Son of Herod
the Great & Mariamne II.
Half-brother of Antipas.
First husband of Herodias.
Father of Salome II.
Fourth son, namesake &
briefly heir apparent of Herod the Great. After Herod I executed his
Hasmonean sons, Alexander & Aristobulus
IV (7 BCE), he betrothed the latter's orphaned daughter
-- who was still a minor -- to her half-uncle, Herod junior. This arranged
marriage was more than temporary child custody. For Herodias was
descended directly from the dynasty of priest-kings that had ruled
for more than a century before Herod. Since this liaison bolstered the young Herod's right of succession
to the throne of Judea, the king's oldest son (Antipater
III) objected to the arrangement. So, Herod confirmed the latter
as his heir & relegated the young Herod to next in line.
When Antipater was executed
for planning to poison his father
(4 BCE), the younger Herod became his
father's oldest surviving son. But, since the elder Herod had discovered
that the younger's mother (Mariamne II) had known of the plot against him
& done nothing to prevent it, he dropped her son from his will just
days before he died.
Although Herod II survived
his father's deathbed purges, he was left a private citizen while his
remaining half-brothers divided his father's realm. This eventually
cost him his marriage. Although he did marry Herodias & had a child
by her, she left him for his younger half-brother, Antipas. After that
the younger Herod slipped into anonymity. In less than a
generation even his name was forgotten by the public; so, at
least two of the gospels (Mark & Matthew) confused him with Antipas'
other half-brother, Philip.*
Mark 6:17-18 //
This confusion led Wm. Whiston, convinced of the accuracy of the
gospels, to append the name "Philip" to the name of the son of
Mariamne II at some points in his 1895 English translation of
The Works of Flavius Josephus, even though it is not
found there in the original Greek text.