The grandson of Herod the Great, Herod Agrippa is best known for being the first to execute one of Jesus’ disciples. “He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw much this pleased the Jewish leaders, he arrested Peter” (Acts 12:2-3). An angel freed Peter.

Herod rose to power the same way his grandfather did-through Roman connections. Educated in Rome, he grew up wit Caligula and Claudius, who became emperors. Caligula named Herod king over some of the Jewish territories, and Claudius later added the rest, uniting the Jews under one king for the first time since Herod the Great died nearly a half century earlier.

In AD 44, at age fifty-four, he got deathly sick after a crowd in Caesarea cheered him as a god. “An angel of the Lord struck Herod with a sickness, because he accepted the people’s worship instead of giving the glory to God.

So he was consumed with worms and died” (Acts 12:23). His grandfather died in a similar way, with maggot-infested gangrene.

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