Herod the tetrarch

Published September 22, 2022, 12:09 AM

by Manila Bulletin


The tetrarch Herod in today’s Gospel is Herod Antipas who was appointed by the Roman emperor Augustus to rule over Galilee and Perea at the death of his father Herod the Great. He divorced his first wife, the daughter of King Aretas of Nabatea, in favor of Herodias who had been formerly married to his half-brother. John the Baptist’s condemnation of the arrangement led Antipas to have him arrested and subsequently put to death. According to the Jewish historian Josephus, Antipas anticipated the trouble John might cause by rousing the crowd against him.

Jesus’ popularity as a prophet and healer has aroused Herod’s curiosity. Could Jesus be the Baptist, come to life again to haunt him? Would Jesus arouse the people’s anger against his despotic rule? This “fox” used his connection among the Pharisees to tell Jesus to leave his territory of Galilee, with an accompanying threat (Lk 13:31). But Jesus is unmoved. His ministry is determined by the Father’s will, not by Herod or any other human being. He will see Herod when the time comes, in his passion in Jerusalem (Lk 23:7-8).

Gospel • LUKE 9:7-9

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead”; others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”; still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.” But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him.

Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” St. Pauls, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.