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Gospel of mark

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The Jews under the Mosaic law were subject to five different stages of judgment depending on their performance is spiritual matters.
The most important of these were the fourth and fifth stages. The fourth stage was when the Jews when Israel was occupied by a foreign power and the fifth when they were removed from the Land.
The first fifth stage finished in 535 BC when the Jews were released from the Babylonian Captivity and returned to the land. The Temple was completed in 516 BC and this began the Golden Age for Israel as part of the Persian Empire.
From that time through to 323 BC the Jews had a golden age. This period terminated with the death of Alexander the Great at Babylon. This was the greatest period the Jews would know until the Millennium.
With the division of Alexander's empire Palestine came under the general control of the Seleucids who after considerable warfare inherited the area of the Middle East based on the city of Damascus.
Of the 11 generals that survived the death of Alexander only two had long term empires, the Seleucid dynasty based on Damascus and the Ptolemy dynasty based in Egypt. Their history is given in detail in Daniel 10, in the prophetic words relating to the kings of the north and south.
The heirs of Alexander were generally very cruel people, with one of the worst being Antiochus Epiphanes who in 174 BC seized Jerusalem and offered pigs on the Altar in the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem. A great revolt broke out against them as a result. It was civil war, with pagan Jews siding with the Greeks against their brethren. It was the first fulfillment of the Anti-Christ type prophetic words, as it lasted for three and a half terrible years and the land was soaked in blood, but victory was finally won through guerrilla warfare, the temple was rededicated, and Jews around the world remember the day and celebrate it as the Feast of Hanukah, just before our Christmas time.
A family called the Hasmonaeans arose under the leadership of Judas Maccabees and his brothers and they became the leaders of the Jews through this bloody war, and due to the corruption that abounded they gained control of the priesthood. It was the beginning of the serious politicization of the priesthood, with the office often going to the highest bidder, or friend of the ruling king or theological faction. They ruled Judea until the fourth stage of judgment was imposed by the Romans under Pompey, who in 63 BC seized Jerusalem and imposed rule from the Senate at Rome.
The occupation of Judea by the Romans continued until the Jews were removed from
the land under fifth stage judgment under the Roman Generals (later Emperors) Titus and Vespasian in 70 AD. The Hasmonaean family all but died out, and in the century before Christ the half Idumean and the converted Jewish family of Herod the Great took power using Rome as their backer. Idumea had been conquered before his birth and the people forced, on pain of death, to convert to Judaism.
In the family of an Arabic group from Idumea in southern Jordan was the court of the the kings of the Idumeans (the survivors of the Edomites) and the last of the Hasmonaeans, a woman called Mariamne married one of the greatest people of the day, Herod the Great, the king of the Idumeans.
They had a number of children and grand-children who held power, including Herod Antipas who we meet in this chapter. At this time there were three brilliant men in the world, Augustus Caesar the ruler of Rome, Agrippa his administrator, and Herod the Great. Herod, who formally married four or more times became a client king for Rome, ruling over Judea on their behalf, and defending the eastern edge of the Roman Empire from the Parthians.
Herod in his paranoia late in his life killed a number of his sons, and killed his son Aristobulus just prior to his own death as Herod thought that he was a threat to the throne.
Aristobulus had two children, Herodias, a very beautiful woman, and the mother of Salome, who was the instigator of John the Baptist's execution, and a son named Agrippa named after the great administrator.
After the execution of Aristobulus, Herodias and Agrippa moved to Rome. Herodias married her uncle Philip, one of four surviving sons of Herod the Great. When Herod died in 4 BC Philip also moved to Rome to play politics to try to gain power from the Senate. Power plays with the Romans characterized this family, and they truly reflect the Fourth Cycle of Divine Discipline, for nothing happened politically in Judea from 63 BC without the approval of the Roman Senate.
Herod had also married Malthace a Samaritan, by whom he had two sons, Archelaus and Antipas, the tetrarch of this passage, and Cleopatra of Jerusalem, who was the mother of another Philip also a future tetrarch. Archelaus, Antipas and Philip all wanted to succeed Herod but Augustus Caesar felt that he could not trust any of them so he divided up the kingdom, with Judea going to Archelaus the ethnarch, Galilee to Antipas the tetrarch, and a smaller portion to Philip who was also called a tetrarch.
Antipas was a cunning man and realising that the reign of Augustus would not be Caesar forever he looked round to determine who his successor might be. Tiberius the step son of Augustus was then obvious heir apparent, so Antipas started to cultivate Tiberius as a friend, and commenced building a city called Tiberius on the sea of Galilee, and relabeled the sea as the “Sea of Tiberius”.
Philip meanwhile renamed Bethsaida after Julia the wife of Augustus. However it was not a wise choice as Julia was banished from the Roman court in disgrace before long. Archelaus was incredible cruel and also inefficient as an administrator – and while the Romans could handle cruelty, they would not tolerate inefficiency and so he was removed and his portion made a third class province under a Procurator. Antipas always tried to recover this, and he kept playing politics until the end.
Antipas took the advantage of the chaotic situation to go to Rome to flatter Augustus, staying at his half brother Philip's palace while he plotted against him. Herodias and Antipas had an affair in the palace, and Herodias believing Philip's prospects were poor, went back to Palestine with Antipas.
Antipas however had a problem. He was already married to the daughter of an Arab King, a marriage of convenience to cement a friendship and military alliance.
They had committed adultery and run away together in 27 AD, which is a very important year, as this was when John the Baptist commenced his ministry and Pontius Pilate became Procurator for Judea.


