555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

115. Was John the Baptist Sentenced to Death Before the Dance of Salome?

While there is no record to prove it, the presumption is that Herod, in his mind, had already condemned John on political grounds as one whose existence endangered his position and authority, but his awakened conscience and the fear inspired by John's teachings restrained him. He had kept John in the prison of Machaerus nearly a year when the Salome incident occurred, which gave Herodias her opportunity to be revenged upon the Baptist, who had rebuked both her and Herod for their sinful relations. It cannot be asserted that Herod would have executed John had not the king been caught by his pledge to Salome. On the contrary Mark 6:26 tells us that he "was exceeding sorrowful."