King Herod the Great - Bible text

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King Herod the Great, as portrayed in the TV series 'Rome'

Herod the Great

Planets and stars

Astrology in the ancient world

The face of a fox

Herod Antipas

Coin bearing the  likeness of Herod Agrippa I

Herod Agrippa I

Young prince like Herod Agrippa II, Fayum coffin portrait

Herod Agrippa II

Masada at sunset

Lonely, luxurious Masada

Aerial photograph of Machaerus

Fortress: Machaerus  where John the Baptist was beheaded

Reconstruction of  one of Herod's palaces at Jericho

luxurious winter palace

Model of King Herod's castle/fortress at Herodiium

Herod's Castle: Herodium

Model of the Temple in Jerusalem built by King Herod the Great

King Herod's  Jerusalem

Sinister-looking man

 Bible Villains






King Herod the Great: mad, bad, dangerous

Bible reference: Matthew 2

1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, 2 "Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him." 

3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 They told him, "In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: 6 'And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.'" 

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star appeared; 8 and he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and worship him." 

9 When they had heard the king they went their way; and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy; 11 and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 

12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.


Famous Bible quotes about the four Herods
  1. 'When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16, King Herod the Great)

  2. 'His head (John the Baptist's) was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who brought it to her mother..' (Matthew 14:10, Herod Antipas)

  3. 'About that time King Herod laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church. He had James, brother of John, killed with the sword. He proceeded to arrest Peter also.' (Acts 12:1-3, Herod Agrippa I)

  4. 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?'  (Acts 26:14, Paul reporting to Agrippa II)


The Magi at the house of Herod, James Tissot

The Magi at the house of Herod, James Tissot

King Herod and the Magi, stained glass window

King Herod and the Magi, stained glass window


Planets and stars

Astrology in the ancient world


Bible Stories: People of the New Testament:  Herod the Great, Herod Antipas and Herod Agrippa: Bible Study Resource

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