Summary: Son of Herod the Great, and half-brother to Herod Antipas and Herod Archelaus,
Herod Philip (known as Philip the Tetrarch) inherited the northeast territory of
his father’s kingdom, which included the divisions of Batanea, Trachonitis, Auranitis,
and Panias (Y:20:46). According to scripture, Philip was a good man held in high
regard by the population over which he governed (Y:20:47).
During the second year of his ministry, Yeshua traveled to Caesarea Philippi to teach
and heal the people (Y:20:1). One day, as Yeshua was resting in the marketplace,
the king — disguised as a merchant — approached Yeshua, hoping to receive wisdom
from the Master without revealing his identity. The king was bewildered when Yeshua
promptly identified him, claiming he’d been waiting for Philip all along (Y:20:40-45).
Knowing he was close to death, Philip sought counsel from Yeshua, as he feared passing
away unto God (Y:20:46-71).
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.
And the man which was come as a stranger unto Yeshua, let down the covering from
off his head; and behold, there sat before the Lord, Herod Philip, tetrarch of all
Batanea, Trachonitis, Auranitis, and Panias.
Now Herod Philip was a good man which desired to rule wisely over the people, and
all those which were of Caesarea Philippi had regard for him; for between the Jews
and the Gentiles had he established the rule of peace.
But Philip was without any child to succeed him and he oftentimes grew weak of heart
because of fever, and many feared for him lest he die and Herod Antipas lay claim
before Caesar against all the land.