Named after his grandfather,
Herod's oldest son spent much of his life exiled from the court after his
father divorced his commoner mother (32 BCE) to permit a more
politically advantageous marriage with Mariamne,
the grand-daughter of Hyrcanus II, the hereditary Hasmonean
high priest. Antipater returned to his father's favor because Herod
was insulted by the imperious behavior of Mariamne's sons,
& Aristobulus IV, on
their return from eight years of schooling in the emperor's
household in Rome (20-13 BCE). He & his aunt
sister] intensified Herod's fury at his pampered Hasmonean sons'
scorn by feeding him malicious gossip about their disloyalty. After
several attempts at reconciliation failed, Herod had Alexander &
Aristobulus tried for treason & strangled (7 BCE). After this
Antipater served as Herod's co-regent. But he was despised by the
people for engineering the deaths of the popular Hasmonean princes.
Resenting Herod's doting concern for the welfare of
sons, Antipater foolishly
prematurely plotted to remove the aging king whose health was in
rapid decline. Herod countered by ordering Antipater's execution
only days before his own death (4 BCE).
Perspective on the
World of Jesus
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an American Theological
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