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Herod IV

Herod IV received his kingdom after the death of Phillip. Phillip’s tetrarchy became part of Syria upon his death in A.D. 33, but it was given to Agrippa (Herod IV) in A.D. 37 by Caligula. Abilene was added to the territory and later, Agrippa also received Galilee, Judea and Samaria. This gave him the entire kingdom his grandfather had ruled. Jerusalem was his home and he wanted to be seen as an orthodox Jew. He initiated fierce persecution of the early Saints and killed James, the brother of John with a sword.

He then attempted to kill Peter, noticing that this would please the Jews. He placed Peter in prison under the supervision of sixteen guards, intending to deliver him to the people after Easter. Members of the church began a prayer vigil on his behalf.

On the night Peter was to be delivered up, he was sleeping between two soldiers and there were guards at the door. An angel came into the room, bringing light. The angel smote Peter’s side and instructed him to stand. The chains fell away. The angel instructed Peter to dress and follow him. Peter thought it was a vision, rather than an actual event, until he was free and the angel had departed.

Herod was furious when he learned Peter had escaped. He questioned the guards and then ordered them put to death for allowing the escape. Herod then went to Cæsarea to reside. Herod was not happy with the people of Tyre and Sidon, but they wanted peace because their country was nourished by his. Herod gave a speech to them in royal clothing and they proclaimed him to speak in the voice of a god, not a man. An angel promptly appeared and smote him for not giving God the glory. He was eaten of worms and died. His son was allowed to take over only a small portion of his father’s kingdom.

Read the account of Herod in the King James Bible.

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