Ad 3: The fall from the parapet of the temple reminds us of the fall at the stoning.

Volcano Pichincha, morning fog in the crater
Volcano Pichincha, morning fog in the crater

Aesop, the teller of fables, was thrown down a hill by the Delphinians because of alleged sacrilege (vita 141); the same fate threatens Jesus in Luke 3, 29. The matter is as follows: until Herod Antipas’ days the lower classes were under the jurisdiction of the aristocracy.

The tetrarch changed this: he took over the jurisdiction of all people in his country. Thus he could guarantee civil rights for all the inhabitants. Jesus was given immunity: he was to enforce the described change of jurisdiction in Galilee.

So the Jewish aristocracy lost a part of its influence over the non-Jewish lower-class people of the province.


6.     Assumption of office

Appointing Jesus as governor in Galilee and Perea turned out to be a clever move

Volcano Pichincha, international roped party
Volcano Pichincha, international roped party

for Herod Antipas. If Jesus failed, Antipas could dismiss him as guilty and himself had a clean record. If Jesus succeeded, the tetrarch could give himself credit for success. The extended Temptation in Matt 4 and Luke 4 can be seen as an employment contract.

Three points were agreed: 1. bread, 2. rule, 3. personal security. In the narration Jesus himself is the beneficiary, but in the historical situation he was intended to give these benefits to the inhabitants of Galilee.

It was a question of securing the reign of Herod Antipas, to reduce the power of the aristocracy and gain the lower classes as a power basis for the monarchy.

Ad 1: In the Ancient World the number one rule for keeping power was the following: avoid famine riots. In premodern societies the social policy was to supply grain in sufficient quantity and to keep prices low.