IV  6   Agrippa II.

Herod’s dynasty came to an end with Agrippa II. When his father Agrippa I died in 44 AD,

Capernaum, Church of the Primacy of St. Peter
Capernaum, Church of the Primacy of St. Peter

he was too young to inherit the throne. He became king of Chalcis in Lebanon in 50 AD and king of Philip’s princedom in 53 AD, that he ruled for 41 years up to his death in 94 AD.

The great Jewish Revolt of 66-70 AD occurred during Agrippa II’s reign. Agrippa himself supported the Romans from the start, however, so he survived the rebellion with his position intact. Agrippa II was superintendent of the temple in Jerusalem before the rebellion, so he represented an element of continuity in Judaism before and after the rebellion.

We can assume that he supported the Jews in many ways, apart from in the war against Rome. If the Jewish rebellion had resulted in an independent Jewish state, the rebels would have had to offer Agrippa II, as the senior member of Herod’s clan, the Jewish crown.

Agrippa II is given a literary monument in the Old Testament in the figure of Jeroboam II. 2 Kings 14:23 states that Jeroboam II (like Agrippa II) ruled for 41 years.

This note about the length of his reign must have been inserted into the text at a later date, because Josephus notes a reign of 40 years for Jeroboam II (as for David and Solomon); in other words, he did not yet know that the actual length of the reign was 41 years.

In the figure of King Josiah, the authors describe their ideal Jewish king in the historical situation of the rebellion; however, Agrippa II either could not or would not fulfil this ideal.

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