Machaerus was the great fortress-prison where John the Baptist was held before he was be-headed. It was located on the borders of the desert, to the north of the dead sea, and on the frontiers of Arabia. Over looked the North-South road to Damascus and overlooking the NE Dead Sea shores in Paraea.

Josephus tells us that this prison of the fortress of Machaerus, or Makor, was a strong and gloomy castle, built by Alexander Jannaeus and strengthened by Herod the Great. A mighty bastion of rich and powerful rulers had been built by Jannasus, the Maccabean whose family had routed the Greeks under Antiochus IV (Epiphanes).

It was safe from military assault but not the voice of John the Baptist. What horrors must have been involved for any man in such an imprisonment, what possibilities of agonizing torture.. and the brutalities of such a jailer as a tetrarch like Antipas would have kept.
[309, 322, 373]

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