Machaerus Overview

The hilltop fortress of Machaerus, on the eastern side of the Dead Sea and 53 kilometers southwest of Amman, Jordan Tour

is recorded as the place where John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded. Jordan Tour

According to Flavius Josephus, it is the location of the imprisonment and execution of John the Baptist. Jordan Tour

 According to the chronology of the Bible (Mark 6:24; Matthew 14:8), this infamous execution took

place in 32 AD shortly before the Passover, following the imprisonment of two years.

The site also provides the setting for four additional New Testament characters:

Herod the Great; his son, Tetrarch Herod Antipas; his second wife, Princess Herodias, and her daughter, Princess Salome.

History of Machaerus

The fortress Machaerus  originally built by the Hasmonean king, Alexander Jannaeus (104 BC-78 BC)

in about the year 90 BC, serving an important strategic position.

It’s high, rocky vantage point was difficult to access, and invasions from the east could be easily spotted from there.

It was also in the line of sight of other Hasmonean (and later Herodian) citadels, so other fortresses

could be signaled if trouble appeared on the horizon. Machaerus

Nevertheless, it destroyed by Pompey’s general Gabinius in 57 BC

but later rebuilt by Herod the Great in 30 BC to be used as a military base to safeguard his territories east of the Jordan.Machaerus




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