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Herod the Great and the Herodians

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    Herod the Great was king of Judah, or Judea, 47-4 B.C. He was the founder of the dynasty and was king at the time of the birth of Jesus. Herod was the son of Antipater, a leader of Idumaea (Edom) in southern Palestine, In 47 B.C. Julius Caesar, the Roman dictator, made Antipater procurator (governor) of Judea. Herod became governor of Galilee under his father. After Antipater was assassinated in 43 Herod won the favor of the Roman authorities and was made king of Judea in 37. He put to death the last ruler of the Maccabees, the former Jewish ruling family and married Mariamne, a member of this family.

    During his middle years Herod put down revolts, established domestic order, built new cities, and erected many magnificent buildings. Although not a Jew, he observed the Jewish law and rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem. Herod was troubled by intrigues among his 10 wives and their families. During the last years of his life he was probably insane. He put to death several members of his own family, including Mariamne and two of their sons.

    Shortly before he died Herod heard of the birth of Jesus, called “king of the Jews.” He ordered the slaying of all children of Bethlehem under the age of two—the “Massacre of the Innocents.”

    On the other hand, Herodians are group of people who oppose and reject Jesus Christ. This name is after King Herod who greatly opposes the birth of Jesus Christ. Moreover, no matter how Herod and the Herodians tried to stop the teaching of Jesus, they still failed in doing so because up to the present, the teachings of Jesus are continually believed and spread.

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