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Bible Dictionaries

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary


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A sect among the Jews, at the time of our Saviour, Matthew 22:16 . Mark iii 6. The critics and commentators are very much divided with regard to the Herodians. St. Jerome, in his dialogue against the Luciferians, takes the name to have been given to such as owned Herod for the Messiah; and Tertullian and Epiphanius are of the same opinion. But the same Jerome, in his comment on St. Matthew, treats this opinion as ridiculous; and maintains that the Pharisees gave this appellation, by way of ridicule, to Herod's soldiers, who paid tribute to the Romans; agreeable to which the Syrian interpreters render the word by the domestics of Herod, 1:e. "his courtiers." M. Simon, in his notes on the 22d chapter of Matthew, advances a more probable opinion: the name Herodian he imagines to have been given to such as adhered to Herod's party and interest, and were for preserving the government in his family, about which were great divisions among the Jews. F. Hardouin will have the Herodians and Sadduces to have been the same. Dr. Prideaux is of opinion that they derived their name from Herod the Great; and that they were distinguished from the other Jews by their concurrence with Herod's scheme of subjecting himself and his dominions to the Romans, and likewise by complying with many of their heathen usages and customs. This symbolizing with idolatry upon views of interest and worldly policy was probably that leaven of Herod, against which our Saviour cautioned his disciples. It is further probable that they were chiefly of the sect of the Sadducees; because the leaven of Herod is also denominated the leaven of the Sadducees.

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Bibliography Information
Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Herodians'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. 1802.

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