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Herod's Last Blasphemy
by Wayne Blank
"Immediately an angel of the Lord smote him, because he did not give God the glory"
Herod was no friend of Christians. He martyred James, and would have done the same to Peter (see Peter The Political Prisoner) if Peter's purpose in God's service hadn't yet been fulfilled, as James' apparently was.
"About that time Herod the king laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword; and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people."
After Peter's miraculous escape from his unlawful custody, Herod had the men who had been guarding Peter executed.
"Now when day came, there was no small stir among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. And when Herod had sought for him and could not find him, he examined the sentries and ordered that they should be put to death." (Acts 12:18-19 RSV)
Herod's own death came not long after.
"Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea ["down" in terms of going from the highlands of Judea to Caesarea which was at sea level on the coast of The Mediterranean Sea], and remained there. Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre [see also The Christians of Tyre] and Sidon; and they came to him in a body, and having persuaded Blastus, the king's chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king's country for food."
Fact Finder: Who were the men known as "Herod" in the Bible?