Herod Agrippa I.
son of Aristobulus and Bernice, and grandson of Herod the Great. He was made tetrarch of the provinces formerly held by Lysanias II., and ultimately possessed the entire kingdom of his grandfather, Herod the Great, with the title of king. He put the apostle James the elder to death, and cast Peter into prison ( Luke 3:1 ; Acts 12:1-19 ). On the second day of a festival held in honour of the emperor Claudius, he appeared in the great theatre of Caesarea. "The king came in clothed in magnificent robes, of which silver was the costly brilliant material. It was early in the day, and the sun's rays fell on the king, so that the eyes of the beholders were dazzled with the brightness which surrounded him. Voices here and there from the crowd exclaimed that it was the apparition of something divine. And when he spoke and made an oration to them, they gave a shout, saying, 'It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.' But in the midst of this idolatrous ostentation an angel of God suddenly smote him. He was carried out of the theatre a dying man." He died (A.D. 44) of the same loathsome malady which slew his grandfather ( Acts 12:21-23 ), in the fifty-fourth year of his age, having reigned four years as tetrarch and three as king over the whole of Palestine. After his death his kingdom came under the control of the prefect of Syria, and Palestine was now fully incorporated with the empire.