Herod Agrippa I

Herod Agrippa I was the King of Palestine off and on from 37 to 41 and through 44. Agrippa was the son of Aristobulus and Bernice and the grandson of Herod the Great. Herod Agrippas II was his son, the father was called Herod and the son was called Agrippa. Herod was a favorite at the Roman court, he was given the title of king in 37, and made to rule over parts of southern Syria. Herod Agrippa had been kept in prison in Rome during the reign of the emperor Tiberius, but on the accession of Caligula he was not only restored to liberty, but obtained the provinces that had belonged to his uncle Philip, then of the tetrarchy of Lysanias and regained the title of King Herod in 41 and won the territories of Antipas, who was banished, and of Samaria and Judea. Herod Agrippa I was a half-Jew, raised and educated at Rome. Favored by the emperors Caligula and Claudius, more territories were added to his kingdom so that he ruled over all Palestine, including Judea. What has been said of Herod Agrippa is equally true of Antipas, he had been the meanest thing the world had ever seen - a courtier of the early empire.

Herod was a persecutor of the early Christians. He slew James, and imprisoned Peter.

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he said unto him, Cast thy garment about you, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord has sent his angel, and has delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a damsel came to hearken, named Rhoda. And when she knew Peter's voice, she opened not the gate for gladness, but ran in, and told how Peter stood before the gate. And they said unto her, You are mad. But she constantly affirmed that it was even so. Then said they, It is his angel. But Peter continued knocking: and when they had opened the door, and saw him, they were astonished. But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into another place. Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter. And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judea to Caesarea, and there abode. And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country. And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. But the word of God grew and multiplied.
To make himself popular with the Jews, Herod Agrippa pretended strict observance of Jewish custom. In a display of Pharisaical zeal at the Sanhedrin's urging he executed James the greater, the brother of John, son of Zebedee. Seeing that this had gained favor with the Jews, in typical political expediency, Herod also had Peter arrested. St. Peter was imprisoned in Jerusalem, miraculously escaped and fled to Rome. Among those who left Jerusalem was John and with many migrated to Asia minor.

Except for his brief kingship, 41-44, Palestine continued to be ruled by Roman governors until the Jewish rebellion of 66-70. The story of Peter's escape from imprisonment from Herod is historical, it must have happened in 44, the year Herod Agrippa I died, for it is plain that Peter left Jerusalem just before Herod's death, probably in the spring. It follows that Peter's imprisonment took place before the famine and Paul's visit to Jerusalem, which cannot be earlier than 45 or 46.

The persecution seems to have proceeded no farther than the death of James and the imprisonment of Peter, since he soon after died. Herod Agrippa I was struck down by God suddenly and miserably at Caesarea in 44 while giving his speech. As soon as the people starting worshipping Herod, he died, being "eaten of worms." His daughter was named Drusilla, he died when she was only six.
[291, 309, 334, 356, 08, BD, Acts 12, 377, 380]

The Lord has given Christians the grace to reconcile the children to their Fathers

As One Body

  • We prepare for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb
  • Harvest the Fruit of the Latter Rain
  • Follow Him as the Army of the Lord into His Glory

Help To Prepare A Holy Bride!

Issue Oriented Discussion Newsletter

Index | Search This Site | Aristide.Org | The Latter Rain | Babylon the Great | The Kingdom | The Nicolaitans | Jezebel
The Baptism With the Holy Ghost | The Grand Delusion | World Trade Org | Liberation Theology | Jay Atkinson | Alphabetical Index