There are a bewildering number of “Herods” who make an appearance in the pages of the New Testament—keeping them all straight can be a challenge! Herod, somewhat miss-titled the “Great,” is the first to be mentioned and the ancestor of all of the others. Born around 70 BC, he ruled the entirety of Jewish Palestine (as well as some other areas) on behalf of Rome from 37 BC until his death in 4 BC. A skillful politician, a talented administrator, and a prodigious builder, he was nevertheless a brutal tyrant who killed many of his own family. Despite his many accomplishments, he is most frequently remembered today for being on the throne when the true King made His appearance in Bethlehem.
- Jesus was most likely born in 5 or 6 BC—the division between A.D and B.C. is a few years off. ↩