HEROD THE GREAT
The story begins with Herod the Great in Matthew 2. Herod, who is not really Jewish, is appointed King of the Jews in 40 BC. He is famous for his building projects, but even more so for his blood-thirsty greed. Herod dies in 4 BC and his kingdom is divided between three sons.
Herod has at least 10 wives, the more important are listed here.
Mariamne 1 – Is married for her family connections. She has several children, but her first son is Aristobulus, who Herod kills in 7 BC.
Mariamne 2 – Is the daughter of one of the High Priests. She has Herod Phillip, who is the unfortunate first husband of Herodias.
Doris – Herod’s first wife, who is let go. She has Antipater, killed by Herod in 4 BC.
Malthace – A Samaritan woman who has Antipas and Archelaus. They take over Galilee and Judea respectively after Herod’s death.
Cleopatra (of Jerusalem) – She has Phillip the tetrarch who takes over Herod’s northern lands after his death.
The curses on unfaithfulness last for three to four generations and we see them do this with Herod. Herod’s kingdom was divided between three sons. One of whom we hear about in the Gospel of Mark (Mark 6:14-29). We meet this same Herod a little bit later in the Book of Luke as Pontius Pilate learns that Jesus was from Galilee (Luke 23:6-12).
Antipas later has his kingdom stripped from him and his territory is given to Herod Agrippa, his nephew and the son of Aristobulus, Mariamne’s son killed by Herod the Great in 7 BC. We first hear from Agrippa in Acts 12
DRUSILLA, BERNICE, AND AGRIPPA II
Herod Agrippa had three children who we hear more from later on. In Acts 24:24 we run into Drusilla, Agrippa’s daughter, Herod the Great’s great grand daughter. Paul is handed over to Festus who needs help writing the charges against Paul and requests the aid of Agrippa, the previous Agrippa’s son. This new Agrippa shows up with Bernice, Acts 25 & 26, his sister and hears Paul out. Agrippa, though rattled by Paul’s testimony, remains hard hearted and helps Festus send Paul off to Ceasar (Nero) where he eventually will be martyred.
Herod’s story offers us a perfect example of what the conflict between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent really looks like. This story is going on all around us right now, but must be seen with the eye of faith.