Let’s take a look at Herod the not so Great!
We have mentioned him in several other post…Slaughtering of the Innocents for example.
So how did he obtain this leadership position?
It all began with Herod’s father…Antipater. Antipater was assigned by Julius Caesar to be “governor” over the Jerusalem area. This was not a clean and neat assignment. There were about 12,000 Jews killed before he took over…yep, he assisted in the killings.
When Julius Caesar died..Antipater was no longer protected by the man who put him in office so he was killed.
Again, this is the very abbreviated version.
Before Herod’s father died (Antipater) he made him (Herod) governor of Galilee. He was only about 25 at the time.
Herod became very popular very fast because he chased down and killed a bandit and a lot of his followers. This made him popular with the Roman government because they had wanted this done and it made him popular with the Jewish people.
I heard an Amy Grant song that went something like…”There is good of us in the worst of us and bad of us in the best of us”….that is Herod.
Herod married a Jewish woman to “be” Jewish. She was from the Maccabees line.
Herod wanted to be liked….he rebuilt (or was in the process of) the temple, revived a city, lowered taxes…twice, melted down gold from the palace during a famine and bought food for the poor. He even had followers…the Herodians (Matthew 22:16).
The majority of the Jewish people did not want Herod to rule though, and they begged and begged Marc Antony to get rid of him. Well, Mac Antony was very distracted with Cleopatra (the famous one). Herod also brought in a lot of money for the government AND their families were friends.
I encourage you to read more about this time in history…Cleopatra, Marc Antony and Rome…read something, don’t watch a romanticized movie! It is very interesting!
Rome gets very, very upset that there is such a resistanence to Herod and they send an army to help restore order….basically…they just slaughtered a bunch of people…men, women and children.
Herod was paranoid, crazy and an alcoholic! Dangerous combination!
He ends up killing his favorite wife and a couple of their sons because he thought they were plotting against him. Who knows…maybe they were but still.
He died a very painful death. At the end of his life he knew he was hated and he also knew no one would mourn him so…he gathers some of the most popular Jewish people and throws them in jail. Why you ask? Well…the guards were ordered to kill the prisoners the moment Herod died so at least there would be crying at his death.
I read that the guards actually let the prisoners go but I can’t find enough sources to say for sure.
I know I mentioned this before but this man had sooo many chances to do the right thing.
Yes, he did do some good things. He just soooo wanted to be respected, loved and admired. Not unlike the rest of us.
He just seemed to go about it the wrong way. Instead of offering love and respect…he ruled with fear!
If someone is showing you love by making you afraid…that isn’t love!
Please don’t be ruled by fear. You deserve more and God wants more for you.
You are precious, important and worthy….remember that!