There were three type of province in the Roman Empire of that day.
1st class was a Senatorial Province was ruled by a Proconsul.
2nd class was an Imperial Province ruled by a legate
3rd class was a Province ruled by a Procurator.
Herod had heard a lot about Jesus and having imprisoned and executed John the Baptist it worried him.
At the trial of the Lord Jesus Christ he thought that Jesus was the resurrected John the Baptist.
In his sermons John told Herod Antipas that it was not proper for him to have Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. Antipas had asked for a miracle but he got a sermon. This did not bother Herod but it bothered Herodias.
Herod Antipas arrested John and put him into prison, but he did not immediately put him to death because he feared the mob, the local Jewish people with whom John was popular, and Herod knew he needed their support to govern, as Rome was open to sell him out and give the province to another if there were too many complaints.
Soon afterwards Herod's birthday was observed. Herodias' daughter Salome danced in front of Herod and his assembled guests. He was very impressed, and rather drunk. He promised Salome anything she wanted up to half his kingdom. As a result of discussions with her mother Herodias, Salome asked for the head of John the Baptist on a plate and this was duly delivered to her. To save face the king had executed John and thus ended his ministry. After the evil mother and Antipas have been sent into exile Salome thrives as wife to another client king to the north. Satan does pay his staff well, but only for a short time!
Meanwhile in Rome things had not seemed to have developed well for Herod Agrippa I the brother of Herodias. He had married and had three children but he was powerless, however his time would come after Pontius Pilate was removed, and he was given the province to rule as a king again. We meet him in Acts 12, and later His son Agrippa II was the Herod of Acts 25, 26. Agrippa II was there with Titus when Jerusalem fell and had to watch the city be destroyed and sit in the amphitheater of his capital in the north and watch 2500 Jewish prisoners fight to their deaths in the arena to celebrate Titus’s brother Domitian’s birthday.
Agrippa I also had two daughters Bernice and Drusilla, two of the most beautiful women of their day.
BERNICE (Berenike in Greek)
At the age of 14 Bernice was married off to one of her uncles, but soon left him and came back to her brother, with whom she lived in a sexual relationship, as if husband and wife. Later, for a while she lived with Vespatian, and then Titus after the Fall of Jerusalem, nearly becoming the empress of the Roman Empire. By that stage she was an older woman, but still stunningly beautiful at 47 during her visit to Rome in 75 AD. The Romans however had become cautious over Queens from the Orient after their experience with Cleopatra of Egypt. Having failed to be Titus permanent wife or mistress she went back to her brother, and both are thought to have died in the 90s.
She was also very beautiful and was married to an Arab king to the north-east of Palestine. Felix became procurator of Judea and persuaded Drusilla to join him. She left her “king” and lived with Felix, and he married her. This couple make up the quartet who heard Paul preach in Acts 25, 26.
After the death of Felix, Drusilla and her son went to live in retirement in Pompeii where they died in the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 78.


