Catholic Encyclopedia: Herod

Herod was the name of many rulers mentioned in the N.T. and in history. It was known long before the time of thebiblical Herods. (See Schürer, "Hist. of the Jewish People", etc., Div. I, v. I, p. 416, note.) The Herods connected with the early history of Christianity are the following:Herod, surnamed the Great, called by Grätz "the evil genius of the Judean nation" (Hist., v. II, p. 77), was a son ofAntipater, an IdumÃ"an (Jos., "Bel. Jud.", I, vi, 2). The IdumÃ"ans were brought under subjection by John Hyrcanus towards the end of the second century B. C., and obliged to live as Jews, so that they were considered Jews (Jos., "Ant.", XIII, ix, 4). Yet Antigonus called Herod a half-Jew (Jos., "Ant.", XIV, xv, 2, and note in Whiston), while the Jews, when it furthered their interests, spoke of Herod their king as by birth a Jew (Jos., "Ant." XX, viii, 7). Antipater, the father of Herod, had helped the Romans in the Orient, and the favour of Rome brought the Herodian family into great prominence and power.

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