the name of a royal family that flourished among the Jews in the times of Christ and the Apostles. Herod the Great was the son of Antipater of Idumaea. Appointed king of Judaea B.C. 40 by the Roman Senate at the suggestion of Antony and with the consent of Octavian, he at length overcame the great opposition which the country made to him and took possession of the kingdom B.C. 37; and after the battle of Actium, he was confirmed by Octavian, whose favour he ever enjoyed. He was brave and skilled in war, learned and sagacious; but also extremely suspicious and cruel. Hence he destroyed the entire royal family of Hasmonaeans, put to death many of the Jews that opposed his government, and proceeded to kill even his dearly beloved wife Mariamne of the Hasmonaean line and his two sons she had borne him. By these acts of bloodshed, and especially by his love and imitation of Roman customs and institutions and by the burdensome taxes imposed upon his subjects, he so alienated the Jews that he was unable to regain their favour by his splendid restoration of the temple and other acts of munificence. He died in the 70th year of his age, the 37th year of his reign, the 4th before the Dionysian era. In his closing years John the Baptist and Christ were born; Matthew narrates that he commanded all the male children under two years old in Bethlehem to be slain.
Herod surnamed "Antipas", was the son of Herod the Great and Malthace, a Samaritan woman. After the death of his father he was appointed by the Romans tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea. His first wife was the daughter of Aretas, king of Arabia; but he subsequently repudiated her and took to himself Herodias, the wife of his brother Herod Philip; and in consequence Aretas, his father-in-law, made war against him and conquered him. He cast John the Baptist into prison because John had rebuked him for this unlawful connection; and afterwards, at the instigation of Herodias, he ordered him to be beheaded. Induced by her, too, he went to Rome to obtain from the emperor the title of king. But in consequence of the accusations brought against him by Herod Agrippa I, Caligula banished him (A.D.
to Lugdunum in Gaul, where he seems to have died. He was light minded, sensual and vicious.
Herod Agrippa I was the son of Aristobulus and Berenice, and grandson of Herod the Great. After various changes in fortune, he gained the favour of Caligula and Claudius to such a degree that he gradually obtained the government of all of Palestine, with the title of king. He died at Caesarea, A.D. 44, at the age of 54, in the seventh [or the 4th, reckoning from the extension of his dominions by Claudius] year of his reign, just after having ordered James the apostle, son of Zebedee, to be slain, and Peter to be cast into prison: Acts 12:
(Herod) Agrippa II, son of Herod Agrippa I. When his father died he was a youth of seventeen. In A.D. 48 he received from Claudius Caesar the government of Chalcis, with the right of appointing the Jewish high priests, together with the care and oversight of the temple at Jerusalem. Four years later Claudius took from him Chalcis and gave him instead a larger domain, of Batanaea, Trachonitis, and Gaulanitis, with the title of king. To those reigns Nero, in A.D. 53, added Tiberias and Taricheae and Peraean Julias, with fourteen neighbouring villages. He is mentioned in Acts 25 and 26. In the Jewish war, although he strove in vain to restrain the fury of the seditious and bellicose populace, he did not desert to the Roman side. After the fall of Jerusalem, he was vested with praetorian rank and kept the kingdom entire until his death, which took place in the third year of the emperor Trajan, [the 73rd year of his life, and the 52nd of his reign] He was the last representative of the Herodian dynasty.