Tetrarchy of Herod Antipas

G8 on the Map.

Region. Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great by Malthace, a Samaritan. He was referred to in the Bible as "Herod the Tetrarch" (Matt 14:1). He received Tetrarchy over Upper and Lower Galilee and the district of Perea from his father Herod the Great and ruled for over 40 years (4 B.C.-A.D. 39). Both the New Testament and Josephus (Antiquities xviii) reveal the most about Herod Antipas, who is mainly remembered for his execution (beheading) of John the Baptist. He is referred to by Jesus as "that Fox" (Luke 13:32), the reason of which we can only guess. Herod Antipas, like his father, had a love for architecture and built a city of Tiberias in A.D. 22. It is interesting that neither he nor his father would allow their heads to be portrayed on coins, possibly because of some sort of connection with Judaism.

Herod Antipas originally married a daughter of the Nabataean king Aretas IV, but he divorced her in order to marry Herodias (the daughter of his late half-brother Aristobulus, and wife of his other half-brother Herod Philip). This not only angered Aretas, who defeated him in A.D. 36, but John the Baptist condemned him (Matt 14:4; Mark 6:18; Luke 3:19). It is interesting that Josephus reported that many of the people saw Herod Antipas' defeat by king Aretas as divine punishment for beheading John the Baptist.

When Pontius Pilate had arrested Jesus he sent Him to Herod Antipas, because Jesus was from Nazareth in Galilee, and fell under Herod's jurisdiction. Jesus refused to answer Herod's questions and therefore Herod mocked Him and said them back to Pontius Pilate (Luke 23: 7-12).

According to history after Caligula became the Emperor in A.D. 37, Herod Antipas was accused by Herod Agrippa I for plotting against Rome, and he was banished to Lyons in Gaul (A.D. 39) and Herodias chose to accompany him.

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