The line of Herod therefore had every opportunity to be saved with John the Baptist preaching to Antipas and Herodias,
Jesus Christ facing Antipas and Herodias. Paul teaching Agrippa, Bernice, Drusilla and Felix.
Agrippa I went from bad to worse while in Rome, and became friendly with Caligula the son of Germanicus. Caligula was to be the next Emperor after Tiberius.
One day Agrippa was traveling in a chariot with Caligula and said to him that he ought to be the next Caesar rather than the miserable son of Tiberius. Tiberius heard this and Agrippa was put in chains. He stayed in prison for six months until Tiberius died.
Caligula became Caesar and his first act was to weigh out the weight of the chains of iron with chains of gold and gave them to Agrippa.
After Philip died in AD 34, Tiberius annexed the kingdom and this in due time was given by Caligula to Agrippa I in AD 37.
The gift of the Tetrarchy to Agrippa caused Antipas and Herodias to become very jealous. Herodias suggested to Antipas that they go to Rome to ask Caligula to remove Agrippa and give them Philip's tetrarchy as well. This wasn’t a smart move, but lust knows no logic and they tried to plot and scheme for their temporary fame and power.
Caligula was in his summer house in the Bay of Naples when he gave audience to Antipas and Herodias. Agrippa has been observing this and his spies had told him that his uncle had an armory sufficient to supply a 70,000 man army.
He therefore sent a letter to Caligula by means of his faithful servant Fortinatus. At the audience of Antipas and Herodias with Caligula, Caligula read the letter, which gives the impression that Antipas is conspiring with the Parthians against Rome.
Having read the letter Caligula stripped Antipas from the Tetrarchy of Galilee and gave it all, plus Judea to Agrippa I. The plotting pair were then banished to Aquitaine in France where they eventually died in poverty.
Eventually Agrippa was given the southern ethnarchy of Judea and Idumea thus restoring under one ruler the whole area previously rules by his grandfather Herod the Great.
Agrippa is the Herod who appears in Acts 12 and is the person responsible for killing James and some of the Christians in Jerusalem. However as a result of the prayers of other believers Agrippa dies while making a speech in praise of Claudius.
Read all you can on this family of Herod the Great, as it is a dynamic and dramatic story of the “Four Generation Curse” of Exodus 20:4-7, working out in one family. They are all gone by the turn of the first century.

MARK 6:17-20 [MATTHEW 14:3-5, LUKE 3:19-20] see HARMONY 74-3
17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her. 18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. 19 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: 20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

Sent forth


Send out [Aorist Active Participle]

Laid Hold


Seize [Aorist Active Indicative]



Bind [Aorist Active Indicative]






Because of






Wife, Woman



Marry [Aorist Active Indicative]



Say [Imperfect Active Indicative]

Is lawful [Present Active Indicative]



Is lawful [Present Active Indicative]



Have and to hold [Present Active Infinitive]



Quarrel [Imperfect Active Indicative]



Desire [Imperfect Active Indicative]

Have Killed


Put to death, Kill, Slay [Aorist Active Infinitive]



To have the power [Imperfect Middle Indicative]



Fear [Imperfect Middle Indicative]



Perceiving [Perfect Active Participle]

Just man

Dikaios Aner

Just and noble man






Observe, Notice [Imperfect Active Indicative]



Hear [Aorist Active Participle]



Do [Imperfect Active Indicative]

Many things


Many things



Hear [Imperfect Active Indicative]




