Herod

From the Encylopoedia Britannic: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Herod-king-of-Judaea

Herod was born in southern Palestine. His father, Antipater, was an Edomite (a Semitic people, identified by some scholars as Arab, who converted to Judaism in the 2nd century bce). [Traditional enemies of the Israelites, the Edomites were the descendants of Esau who often battled the Jewish nation. Edom was in southeast Palestine, stretched from the Red Sea at Elath to the Dead Sea, and encompassed some of Israel’s most fertile land]

Antipater was a man of great influence and wealth who increased both by marrying the daughter of a noble from Petra (in southwestern Jordan), at that time the capital of the rising Arab Nabataean kingdom. Thus, Herod was of Arab origin, although he was a practicing Jew.

When Pompey (106–48 bce) []bce means before a common era a dedication made to appease all non Christians the higher the numer the further back before the Christ it refers to. Christ was born about 18 monts BCE (I think…ummm) invaded Palestine in 63 bce, Antipater supported his campaign and began a long association with Rome, from which both he and Herod were to benefit. Six years later Herod met Mark Antony, whose lifelong friend he was to remain.

Julius Caesar also favoured the family; he appointed Antipater procurator of Judaea in 47 bce and conferred on him Roman citizenship, an honour that descended to Herod and his children. Herod made his political debut in the same year, when his father appointed him governor of Galilee. Six years later Mark Antony made him tetrarch of Galilee.

Herod was born in southern Palestine. His father, Antipater, was an Edomite (a Semitic people, identified by some scholars as Arab, who converted to Judaism in the 2nd century bce). Antipater was a man of great influence and wealth who increased both by marrying the daughter of a noble from Petra (in southwestern Jordan), at that time the capital of the rising Arab Nabataean kingdom. Thus, Herod was of Arab origin, although he was a practicing Jew.

When Pompey (106–48 bce) invaded Palestine in 63 bce, Antipater supported his campaign and began a long association with Rome, from which both he and Herod were to benefit. Six years later Herod met Mark Antony, whose lifelong friend he was to remain. Julius Caesar also favoured the family; he appointed Antipater procurator of Judaea in 47 bce and conferred on him Roman citizenship, an honour that descended to Herod and his children. Herod made his political debut in the same year, when his father appointed him governor of Galilee. Six years later Mark Antony made him tetrarch of Galilee.

In 40 bce the Parthians invaded Palestine, civil war broke out, and Herod was forced to flee to Rome. The senate there nominated him king of Judaea and equipped him with an army to make good his claim. In the year 37 bce, at the age of 36, Herod became the unchallenged ruler of Judaea, a position he was to maintain for 32 years. To further solidify his power, he divorced his first wife, Doris, sent her and his son away from court, and married Mariamne, a Hasmonean princess. Although the union was directed at ending his feud with the Hasmoneans, a priestly family of Jewish leaders, he was deeply in love with Mariamne.

During the conflict between the two triumvirs Octavian and Antony, the heirs to Caesar’s power, Herod supported his friend Antony. He continued to do so even when Antony’s mistress, Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, used her influence with Antony to gain much of Herod’s best land. After Antony’s final defeat at Actium in 31 bce, he frankly confessed to the victorious Octavian which side he had taken.

Octavian, who had met Herod in Rome, knew that he was the one man to rule Palestine as Rome wanted it ruled and confirmed him king. He also restored to Herod the land Cleopatra had taken.

Herod became the close friend of Augustus’s great minister Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, after whom one of his grandsons and one of his great-grandsons were named. Both the emperor and the minister paid him state visits, and Herod twice again visited Italy.

Augustus gave him the oversight of the Cyprus copper mines, with a half share in the profits. He twice increased Herod’s territory, in the years 22 and 20 bce, so that it came to include not only Palestine but parts of what are now the kingdom of Jordan to the east of the river and southern Lebanon and Syria. He had intended to bestow the Nabataean kingdom on Herod as well, but, by the time that throne fell vacant, Herod’s mental and physical deterioration made it impossible. [His story repeats itself in 2021. Isn’t that a coincidence.]

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