Herod the Great had tremendous wealth and influence in his day. He controlled major trade routes and constructed buildings and cities that showcased his power. Despite the glory he enjoyed in life, the buildings Herod built for himself now lie in ruins. His legacy became a shambles too and he is remembered today as a hard-hearted and violent man.

The Herod family had many encounters with Jesus and his message, however no one in this family believed.

Herod the Great learned about Jesus birth from the wise men, and responded by trying to kill the infant Jesus (Matt. 2:1-16). In an effort to do this, Herod killed all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years of age and younger.

Antipas, Herod the Great’s son, heard about Jesus and listened to John the Baptist’s teachings. He met Jesus but sent him to Pilate (Mark 6:14-20; Luke 23:8-12).

Emperor Claudius gave Herod the Great’s entire kingdom to Agrippa I, Herod’s grandson. Agrippa I arrested Christians, had James put to death, imprisoned Peter, and died when he allowed people to treat him like a god (Acts 12:21-23).

Herod had little respect for God and even considered himself equal with him; he refused to give God the glory and honored only himself. These values influenced his family as well as his culture as a whole. Herod taught them to pursue paths of defiance against God, and produced many generations of hardened hearts.

 


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