Biblical People

Biblical People: Herod (2)

Two guys named Herod appear in Jesus’s story. The first Herod (1) attempts to kill Jesus shortly after he’s born. The second Herod (2) plays a part in Jesus’s death. 

But before we discuss that, let’s look at some other things Herod (2) does. Remember Herodias? She’s married to Herod, after he takes her from her first husband, his brother. Strike one for Herod taking his sibling’s spouse. 

John the Baptist criticizes their marriage, and Herod tosses him in prison. Strike two for Herod punishing an innocent man.

Then Herodias uses a situation with her daughter to manipulate Herod into killing John. Though Herod could and should have said “no,” he gives in and orders the beheading of John. Strike three for killing a guiltless man.

The next time we hear of Herod is when Jesus is being railroaded into his execution. Luke writes that Herod had wanted to see Jesus and is pleased Pilate sends Jesus to him.

Herod hopes to witness a miracle and asks Jesus many questions, but he doesn’t answer. Then Herod mocks Jesus before sending him back to Pilate. 

Herod didn’t need to do that. He could have kept Jesus under his jurisdiction and saved him from death. Instead Herod takes the easy way out and sends Jesus back to Pilate.

Have we ever avoided doing what was right and taken the easy way out?

[Discover more about Herod in Matthew 14:1–12 and Mark 6:14–28.]

Read more about other biblical characters in The Friends and Foes of Jesus, now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at