Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Matthew 2: 16 and Josephus' portrayals of Herod

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

Scholars frequently support Herod's image as a wicked tyrant. Recently a few discordant voices have suggested that Herod was a capable ruler and one of Rome's successful client kings. This chapter follows the lead of those scholars who assume that Josephus and Matthew have portrayed Herod the Great much more negatively than he would deserve according to ancient standards of rulership. It discusses all Herod references in Matthew 2 and concentrates on Matt. 2:16, which is part that constructs Herod the Great as a tyrant in increasingly negative terms. It then considers Matthew's passage unhistorical. The chapter deals with selective passages from Josephus' different portrayals of Herod in Jewish War and the Jewish Antiquities. It combines the analysis of Josephus' portraits of Herod with Matthew's depiction of him, which enables the location of Matthew's passage in the ongoing chain of traditions that construct Herod as a wicked and murderous ruler.

Keywords: Herod the Great; Jewish Antiquities; Jewish War; Josephus; Matthew; Portrayal; rulership



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Jesus, Paul, and Early Christianity — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation