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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Herod

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Herod (hĕr'od), hero-like. A family of Idumean origin. Not less than six Herods exclusive of Archelaus are noted in Scripture:

1. Herod the Great was the second son of Antipater and appointed procurator of Judæa by Julius Cæsar, b.c. 47. In b.c. 41 he was appointed by Antony tetrarch of Judæa. Forced to abandon Judæa the following year, he fled to Rome, and received the appointment of king of Judæa. It was some time before his fatal illness that he must have caused the slaughter of the infants at Bethlehem. Matthew 2:16-18. He adorned Jerusalem with many splendid monuments of his taste and magnificence. The temple, which he built with scrupulous care, was the greatest of these works. The restoration was begun b.c. 20, and the temple itself was completed in a year and a half. But fresh additions were constantly made in succeeding years, so that it was said that the temple was building forty and six years, John 2:20, the work continuing long after Herod's death. Herod died at Jericho, b.c. 4.

2. Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, first married a daughter of Aretas, "king of Arabia Petræa," but afterward Herodias, the wife of his half brother, Herod Philip. Aretas, indignant at the insult to his daughter, invaded the territory of Herod, and defeated him with great loss. This defeat, according to the famous passage in Josephus, was attributed by many to the murder of John the Baptist, which had been committed by Antipas shortly before, under the influence of Herodias. Matthew 14:4; Mark 6:17 ff.; Luke 3:19. At a later time Herodias urged him to go to florae to gain the title of king, cf. Mark 6:14; but he was opposed at the court of Caligula by the emissaries of Agrippa, and condemned to perpetual banishment at Lugdunum, a.d. 39. Herodias voluntarily shared his "punishment, and he died in exile. Pilate took occasion from our Lord's residence in Galilee to send Jesus to Herod Antipas, Luke 23:6 ff. The city of Tiberias, which Antipas founded and named in honor of the emperor, was the most conspicuous monument of his long reign.

3. Herod Philip I., Philip, Mark 6:17, was the son of Herod the Great and Mariamne. He married Herodias, the sister of Agrippa I., by whom he had a daughter, Salome. He was excluded from all share in his father's possessions in consequence of his mother's treachery, and lived afterward in a private station.

4. Herod Philip II. was the son of Herod the Great and Cleopatra. He received as his own government Batanea, Trachonitis, Auranitis (Gaulanitis), and some parts about Jamnia, with the title of tetrarch. Luke 3:1. He built a new city on the site of Paneas, near the sources of the Jordan, which he called Cæsarea Philippi, Matthew 16:13; Mark 8:27, and raised Bethsaida to the rank of a city under the title of Julias, and died there a.d. 34. He married Salome, the daughter of Herod Philip I. and Herodias.

5. Herod Agrippa I. was the son of Aristobulus and Bernice, and grandson of Herod the Great. Caligula made him king, first of the tetrarchy of Philip and Lysanias; afterward the dominions of Antipas were added, and finally Judea and Samaria. Agrippa was a strict observer of the law, and he sought with success the favor of the Jews. It is probable that it was with this view he put to death James the son of Zebedee, and further imprisoned Peter. Acts 12:1 ff. But his sudden death interrupted his ambitious projects. Acts 12:21; Acts 12:23.

6. Herod Agrippa II. was the son of Herod Agrippa I. In a.d. 52 the emperor gave him the tetrarchies formerly held by Philip and Lysanias, with the title of king. Acts 25:13. The relation in which he stood to his sister Bernice, Acts 25:13, was the cause of grave suspicion. It was before him that Paul was tried. Acts 26:28.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Herod'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/rpd/h/herod.html. 1893.

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