The Election of the Herods
The Herod’s were Edomites from the territory of Idumea. So how did they become rulers in Judaea and the surrounding territories?
In 125 B.C. John Hyrcanus, a Jewish general, conquered Idumea and forced all of the Edomite men to be circumcised. In the first century B.C. one of those men, Antipitas, was appointed by Roman Authorities to be governor of Idumea. His son, Antipater, succeeded him and was appointed Procurator of Judaea. Eventually, Antipater had his son Herod, appointed governor of Galilee. Herod proved to be a smart ambitious politician, providing tribute monies to the Roman government while building relationships with Anthony and Augustus, the famous Roman generals. In 37 B.C. Herod was given the crown of Judaea by the Romans, provided he could conquer the territory and establish his rule there, which Herod did, conquering the city of Jerusalem the same year. That is how an Edomite became king of the Jews.
Called Herod the Great, he tried to kill Jesus in his infancy by killing all the young boys in Bethlehem. Jesus escaped.
Herod the Great’s son, Herod Antipas, had John the Baptist beheaded.
This same Herod Antipas questioned Jesus during his trial before Pilate. Jesus gave no answers even though they mocked and beat him.
Herod Agripa I, grandson of Herod the Great, had the apostle James killed with a sword. Soon thereafter this Herod was eaten by worms and died.
Herod Agripa II, the great grandson of Herod the Great, listened to Paul’s defense in Caesarea with governor Felix. Paul appealed to Caesar in Rome rather than return to Jerusalem for trial.
Jesus’ entire time on earth was lived under the tyrannical rule of the Edomites known as the Herods. Yet through it all, Jesus accomplished everything he came to do, ultimately declaring, “All authority in heaven and of earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). No matter who gets elected on earth, Jesus is the king of kings, with absolute authority over everyone.
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