1. Herod Agrippa I, grandson of Herod the Great; the name ‘Agrippa’ was assumed on account of a friendship with Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, son-in-law of the emperor Augustus. In 37 ce he was given the former tetrarchies of Philip and Antipas, by the emperor Caligula, and in 41 ce the next emperor, Claudius, added Judaea and Samaria, with the title ‘king…’. He died in agony at Caesarea in 44 ce. During his short reign (41–44ce) he was able to impose the death penalty; James, the son of Zebedee, was executed (Acts 12: 2).
2. Herod Agrippa II succeeded his father at the age of 17 and from 50 ce assumed an increasing authority over territories in Palestine; the emperor Nero added parts of Galilee and Perea. Agrippa lived with his sister Bernice after the death of her husband, and this notoriously incestuous relationship gives a piquant note to the scene of Acts 25: 13–23 when Paul as a prisoner testified before them after his appeal to Caesar. Agrippa improved the amenities of Jerusalem and helped to complete the building of the Temple shortly before the revolt of 66–70ce, when Agrippa took the side of the invading Romans. He died in Rome in 93 ce.
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