Agrippa

Acts 12  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 14
Grandson of Herod the Great. His early years were passed as a spendthrift and a wanderer, but at length being at Rome he contrived to win the favor of Caligula, who on coming to the throne in A.D. 37 declared Agrippa to be the successor of Philip the Tetrarch, who had died three years previously. By preferring charges against Antipas, who had married his sister Herodias, Agrippa got this prince deposed and banished, and in A.D. 39 he succeeded him in the territories of Galilee and Perna. He was still a guest of Caligula at Rome when that tyrant was cut off in A.D. 41, and having used his influence in the election of Caligula’s successor Claudius, this emperor not only confirmed the previous grants, but added those of Judea, Samaria, and Abilene, so that his possessions were nearly identical with those of his grandfather Herod the Great. He was in these possessions when we read of him in the New Testament as Herod the king (Acts 12). He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and because he saw it pleased the Jews he seized Peter also. This happened about A.D. 43, and within a year the king, allowing himself to be called a god, was smitten by the Almighty and died a miserable death. The account given by Josephus as to Agrippa’s administrative qualities, his exertions for the Jews whilst at Rome, and his desires to strengthen and embellish Jerusalem, may be true; but his seizing the apostles to please the Jews stamps him as one unfitted to rule, while his overweening pride in the last scene of his life made him the just object of the wrath of Him who will not give His glory to another.