The Berean Expositor
Volume 29 - Page 136 of 208
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and Anthony that they nominated him KING OF THE JEWS (A.D. 37). And all this was
accomplished in a single week.
"Before the seven days were over, unintoxicated by his astounding success, unseduced
by the splendours, luxuries and dissipations of Rome, he had rejoined his ships at
Brindusium. He had come to Rome a bunted ruined exile; he left it with purple and
diadem."*
Upon returning to Palestine, war with Antigonus was renewed, and Herod's brother
Joseph was the next to die--this time in battle--his head being sent by Antigonus to
Herod. In revenge, Herod defeated Antigonus' general and sent his head to his (Herod's)
brother, Pheroras. So passed another of this bloodstained family.
While Jerusalem was besieged, Herod went to Samaria and was married to Mariamne,
the descendant of the AsmonŠan Princess. By this marriage Herod entertained high
hopes of winning the approval of the Jews, but in this he was bitterly disappointed.
Antigonus was taken captive at last, and was brought before the Roman general. He was
then sent in chains to Anthony, and, upon being assured by Herod that troubles would
continue if he were spared, Anthony had him first scourged and then beheaded.
Herod now put into operation his long-delayed vengeance upon the Sanhedrin, and a
new period of blood and lust and terror began that it is difficult to parallel even in those
terrible times. It was necessary that a High Priest should be appointed, and Herod chose
an obscure Jew from Babylon named Hananell--who is sometimes identified with the
Annas of the Gospels. Annas' five sons, together with his son-in-law Caiaphas, each
became in turn High Priest at Jerusalem. On hearing that certain Rabbis were discussing
Deut. 17: 15, which forbids a stranger being King, Herod had the whole number put to
death except Baba ben Buta, whom he spared because he wanted his counsel, but whose
eyes he had put out. There is a tradition that Baba counseled Herod to build the Temple
in expiation of his crimes.
There are now entered into the life of Herod, a woman whose name is mainly
associated with  Mark Anthony--Cleopatra,  Queen of Egypt.  Alexandra, the
descendant of the AsmonŠan line, and the mother of Herod's wife, Mariamne, regarded
her son-in-law Herod as an IdumŠan upstart, and began to urge her bosom friend
Cleopatra to use her influence to bring about his downfall together with the replacement
of Hananell by her own son Aristobolus.
[* - We are in great debt to Farrar's book "The Herods" and all quotations in
this series that are not followed by the author's name, are taken from this work.]