Herod is presented in the Old Testament in several ways, always at the start of the actual story. He is Jacob the ancestor


with the many sons representing the tribes (= regions or successor states to Herod’s kingdom); he is Solomon, builder of the temple, after whose death the kingdom fell apart into a northern and southern kingdom, as it did after Herod’s death.

However, Herod is also the Pharaoh in Exodus 1f, who compelled the Israelites to forced labour on his great building programme (Exod. 1:11), as Herod did in reality, and who was out to kill Moses, as Herod killed both the children in Bethlehem in Matt. 2, and his own sons.

Herod is also Saul, the first king of Israel, chosen by God and later rejected, whose dynasty failed and who lost the kingdom to David (= Jesus).

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