IV  4   Agrippa I.

Antipas’ reign was a time of conflicts, of disputes

Gerizim, Torah scroll and elder
Gerizim, Torah scroll and elder

between Jewish groups. Under Agrippa I this period was followed by a time of consolidation, agreement, and reconciliation.

In the story of Moses, Antipas was the Moses of Exodus to Numbers, followed by Agrippa, the Moses of Deuteronomy, the more social legislation in the Pentateuch.

In the history of the kings, King Ahab (= Antipas) who was continually in conflict with the prophet Elijah (= John the Baptist), was succeeded by the revolutionary Jehu (= Agrippa) who was anointed king by the prophet Elisha (= Jesus).

In the subsequent kings’ history, the Jewish King Hezekiah (= Agrippa) proved to be a diplomat capable of averting external threats without violence. The account of Sennacherib’s representative Rabshakeh and Lachish in 2 Kings 18 is modelled on the report about Petronius, the Roman legate in Syria as a representative of the Emperor Caligula in Ant. 18, 8, 2.


In the Elijah stories, John the Baptist is depicted as the older and greater prophet in comparison to Jesus (Elisha).

Gerizim, Torah scroll
Gerizim, Torah scroll

Elijah is Elisha’s predecessor; he appoints Elisha to the office of prophet (1 Kings 19:19); Elisha only receives two parts of Elijah’s spirit (2 Kings 2:9). The competitive situation between the prophets Elijah (John) and Elisha (Jesus) is clearly shown; perhaps some of the accounts of miracles were transferred from one prophet to the other, as occurred in other cases.

In the story of Naboth in 2 Kings 21, Elijah appears as Naboth’s (= Jesus) advocate. This is based on the Christian relationship between Jesus as the founder of Christianity and the church of John, that worshipped Jesus.


IV  3   John the Baptist

John the Baptist – who could be called Prince Antipas’ intellectual conscience – is also portrayed

Gerizim, covered Torah scroll
Gerizim, covered Torah scroll

in the Old Testament history books. He is the prophet Elijah, the prophet Nathan and the old prophet in 1 Kings 13. As the prophet Elijah, John appears in many stories as King Ahab’s opponent, and as the prophet Nathan he is King David’s conscience in the story of Bathsheba (= Herodias).

In 1 Kings 13, John, the old prophet, is the Man of God’s (= Jesus) opponent.