Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Block 89 Herod Agrippa I

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“Immediately and angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory.” Acts 12:23
Before he died, King Herod the Great became mentally unstable, and as a result of his extreme paranoia, Herod had his son and heir, Aristobulus IV, executed.  Hoping to preserve a line of future heirs, Herod sent Agrippa I, Aristobulus’ son, to Rome to be raised and educated safely.  Agrippa grew up  with the Roman emperor Tiberius’s son, Drusus.  Agrippa became a bit of a playboy and blew through his inheritance from his mother (Mariamne, also executed by Herod) fairly quickly.  When his friend, Drusus, died, Agrippa had to go to work for a living.  He appealed to his uncle Antipas for a job, but didn’t stick with it.  He borrowed money to live on and accrued a large debt. He returned to Rome and took a position tutoring Tiberius’s grandson.  Agrippa became friends  with Caligula, Tiberius’s heir, and when Tiberius died, Caligula named Agrippa king of the territory that his uncle Phillip had ruled after Herod the Great’s  death. His uncle Antipas tried to come between Agrippa and Caligula, but Caligula tossed Antipas out and allowed Agrippa to lead Galilee as well.  Caligula wanted to name Agrippa King of Judea, but was assassinated before he could make it happen.  Caligula’s successor, Claudius, rewarded Agrippa for his support by naming him King of Judea and Syria.
Knowing that the two previous Kings of Judea were not supported by the Jews of the land, Agrippa made a concerted effort to support orthodox Jewish policies and persecute Christian Jews.  He ordered the execution of James of Zebedee (James became the first Christian martyr).  This act gained him so much Jewish support, that Agrippa decided to imprison and execute the apostle Peter as well.  But the night before Peter was to be executed, and angel woke him and helped him to escape.
 At the same time, Agrippa continued building cities and buildings for the Roman Empire, minting Roman coins and hosting Roman games of speed and strength. He hoped that he could forge a bonded relationship between the Jews and the Romans.  It is quite probable that Agrippa began suffering delusions.  He began to consider himself a god and started to dress the part.  During a speech in Caeseria, the people were impressed by his dress and manner and cried out that Agrippa spoke as a god, not a man.  When Agrippa accepted their homage, he was immediately struck down by an angel of God.  He died a horrible death, similar to his grandfather’s shortly thereafter.  Let this be a lesson to all of us that the gifts we are given are given by God and can easily be taken away.

 







King Herod Agrippa I was a fool to think he was a god, not a man, and he died a horrible death.  I chose Fool’s Square to represent Herod for the fool that he was.

 

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