Herod II

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Herod II
Prince of Judea
Bornc. 27 BC
DiedAD 33/34
DynastyHerodian dynasty
FatherHerod the Great
MotherMariamne (third wife of Herod)

Herod II (ca. 27 BC – 33/34 AD)[1][2] was the son of Herod the Great and Mariamne II, the daughter of Simon Boethus the High Priest. For a brief period he was his father's heir. Some writers call him Herod Philip I (not to be confused with Philip the Tetrarch, whom some writers call Herod Philip II).

Herod was the first husband of Herodias, and because the Gospel of Mark 6:17 states that Herodias was married to Philip, some scholars have argued that his name was actually Herod Philip. Because he was the grandson of the high priest Simon Boethus he is sometimes described as Herod Boethus, but there is no evidence he was actually called this.[3]

Life and marriage[edit]

Herod the Great's execution of his two sons born by his Hasmonean wife Mariamne, Alexander and Aristobulus IV in 7 BC, left the latter's daughter Herodias orphaned and a minor. Herod engaged her to Herod II, her half-uncle, and her connection to the Hasmonean bloodline supported her new husband's right to succeed his father.

As Josephus reports in Jewish Antiquities (Book XVIII, Chapter 5, 4):

Herodias, [...], was married to Herod, the son of Herod the Great by Mariamne, the daughter of Simon the High Priest. [Herod II and Herodias] had a daughter, Salome...[4]

This led to opposition to the marriage from Antipater II, Herod the Great's eldest son, and so Herod demoted Herod II to second in line to the succession. Antipater's execution in 4 BC for plotting to poison his father seemed to leave Herod II, now the eldest surviving son of Herod the Great, as first in line, but his mother's knowledge of the poison plot, and failure to stop it, led to his being dropped from this position in Herod I's will just days before he died. Herod II lived in Rome with Herodias as a private citizen[5] and therefore survived his father's deathbed purges. Herod Antipas and his other remaining half-brothers shared Judaea amongst them.


Herodias later married Herod II's half-brother, Herod Antipas. According to Josephus:

Herodias took upon her to confound the laws of our country, and divorced herself from her husband while he was alive, and was married to Herod Antipas[4]

According to Matthew 14:3–5 and Luke 3:18–20, it was this proposed marriage that John the Baptist opposed. The Gospel of Matthew indicates that John was executed because he criticized this marriage (Matthew 14:3–12). Nothing is known of Herod II after his divorce.

Family tree of the Herodian dynasty[edit]

Antipater the Idumaean
procurator of Judea
2.Mariamne I
3.Mariamne II
Herod I the Great
king of Judea
5.Cleopatra of Jerusalem
governor of Jerusalem
(1) Antipater
heir of Judaea
(2) Alexander I
prince of Judea
(2) Aristobulus IV
prince of Judea
(3) Herod II Philip
prince of Judea
(4) Herod Archelaus
ethnarch of Judea, Idumea
(4) Herod Antipas
tetrarch of Galilea & Perea
(5) Philip the Tetrarch
of Iturea & Trachonitis
Tigranes V of ArmeniaAlexander II
prince of Judea
Herod Agrippa I
king of Judea
Herod V
ruler of Chalcis
Aristobulus Minor
prince of Judea
Tigranes VI of ArmeniaHerod Agrippa II
king of Judea
ruler of Chalcis
Gaius Julius Alexander
ruler of Cilicia
Gaius Julius Agrippa
quaestor of Asia
Gaius Julius Alexander Berenicianus
proconsul of Asia
Lucius Julius Gainius Fabius Agrippa


  1. ^ Kokkinos (1999), The Herodian Dynasty, p. 237
  2. ^ Nelson, Thomas (1996) Nelson's Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts p. 290
  3. ^ Florence Morgan Gillman, Herodias: at home in that fox's den (Liturgical Press, 2003) p. 16.
  4. ^ a b W. Whiston translation at Project Gutenberg
  5. ^ Merrill Chapin Tenney, Walter M. Dunnett, (1985). New Testament Survey, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing


  • Kokkinos, Nikkos (1998). The Herodian Dynasty: Origins, Role in Society and Eclipse. Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha Supplement Series. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. pp. 236–240. ISBN 978-1-85075-690-3.

External links[edit]