and
Bernice, and granddaughter of Herod the Great.
* his. Lu 13:1
Herod Philip, son of Herod the Great and Mariamne.
Adam Clarke's Commentary:
For Herodias' sake] This infamous woman was the daughter of
Aristobulus and Bernice, and grand-daughter of Herod the Great. Her
first marriage was with Herod Philip, her uncle, by whom she had Salome:
some time after, she left her husband, and lived publicly with Herod
Antipas, her brother-in-law, who had been before married to the daughter
of Aretas, king of Arabia Petraea. As soon as Aretas understood that
Herod had determined to put away his daughter, he prepared to make war
on him: the two armies met, and that of Herod was cut to pieces by the
Arabians; and this, Josephus says, was supposed to be a judgment of God
on him for the murder of John the Baptist. See the account in Josephus,
Antiq. lib. xviii. c. 7.
Family Bible Notes:
(No comment on this verse)
1599 Geneva Bible Notes:
(No comment on this verse)
People's New Testament Commentary:
For Herod had laid hold on John. This arrest of John the Baptist
had taken place a year previous, shortly before our Lord's second visit
to Galilee (Mt 4:12; Mr 1:14), the events of which are given by John (Joh
4:43-54). The prison was the castle of Machaerus. See PNTC for Mt 11:2.
Herodias' sake. Antipas had been, while at Rome, the guest of his
brother Herod Philip. Here he became entangled by the snares of Herodias,
his brother Philip's wife; and he repaid the hospitality he had received
by carrying her off. He had himself long been married to the daughter of
Aretas, king of Arabia. This Herodias was the granddaughter of "Herod
the King," and, hence, the niece of both her lawful husband and of Herod
Antipas, who now had her.
Robertson's Word Pictures:
For the sake of Herodias (dia Hêrôidiada). The death of John
had taken place some time before. The Greek aorists here (edêsen,
apetheto) are not used for past perfects. The Greek aorist simply
narrates the event without drawing distinctions in past time. This
Herodias was the unlawful wife of Herod Antipas. She was herself a
descendant of Herod the Great and had married Herod Philip of Rome, not
Philip the Tetrarch. She had divorced him in order to marry Herod
Antipas after he had divorced his wife, the daughter of Aretas King of
Arabia. It was a nasty mess equal to any of our modern divorces. Her
first husband was still alive and marriage with a sister-in-law was
forbidden to Jews (Le 18:16). Because of her Herod Antipas had put John
in the prison at Machaerus. The bare fact has been mentioned in Mt 4:12
without the name of the place. See Mt 11:2 also for the discouragement
of John en tôi desmôtêriôi (place of bondage), here en têi phulakêi (the
guard-house). Josephus (Ant. xviii. 5.2) tells us that Machaerus is the
name of the prison. On a high hill an impregnable fortress had been
built. Tristram (Land of Moab) says that there are now remains of "two
dungeons, one of them deep and its sides scarcely broken in" with "small
holes still visible in the masonry where staples of wood and iron had
once been fixed. One of these must surely have been the prison-house of
John the Baptist." "On this high ridge Herod the Great built an
extensive and beautiful palace" (Broadus). "The windows commanded a wide
and grand prospect, including the Dead Sea, the course of the Jordan,
and Jerusalem" (Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus).
Albert Barnes' Commentary:
For Herod had laid hold on John, etc. See Mr 6:17-20 Lu 3:19,20. This
Herodias was a grand-daughter of Herod the Great. She was first married
to Herod Philip, by whom she had a daughter, Salome, probably the one
that danced and pleased Herod. Josephus says that this marriage of Herod
Antipas with Herodias took place while he was on a journey to Rome. He
stopped at his brother's; fell in love with his wife; agreed to put away
his own wife, the daughter of Arteas, king of Petraea; and Herodias
agreed to leave her own husband, and live with him. They were living,
therefore, in adultery; and John in faithfulness, though at the risk of
his life, had reproved them for their crimes. Herod was guilty of two
crimes in this act:
(1) of adultery, as she was the wife of another man;
(2) of incest, as she was a near relation, and such marriages were
expressly forbidden, Le 18:16.
(No comment on this verse)
Of course it was not lawful for him to take to himself his brother
Philip's wife while Philip was yet living, and while his own wife was
living also. While he was the guest of Philip at home, he became
ensnared by Herodias; and the guilty pair, who in addition to
their being already wedded, were by birth too near of kin for lawful
marriage, came back to Galilee as if they were man and wife. It was
bravely spoken of the Baptist when he bluntly said, "It is not lawful
for thee to have her"; but the sentence cost him dear. Herod
Antipas could bear to do the deed, but he could not bear to be told that
he had committed an unlawful act. John did not mince matters, or leave
the question alone. What was a king to him if that king dared to trample
on the law of God? He spoke out pointedly, and Herod knew that he did
so. Herod laid, hold on John, because John's word had laid hold on
Herod. The power of evil love comes out in the words, "for
Herodias sake." This fierce woman would brook no rebuke of her
licentiousness. She was a very Jezebel in her pride and cruelty; and
Herod was as a puppet in her hands.
William Burkitt's Notes:
Observe here, 1. The person that put the holy baptist to death: It was
Herod, it was Herod the king, it was Herod that invited John to preach
at court, and heard him gladly.
1. It was Herod Antipas, son to that Herod, who sought Christ's life,
chap. 11. cruelty runs in the blood, Herod the murderer of John, who was
the forerunner of Christ, descended from that Herod who would have
murdered Christ himself.
2. It was Herod the king. Sad! that princes who should always be nursing
fathers to, should at any time be the bloody butchers of, the prophets
3. It was Herod that heard John gladly; John took the ear and the heart
of Herod, and Herod binds the hands and feet of John. O how inconstant
is a carnal heart to good resolutions; the word has oft-time an
awakening influence, where it doth not leave an abiding impression upon
the minds of men.
Observe, 2. The cause of the baptist's death; it was for telling a king
of his crime. Herod cut off that head whose tongue was so bold as to
tell him of his faults. The persecutions which the prophets of God fall
under, is usually for telling great men of their sins: men in power are
impatient of reproof, and imagine their authority gives them a license
Observe, 3. The plain-dealing of the baptist, in reproving Herod for his
crime, which, in one act, was adultery, incest, and violence.
Adultery, that he took another's wife; incest, that he took his
brother's wife; violence, that he took her in spite of her husband.
Therefore John does not mince the matter, and say, it is not the crown
and sceptre of Herod that could daunt the faithful messenger of God.
There ought to meet in God's ministers, both courage and impartiality.
Courage, in fearing no faces; impartiality in sparing no sins. For none
are so great, but they are under the authority and command of the law of
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary:
(No comment on this verse)
The Fourfold Gospel:
Some thought that Elijah might have returned, as the Scripture declared,
or that Jesus might be a prophet just like the great prophets of old.
Matthew (Mt 14:1,2) by introducing what follows with the word "for,"
gives us the reason why Herod clung to this singular opinion of Jesus,
He did so because this opinion was begotten in the morbid musings of a
conscience stained with the blood of John.