Friday, April 26, 2019

Eusebius, EH.2.10: The Death of Herod Agrippa I

Image: Coins from the era of Herod Agrippa I (10 BC-AD 44). Herod ruled as King of Judea from c. AD 41-44.

Another installment is posted to the series from Eusebius of Caesarea’s The Ecclesiastical History: book 2, chapter 10 (listen here).

Notes and Commentary:

The focus of this chapter is the death of Herod Agrippa I, the same who put to death James the apostle and brother of John and son of Zebedee (just as earlier in EH, 1.8 he had described the gruesome death of Herod the Great, the grandfather of Herod Agrippa I).

Eusebius says this Herod was overtaken by God because of his plot against the apostles.

He notes the account in Acts 12 of how Herod was flattered by the crowd who said he spoke with the voice of a god and not as a man, and how he was then struck down by an angel, eaten of worms, and died.

He compares also the parallel account in book 19 of Josephus’s Antiquities, noting how each corroborates the other and marvels: “I am surprised how in this and other points Josephus confirms the truth of the divine Scriptures.”

Once again, Eusebius stresses the theme of the justice of God. Those who oppose the purposes of God in the Christian movement pay the penalty.

He also stresses the historicity of Acts by showing how the facts relayed are supported by Josephus.


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