And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and
Two cities on the sea coast, in the land of Phoenicia; with the inhabitants of which Herod was so enraged, that though he had not declared war against them, yet he had meditated it in his mind, and intended to do it at a proper time: what gave him this offence is not certain; that it should be for entertaining and concealing of Peter, when he made his escape, is without any foundation; and nothing but this following on that account, could ever occasion such a thought:
but they came with one accord to him;
the ambassadors from both cities united in an address to him, and joined in ways and means to reconcile him to them:
and having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend;
not merely by arguments, entreaties, and good works, but very likely by gifts, by making presents to him: persons in such an office had usually very great interest in the princes they served F17, as Blastus doubtless had with Herod; Commodus the emperor did every thing at the instances of his chamberlains, and so other princes; for these officers had access when others could not, the king's bedchamber next to sacred; and therefore the Tyrians and Sidonians privately applied to him first:
either of Herod himself, to whom, by the means of Blastus, they were introduced; and in their address to him, entreated he would forgive the offence, and be at peace with them; or else of Blastus, whom by some means or another they made their friend; and therefore entreated of him, that he would use his interest with the king, and procure peace for them: and this sense the Arabic version inclines to, which renders the words thus, "and they prayed him that he would take care of reconciliation and peace"; though the former seems to be the true sense: "because their country was nourished by the king's country". These cities were seaports, and the inhabitants of them were much concerned in sending ships to sea, and in merchandise; and it was in Judea and Galilee, which were under Herod's jurisdiction, where they vented the goods they imported, and from whence they were supplied with wheat, honey, and oil, both for their own use, and perhaps to export abroad; see ( 1 Kings 5:1 1 Kings 5:11 ) ( Ezekiel 27:3 Ezekiel 27:17 ) And it looks as if Herod had forbid all commerce with them, which if it had been continued, would have been the ruin of them.
F17 Vid. Pignorium de servis, p. 480, 481. Popmam de operis Servorum, p. 33. & Alstorph. de Lectis veterum, c. 12. p. 63.