For John had said to Herod, It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife.
It is difficult to rebuke well; i.e., at a right time, in a right spirit, and in a right manner. The Baptist rebuked Herod without making him angry; therefore he must have rebuked him with gravity, temper, sincerity, and an evident goodwill towards him. On the other hand, he spoke so firmly, sharply, and faithfully, that his rebuke cost him his life He reproved him under the prospect of suffering for his faithfulness; and we should never use a strong word, however true it be, without being willing to acquiesce in some penalty or other, should it so happen, as the seal of our earnestness.
(J. H. Newman.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.