Mark 6:29 (AV)
And when his disciples¹ heard of it,
they came and took up² his corpse³,
and laid it in a tomb⁴.
¹) The pupils of John the Baptist.
²) Lifted up.
³) The fallen body of one dead or slain, a corpse.
⁴) Any visible object for preserving or recalling the memory of any person or thing; a memorial, monument, specifically, a sepulchral monument, a tomb.
When his disciples learned of it, they came and took [John 's] body and laid it in a tomb. [AMP] When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. [ESV] And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb. [KJV] On hearing of this, John's disciples came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. [NIV] When John's disciples heard what had happened, they came for his body and buried it in a tomb. [NLT] When his disciples heard of it, they came and took away his corpse and laid it in a tomb. [NKJV]
Some further information:
That is, the Baptist’s own disciples.
they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb
“and went and told Jesus” ( Matthew 14:12 ). If these disciples had, up to this time, stood apart from Him, as adherents of John ( Matthew 11:2 ), perhaps they now came to Jesus, not without some secret reflection on Him for His seeming neglect of their master; but perhaps, too, as orphans, to cast in their lot henceforth with the Lord’s disciples.
How Jesus felt, or what He said, on receiving this intelligence, is not recorded; but He of whom it was said, as He stood by the grave of His friend Lazarus, “Jesus wept,” was not likely to receive such intelligence without deep emotion.
And one reason why He might not be unwilling that a small body of John’s disciples should cling to him to the last, might be to provide some attached friends who should do for his precious body, on a small scale, what was afterwards to be done for His own.
After Herod Antipas had John the Baptist beheaded by one of his bodyguards (Mark 6:27), John’s disciples (cf. Mark 2:18) came to fetch his body to bury it.
Apparently Herod released John’s body.
Thus his disciples spared him the reproach that he should not be buried. The evangelist makes no mention of where they buried him.
It is as if Mark is already pointing to the other tomb in this verse, in which faithful friends of His would lay the body of the Lord Jesus.
Moreover, he shows that this whole passage (Mark 6: 14-29) is not so much about the wiles of the vengeful Herodias as about the martyrdom of John the Baptist.
That death prefigures that of Jesus.
In that respect too, John was the trailblazer: his agony was a preparation for that of the Lord Jesus.
The disciples of John, when they heard of it, came, and took up the neglected corpse, and laid it in a tomb; where Herod, if he had wanted, could have found it, when he frightened himself with the fancy idea that John Baptist was risen from the dead.
Now let us reflect on this
It is a terrible story that we are told here.
John the Baptist, the Forerunner of the Lord Jesus, has been put in prison by Herod.
He was forced to do so by the woman Herodias with whom he lived. John had pointed out their sinful life to them, and so the enmity had settled in her heart. She wanted John’s death. And she will have the opportunity to do so when Herod promises to give her daughter whatever she will ask of him, after she has danced for him and his guests.
Mother Herodias tells her to ask for the head of John the Baptist.
And that happens.
Herod has never found peace again after this atrocity.
But John found eternal rest.
He was martyred for Christ, but now he receives the crown of life. His disciples honored their teacher by carrying him away and burying him.
And the angels have carried him in their hands up to the throne of God.
Then it is okay if we die as a martyr.
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