17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her. 18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. 19 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: 20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.
In relation to marriage to a brother’s wife, it was not allowed under the Mosaic Law, while the brother was alive. After a brother’s death however it was often a duty of a brother to marry his brother’s widow, especially if there were not children to carry on the brother’s line. This was called “Leverite Marriage”. Leviticus 18:6-18, 20:21, Deuteronomy 25:5-10.
In verse 19 Herodias set herself against John the Baptist. It is in the dative, it is a dative of disadvantage for John the Baptist. Literally, she had it in for him. The tense is imperfect tense of enecho, the Greek word for quarrel, beautifully describes the feelings of Herodias towards this “upstart prophet” of the wilderness who had dared to denounce her private relations with Herod Antipas.
She never let up, but bided her time, which she felt sure, would come. The desire to kill him is also in the imperfect tense she kept on wanting to kill him. However she could not, she did not have the power. Herod was in a constant state of fear as again seen by the imperfect tense. He feared John and also he feared Herodias. Between the two Herod vacillated. He knew John to be righteous and holy, and so innocent of any wrong, except criticizing him, and he knew John’s words were right. So he kept him safe from the plots and schemes of Herodias.
He heard John the Baptist gladly. This is the way that Herod really felt when he could slip away from the meshes of Herodias. These interviews with John the Baptist down in the prison at Machaerus during his occasional visits there braced “his jaded mind as with a whiff of fresh air”. But then he saw Herodias again, and he was at his wits’ end for he knew that he had to live with Herodias, with whom he was hopelessly entangled. She succeeded but her last plot backfired and they lost everything, but Salome came up trumps – and was a queen until the day she died and dropped into hell to join her entire extended family. Isaiah 14:9-11.

It is important for Christians when they are confronted with outright evil to stand up and be counted, but just ensure you are Holy Spirit led, for Paul did not confront the foursome of evil rulers with their sexual immorality, he simply focused on evangelism, so ought we to do.
By focusing on evangelism rather than morality you are guiding people to face the only way to move away from degeneration.
You are not going to be popular if you do such things. All reproof must be done in love with the object of returning the person or group not just to a better moral situation, but to salvation.
Changes of actions can improve the situation but only regeneration through faith in Christ can save the individual. A morally cleaned up pagan is still on his/her way to hell. Our objective is to help them face the choice to reach heaven. Acts 4:12, 24:14-21, 26:6-23, Ephesians 2:1-12.



1. Man and angels have personality but only men and animals have "nephesh" and experience physical death. Angels do not die because they are spirits.
2. Marriage requires both personality and life, therefore it is only applicable to man. There is no marriage in the angelic realm. (Matthew 22:30)
3. Definition:- the personal relationship between a male and female member of the human race which typifies the saving relationship between Christ and believers.
4. God's instruction - "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish and the fowl and every living thing". This shows that man should subdue and have dominion over the animal kingdom.
5. If God was a solitary personality there would be no divine example of relationships, however with the three personalities in the Godhead relationships are demonstrated. He is a personal God and we can therefore have a relationship with him.
6. Marriage typifies the relationship between Christ and the church.

a) in the form of grace and faith (Ephesians 5:22), the word submit meaning to fall into line to the law of God which the carnal mind cannot do. (Romans 8:7; 10:3)

b) you submit yourself by an act of freewill.

c) a family can strain marriage relationships if they are not submissive. (Romans 13:1,5)

7. Grace is typified by the male and faith by the female. If this pattern is not adhered to it results in misery and suffering.
8. Grace and the man.

a) the man is in the role of an initiator.

b) the man provides information to which the woman can respond but must not coerce her free will.

c) the man has to show his character to the woman.

d) the man has to be patient, a form of grace.
9. Faith and the woman.

a) the woman is in the role of a responder.

b) the woman makes the choice of her free will.

c) she is the one who uses faith.

d) the woman needs time to grow.
10. Glory revealed.

a) The glory of God is shown in the man in the form of a changed life through regeneration.

b) The glory of the man is shown in the woman by changes in the woman.
11. Compatibility.

a) The important area of compatibility is that in the spiritual realm as one can be psychologically compatible with many people.

b) Spiritual compatibility is indicated by the phrase "one flesh" and is a picture of the union of Christ and the church.
12. Satan will attempt to blur the differences between man and woman and cause role reversals. The degree to which this occurs reflects the level of decadence in a society.
13. Legitimate reasons for the termination of marriage :-

a) the death of one of the partners.

b) the desertion of a believer by an unbelieving spouse where one of the two partners has become a Christian after marriage. (1 Corinthians 7:10-16)

c) inappropriate marriage partners such as close relations as specified in (Leviticus 18).

d) adultery or fornication as this causes the destruction of the one flesh principle by forming another one flesh. (Matthew 5:32; 19:9)

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