The king that Jesus referred to as a fox is Herod Antipas. The Bible says, “The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected” (Luke 13:31-32). King Herod was called a fox as a reference to his craftiness, selfishness and the desire to attack his enemies.
Herod Antipas was the son of Herod the Great and ruler of Galilee and Peraea by authority of Rome (Matthew 2:22; Luke 3:1). Both Matthew (ch. 14:1) and Luke name Herod Antipas by his official title, “tetrarch” (Luke 3:1). He ruled over his territory from the death of his father, Herod the Great, in 4 B.C., to A.D. 39. His mother was Malthace, a Samaritan, and she also mothered Archelaus (Matthew 2:22).
It was about a year prior to this this incident that king Herod had beheaded John the Baptist “…for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife; for he had married her. Because John had said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife….” (Mark 6:14–29).
In view of the awe in which king Herod held Jesus (Matthew 14:1, 2), and he wanted to see Him (Luke 23:8), it is most probable that he also tried to take the life of Christ as well.
The Sanhedrin officially planned to kill Christ. But they didn’t know how to carry on their plan without revolution. The Pharisees gave their message to Jesus in order to scare Him out of Peraea into Judea, where they could capture Him. For nearly two years the Jewish leaders had been plotting His death (John 11:53, 54, 57; Matthew 15:21), and the Jews had attempted twice to stone Him (John 8:59; 10:31; 11:8).
In His service,
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