Jesus, John the Baptizer, and the Apostle Paul meet the Herodian Dynasty
by Robert Randle 9/28/2009 / Bible Studies
HERODIAN FAMILY DYNASTY
Herod the Great (Judea; died in 4
Antipas (Galilee, Perea)
Herod Philip I (NW Judea, Edom, Samaria;
died in 34 AD)
Agrippa I (part of Judea, Edom and
Agrippa II (Northern part of Judea, Edom and
According to Matthew 2: 1, 3, 15a, 16, 19a, 22-23; Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea [approximately two years], they fled to Egypt until Herod [the Great] or King Herod was dead and Archelaus (King Herod’s son) was reigning over Judea. An angel of the LORD told Joseph to take Mary and the Child to leave Egypt and go to the land of Israel [Galilee], to which he did and the family settled in Nazareth.
NOTE: This narrative is later than Luke’s account because it would be quite dangerous for a newborn infant and mother to make the arduous trip across the rugged terrain to Egypt (Cp. 2: 7b, 11a, 13b, 16). In Luke 2: 1-12, the scene is earlier as Joseph and Mary leave Nazareth of Galilee and go up to Bethlehem of Judea to register for the census, where she gives birth to the holy Child. Luke 2: 11-12 says: For there is born to you this day in the city of David [Bethlehem] a Savior, who is Christ [Mesiyach] the LORD. And this will be the sign to you. You shall find the “Babe” [newborn infant as opposed to young ‘Child’ in Matthew’s account] wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manager [feeding trough for animals].
Luke 3: 1 says: Herod [‘Antipas’??] being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis; Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene. Luke 23: 6-11 says that Pilate, upon learning that Jesus was from Galilee sent him to Herod, which make sense and this would place Him within the jurisdiction of Herod Antipas. John the Baptizer was beheaded by Herod, but which one? In Matthew 14: 1-12 and Luke 9: 7-9, Herod tetrarch is mentioned, however, Mark 6: 14-18 refers to King Herod beheading John the Baptizer and apparently the author didn't know the difference between someone being a King and a tetrarch; whom, although a ruler, still the person is not as powerful nor has the same authority as that of a King.
The little fly in the ointment in all of this is that John the Baptizer ministered in Bethany beyond the Jordan, which was in the region of Judea, where Herod Archelaus ruled; thereby making him the most likely to have executed John the Baptizer than his brother Antipas. Not only that, but the Gospels do not mention John the Baptizer preaching outside of Bethany beyond the Jordan in Judea. In the book of ACTS, the Apostle Paul had an audience before King Agrippa and his wife Bernice (Cp. 25: 13), but was it Agrippa I or II? Historians say that Paul appeared before Herod Agrippa II and Agrippa I was the despot who ordered the death of James, son of Zebedee and brother of John (Cp. Acts 12: 1-2).