The King Herod Collection
“Herod” is not just one person; the Bible uses the name interchangeably to indicate any of the kings who ruled the Holy Land from 40 BC to 92 AD.
Herod I, the Great, is one of the Bible’s most complex figures. A brilliant politician and the greatest builder in Jewish history, he was also a paranoid madman who ruthlessly executed anyone he deemed a threat to his absolute power, whether legitimate rivals, family members, or innocent babies. Crowned King of the Jews by the Roman Senate, Herod ruled from 40 BC until his disease-ridden death 36 years later. A prodigious builder, Herod expanded the Second Temple in Jerusalem, of which only the famed Western Wall remains. He constructed fortresses at Masada, Antonia, and Herodium; the port city of Caesarea; the huge edifice atop the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron; and massive fortifications around Jerusalem, as well as three towers at the city’s entrance.
Herod Archelaus was next in line, ruling Judaea until 6 AD. Matthew 2:13-23 reports that Joseph of Arimethea, who had fled with his wife Mary and the baby Jesus to Egypt to escape the Massacre of the Innocents, was told by an angel to return to Israel after the death of Herod I. Upon hearing that Archelaus was the new king—he had a well-deserved reputation for cruelty and bloodlust—Joseph “was afraid to go thither” and was subsequently instructed to go to Galilee. This explains why Jesus was born in Bethlehem but grew up in Nazareth. Herod Archelaus was deposed by order of Roman Emperor Caligula in 6 AD and banished to Gaul.
The third King Herod, Herod Agrippa, was Herod the Great’s grandson. He was friends with the dreaded Roman Emperor Caligula, and it was Agrippa who ordered the death of James, son of Zebedee—the first Apostle to be martyred. At Caesarea in 44 AD, while presiding over public games, an owl appeared over Agrippa’s head. He immediately keeled over, suffering from severe abdominal pains, and was dead five days later. Acts 12 explains that he was struck down by God for accepting the hollow praise of sycophants, and eaten by worms.
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Judea, bronze prutah, 37-4th BCE W: 1.2-1.9 g D: 12-13.5 mm Obv: Anchor Reverse Double cornucopia
Judea, bronze prutah, 23 BCE- 18th CE, W: 0.8-1.8 g D: 12-14.5 mm Obverse: 1. Helmet / 2. Bow of ship Reverse: 1. Grapes / 2. Laurel wreath
Herod Agrippa I
Judea, bronze prutah, Judea 41-44th CE W: 1.5-2.7 g D: 16.5-18.5 mm Obv: Umbrella & inscription Rev: Barley ears-w/ date