Herod the Great was the Governor of Galilee under the authority of Roman rule. He was a direct descendant of Antipater. During his reign from 37 B.C. to 4 B.C., Herod became known for his inhumane treatment and troubles within his family. However, he also had positive attributes to his rule that included aiding those under his reign during times of hardship, and the building of many architectural structures (LB, 25).
In reading the text, there appears to be a clear and precise identity of Herod the Great. However, the Herodians were a much debated group of people. However, many feel that they were a group of people that sided with the Herodian rulers in terms of their policies and their Roman social tendencies. They didn’t strictly align with any of the other political or religious parties of the day, but sided frequently with the Pharisees in their plot of the death of Jesus (LB, 59).
There were positive contributions made by Herod that impacted Judaism. The greatest positive contribution of Herod’s to Judaism and the Jews was the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple. After completing such great accomplishment, he was given the title of “King of the Jews”. This great title was later retracted because he offended the Jews by placing an eagle, the symbol of Roman rule, on the temple. It is believed by many that this was the one reason he carried out such a relentless attack against Jesus, the proclaimed “King of the Jews” in the gospel of Matthew by ordering the murder of all male children under the age of two in Bethlehem (LB, 25)
The failure of Herod the Great and the Herodians was their patriotism to the Romans. He did not win any favoritism with the orthodox Jews, the Sadducees, or the Pharisees because of his violation of the Mosaic Laws and allegiance to the Roman Empire (LB, 59)....