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Herod's Last Blasphemy

There are four men of Bible History who were known as Herod (see the Fact Finder question below). Herod Agrippa I was the son of Aristobulus and Bernice, and grandson of Herod The Great (the Herod who tried to murder Christ when He was born). Herod Agrippa I was tetrarch of the provinces previously ruled by Lysanias II, but eventually he possessed the entire kingdom of his grandfather, with the title of king. It was Herod Agrippa I that had James, the brother of John, martyred. He then imprisoned Peter with the intention of killing him also, but God had an angel go in and get him out (see below). Like all of the rest, Herod Agrippa I had a very high opinion of himself until one day, about 44 A.D., it went too far. He claimed to be divine, and The Lord struck him down.

"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."

"So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church." (Acts 12:1-5 RSV)

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."

"On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and made an oration to them. And the people shouted, "The voice of a god, and not of man!"

"Immediately an angel of the Lord smote him, because he did not give God the glory; and he was eaten by worms and died."

"But the word of God grew and multiplied." (Acts 12:19-24 RSV)

Fact Finder: Who were the men known as "Herod" in the Bible?
See The Herods

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