(myCommunity.com) Who was Herod Antipas? The name of Herod appears again and again in the New Testament from Matthew 1 to Acts 26. Herod is simply the surname of a ruling dynasty in Israel. There are four different rulers referred to as Herod in the New Testament, as well as Herod Philip II, who is referred to as Philip the tetrarch. There were several other Herods that are not mentioned in the New Testament.
Herod Antipater (nicknamed Antipas) became Tetrarch of Galilee and Perea after the death of his father Herod the Great (Herod I). A tetrarch is a "ruler of a room", Since he receives a quarter of his father's kingdom. Herod Antipas ruled as a Roman client and was responsible for the construction projects, including the capital city of Tiberius on the Sea of Galilee. Herod Antipas is the Herod most frequently mentioned in the New Testament and, with the exception of Herod the Great mentioned in Luke 1 and 2, every mention of Herod in the Gospels refers to Herod Antipas.
Herod Antipas divorced his first wife to marry Herodias, who had been the wife of his stepbrother Philip the tetrarch. According to Josefo, the two fell in love and made plans to marry while Antipas visited his brother Felipe. John the Baptist began his ministry during the reigns of Philip and Antipas (Luke 3: 1). In the course of his ardent preaching and denunciation of sin, "He rebuked Herod the tetrarch for his marriage to Herodias, his brother's wife and all the other bad things he had done, [and] Herod added this to everyone: he locked Juan in jail"(Lucas 3: 19-20).
Matthew 14: 3-5 gives more details of the evilness of Herod Antipas: "Now Herod had arrested John, had locked him up and imprisoned him because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because John had been telling him: 'It is not lawful for you to have it. Herod wanted to kill Juan, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered Juan a prophet ". Herodias also hated Juan and wanted him killed, but Herod Antipas feared to keep going because the general population was on Juan's side. . "So Herodias held a grudge against John and wanted to kill him. But she could not, because Herod feared John and protected him, knowing that he was a just and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was very disconcerted; however, he liked to hear it"(Mark 6: 19-20). Herodias plotted a plan with her daughter by which she forced her husband's hand. "On Herod's birthday, the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much that he promised with an oath to give her everything he asked. Encouraged by her mother, she said: 'Give me here on a tray the head of John the Baptist'. The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered his request granted and they beheaded John in prison. They brought their head on a tray and handed it to the girl, who took it to her mother"(Matthew 14: 6-11).
As Jesus' ministry became better known, Herod Antipas began to fear that John the Baptist had risen from the dead (Matthew 14: 1-2). Apparently, he also wanted to kill Jesus, and this was reported to Jesus by some Jewish leaders in Galilee who hoped to lure him to move to a different area. Jesus, without fear, answered: "Go and tell that fox: 'I will continue to expel the demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.' In any case, I must move on today, tomorrow and the next day, because surely no prophet can die outside of Jerusalem! "(Lucas 13: 32-33). Jesus' response not only despises Herod, but also criticizes the Jewish authorities who had a long history of murdering the prophets. Throughout Jesus' ministry, some of the rulers of the Jews conspired with the Herodians (supporters of Herod) against Jesus (Mark 3: 6; 8: 25; 12: 13).
Jesus was finally arrested and brought before Pilate, the governor or prefect of Judea. Pilate tried to escape the responsibility of dealing with Jesus, and thought that he had found his way out when he heard that Jesus was from Galilee: he could transfer the responsibility to Herod Antipas, he reasoned. Then Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, who at that time was in Jerusalem for the Passover (Luke 23: 6-7).
Herod Antipas was excited to see Jesus in person and tried to get Jesus to perform some miracles and asked many questions. Jesus refused to answer, probably because he knew that Herod Antipas was not sincerely seeking the truth. Of course, Jesus also refused to perform any miracle. Herod allowed his soldiers to ridicule and beat Jesus and then sent him back to Pilate (Luke 23: 8-11). That day, Herod and Pilate became friends, whereas before they had disagreed (Luke 23: 12). Although Herod Antipas is mentioned in Acts as being partially responsible for the crucifixion, we do not obtain new information about him.
Herod Antipas finally lost favor with Rome and was exiled to Gaul. King Herod mentioned later in Acts as persecutor of the church in Jerusalem is his nephew, Herod Agrippa I, who replaced the Roman governor over Judea as king of the Jews, and ruled in Jerusalem from 41 to 44 DC.