II  5  The Jewish family: Herod the Great

The traditional narrative portrays Herod

Iraq, Mar Behnam monastery
Iraq, Mar Behnam monastery

as a tyrant in relation to the massacre of the innocents in Bethlehem, and mentions the construction of Herod’s temple in Jerusalem.

My theses about Herod the Great: with his kingdom in Palestine, Herod the Great (39 – 4 BC) created the basis for Jewish unity and the Jewish advance as a cultural power.

Before Herod’s kingship, only individual Jewish regions existed. Herod united the Jewish regions in Palestine within his kingdom, as well as paying attention to the Jews in the Diaspora in Egypt and Mesopotamia.

After Herod’s death the political union collapsed, but the cultural unity was maintained.