Now in Caesarea did Pilate rule harshly over the lands of Palestine, being made subject
himself unto Vitellius, Governor of Syria. Yet in Galilee and Perea did Herod reign
wickedly, having been made king by Caesar Augustus.
Herod Antipas sought to converse with Yeshua throughout his ministry, but Yeshua
always managed to avoid meeting with the troubled king (Y:7:72; 39:59-65). After
having Yeshua illegally arrested, the chief priests— hoping to avoid public scrutiny—
sent him to Herod Antipas with the intent of convincing the king to put the Nazarene
to death (Y:46:61-68). However, when Yeshua was brought before the king, Herod refused
to pass judgment out of guilt over the death of John, and fear that Yeshua was indeed
a prophet of God (Y:47:13-14).
Azrael’s Commentary - Herod Antipas
Brother of Herod Philip and Herod Archelaus, and the son and successor of Herod the
Great, Herod Antipas was the tetrarch (king) of Galilee and Perea. He ruled up to
39 CE, when he was banished to the south of France under the orders of Caligula,
the Emperor of Rome.
Herod Antipas was a cruel man often given to debauchery. He was forever trying to
upstage or embarrass his brother Philip. Antipas seduced the wife of Philip (her
name was Herodias), causing her to abandon her husband and move into the court of
Antipas. This behavior was publicly opposed and rebuked by John the Baptizer. In
a fit of rage, Herod Antipas ordered John’s arrest and eventually gave the order
that cost John his life. Yeshua always avoided Antipas and publicly refused to even
speak with him.
Herod Antipas died in a drunken stupor at a feast which he had given. He awoke late
at his party to find his guests asleep from too much wine and food. Antipas got up
to relieve himself and stumbled into a bathing pool where he drowned. At his funeral,
there was not even one mourner at the graveside.
Azrael’s Commentary - Herodians
The political faction within Israel whose aim it was to promote the interest of Herod
Antipas. This faction was comprised of members from Herod’s family, palace officers,
court ministers and members of the day-to-day administrative bureaucracy. The Herodians
had secular interests, not religious ones.
It should be noted that the religious leaders of Jerusalem despised Herod Antipas,
and were always working to undermine his authority within Israel. When it became
known that the rulers of the temple were hotly opposed to Yeshua and his teachings,
the Herodians saw an opportunity to boost the popular support for their King, while
at the same time taking popular support away from the religious leaders of Jerusalem.
All the Herodians had to do was to get Yeshua and Herod together, and then have Yeshua
say something nice about the King. And since Yeshua was, himself, very popular because
of his miracles and his rebuking of temple leaders, this popular support would then
shift in favor to the King. However, as can be seen from scripture, Yeshua would
never see the King, and he avoided the Herodians whenever possible.
Azrael’s Commentary - Chuza
Chief steward in the palace of Herod Antipas, Chuza became a believer in Yeshua through
the efforts of his wife Joanna, and of his friend Matthew. Chuzu is primarily responsible
for Herod’s refusal to pass judgment against Yeshua (Yeshua 47:13-14).
And the chief priests and scribes from that day forth kept watch over the Nazarene
daily, sending unto the Lord many spies which, for a pretense, would seem just men;
For they desired to take hold of his words to turn against him, that thereby they
might deliver him unto the power and authority of them which ruled.
For they which were of the temple, being privy to the intrigues of the High Priest,
would not that they should appear before the people to kill the Lord, lest all Israel
rise against them;
For this cause did they desire to bring the Lord unto Herod Antipas that perchance
he might kill him even as he killed John; and if he would not, then would they deliver
the Lord unto Pilate.
But these things did they conspire to do privily, desiring to be seen of men as innocent,
being held blameless in the death of the Holy One of Israel.