Who was Herod Antipas in the Bible?

Author: BibleAsk Team

Herod Antipas

Herod Antipas, an evil biblical figure, emerges prominently in the New Testament, particularly in the Gospels. His role in the biblical narrative is multifaceted, marked by political intrigue, moral ambiguity, and his interactions with pivotal characters like John the Baptist and Jesus. This exploration delves into his life and actions.

I. Historical Context: Herod Antipas was a son of Herod the Great, a powerful ruler in the Roman Empire. After Herod the Great’s death, the kingdom was divided among his sons, and Antipas became tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, regions in the northern part of Israel.

II. Encounter with John the Baptist: One of the most well-known episodes involving this man is his interaction with John the Baptist. In Matthew 14:1-12, Mark 6:14-29, and Luke 9:7-9, the Bible recounts how Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, was offended by John’s criticism of her marriage to Herod. Eventually, Herod Antipas, influenced by Herodias’ daughter, ordered John’s execution, showcasing the political and personal dynamics at play.

III. Encounter with Jesus: Herod Antipas also features in the Gospel narratives related to Jesus. In Luke 13:31-33, some Pharisees warn Jesus that this man intends to kill Him. Jesus responds with a message of determination, indicating His commitment to His mission despite external threats. This passage underscores the tension between Jesus and certain political figures of the time.

IV. Herod’s Role in Jesus’ Trial: During the events leading to Jesus’ crucifixion, Herod Antipas plays a role in the Gospel of Luke. In Luke 23:6-12, Pilate sends Jesus to him, who happens to be in Jerusalem during the Passover. However, Herod’s encounter with Jesus doesn’t lead to any legal action, and he sends Jesus back to Pilate.

V. Herod’s Presence in Jerusalem: Luke 23:7-12 narrates the episode of Herod’s presence in Jerusalem during Jesus’ trial. This event provides insight into the political and social dynamics of the time, with various authorities involved in the decision-making process regarding Jesus’ fate.

VI. Death and Legacy: Herod Antipas is mentioned in connection with Jesus’ death, but his subsequent fate is not explicitly detailed in the New Testament. Some speculate that he may have been involved in the persecution of early Christians, but the biblical narrative does not offer conclusive evidence.

VII. Lessons from Herod Antipas: The portrayal of Herod Antipas in the New Testament serves as a cautionary tale about the perils of political power and moral compromise. His decisions, particularly regarding John the Baptist, highlight the wicked actions by those in positions of authority.


Herod Antipas, a wicked character entwined with political authority and moral corruption, plays a role in the biblical narrative. His interactions with key figures like John the Baptist and Jesus provide valuable insights into the political and social landscape of the time. As readers reflect on his story, they are prompted to consider the broader themes of power, morality, and the evil choices individuals make in the face of political and personal pressures.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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