Mark 6:18
For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.
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6:14-29 Herod feared John while he lived, and feared him still more when he was dead. Herod did many of those things which John in his preaching taught him; but it is not enough to do many things, we must have respect to all the commandments. Herod respected John, till he touched him in his Herodias. Thus many love good preaching, if it keep far away from their beloved sin. But it is better that sinners persecute ministers now for faithfulness, than curse them eternally for unfaithfulness. The ways of God are unsearchable; but we may be sure he never can be at a loss to repay his servants for what they endure or lose for his sake. Death could not come so as to surprise this holy man; and the triumph of the wicked was short.See this account of the death of John the Baptist fully explained in the notes at Matthew 14:1-12.18. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife—Noble fidelity! It was not lawful because Herod's wife and Herodias' husband were both living; and further, because the parties were within the forbidden degrees of consanguinity (see Le 20:21); Herodias being the daughter of Aristobulus, the brother of both Herod and Philip [Josephus, Antiquities, 18.5,4]. See Poole on "Mark 6:14"

For John had said unto Herod,.... He had been personally with him, and had plainly and freely told him of his sin, and faithfully reproved him for it; alleging what he had done was contrary to the law of God:

it is not lawful, for thee to have thy brother's wife: See Gill on Matthew 14:4.

For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.
18. For John had said] Herod was probably on his way to meet his father-in-law, when he first encountered the Baptist, who, in the presence of the Galilean king, proved himself no “reed shaken by the wind” (Luke 7:24), but boldly denounced the royal crimes (Luke 3:19), and declared the marriage unlawful. For this outspoken faithfulness he was flung into prison, probably in the castle of Machærus or “the Black Fortress,” which Herod’s father had built in one of the most abrupt wâdys to the east of the Dead Sea, to overawe the wild Arab tribes of the neighbourhood. Though originally in the possession of Aretas, Herod had probably seized the fortress after the departure of his first wife to her father’s stronghold at Petra (Jos. Ant. xviii. 5. 2).

Verses 18, 19. - For John said unto Herod. The Greek tense (ἔλεγε) implies more than the simple expression, "he said;" it implies a repeated warning. We learn from St. Matthew (Matthew 14:5) that Herod would have killed John before, but he feared the people. Here St. Mark says that Herodias set herself against him, and desired to kill him; and she could not; for Herod feared John. There is no contradiction between the two evangelists. The case appears to have been this: that at first Herod desired to put John to death, because John had reproved him on account of Herodias. But by degrees John gained an influence over Herod by the force of his character, and by his holy life and teaching. Mark 6:18
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