Christogenea on Talkshoe – Matthew Chapters 14 and 15, July 1st, 2011
XIV 1 At that time Herodas the Tetrarch had heard the report of Yahshua, 2 and he said to his servants: “This is Iohannes the Baptist! He has risen from the dead and for this reason works of power operate in him!”
This is the first time we have seen the name Herod since chapter 2, but this is not the same Herod. There are ten different men named Herod, all of the same family of Edomites, identified in the index to Whiston's Works of Josephus. That first Herod, whom the jews like to call “the great”, is better known as the usurping murderer of the Hasamoneans and the son of the Edomite Antipater. He died just a short time after the birth of Christ, about 1 or 2 BC. He was succeeded by his son, Herod Archelaus, who was so cruel that after only a few years the Romans took the kingdom from him and exiled him to Vienna in Gaul. From that point on Judaea was split into four pieces, and rulers called tetrarchs were set over them, a tetrarch being a ruler of a fourth. Rather, this is Herod Antipas, another son of the first Herod, and he and his brother Philip each received a tetrarchy from Rome.
Herod Antipas was tetrarch over Galilee and Peraea (which was just east of the Jordan). Philip was tetrarch of Gaulanitis, Trachonitis and Panaea, which were all north of Peraea and east of the Sea of Galilee. Some time after Philip's death, another Herod, named Agrippa, was by the emperor Caligula made a king of this tetrarchy, since Philip had left no sons. Herod Agrippa was a grandson of the first Herod by Aristobulus, a son whom Herod had put to death. It is Herod the tetrarch, however, Philip's brother, the Herod who had his brother's wife, who is the Herod so prominent in the Gospels during the ministry of Christ. When John the Baptist upbraided Herod for taking Philip's wife as his own, Philip was still alive – for which see Josephus, Antiquities, 18.5.4. This Herod the tetrarch was later banished to Spain by Caligula (who was emperor from 37-41 AD), and his tetrarchy was added to the kingdom of Herod Agrippa (Josephus, Wars, 2.9.6). It is Herod Agrippa whose death is described later, in Acts chapter 12.