According to Matthew's narrative King Herod is said to have died whilst Christ was still a child in Egypt with his parents.It is said King Herod had been succeeded by his son Archelaus when Joseph returned to Israel.

Matthew 2:19 NIV

19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”

Years later when Christ had returned to Nazareth and had started his ministry it is said that King Herod killed John the baptist who so happened to be more or less the same age with Christ.

Matthew 14:6 NIV

6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.

If Herod had died whilst Christ was still a child how then could he have killed John the baptist years later

Could this have been another Herod or there is a chronological issue here?

  • 3
    How could Kennedy have been assassinated soon after King when Kennedy was already assassinated several years prior to King? Nov 20, 2020 at 18:11

3 Answers 3


Here is an extract from Wikipedia about the Herodian family (source):

  • Herod the Great (born c. 74 BC, ruled 37–4 BC), client king of Judea who built the Second Temple (in Jerusalem) and in the New Testament orders the Massacre of the Innocents
  • Herod Archelaus (born 23 BC, ruled 4 BC–AD 6), ethnarch of Samaria, Judea, and Idumea
  • Herod Antipas (born 21 BC, ruled 4 BC–AD 39), tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea and in the New Testament orders the death of John the Baptist and mocks Jesus
  • Philip the Tetrarch or Herod Philip II, (born c. 20 BC, ruled 4 BC–AD 34), tetrarch of Iturea, Trachonitis, and Batanaea
  • Herod II or Herod Philip I (c. 27 BC–33 AD), father of the Salome in Mark 6:21-29, did not rule over any territory
  • Herod Agrippa (born c. 11 BC, ruled AD 41–44), client king of Judaea, called "King Herod" or "Herod" in Acts 12 of the New Testament
  • Herod of Chalcis (died AD 48), also known as Herod II or Herod V, king of Chalcis (r. AD 41–48)
  • Herod Agrippa II (born AD 27, ruled 48–c. 92), ruled Chalcis and described in Acts of the Apostles as "King Agrippa" before whom Paul the Apostle defended himself

Thus, there were many "Herod"s as can be seen by their regular appearance in the NT.


There are three Herods in scripture.

  • 1 The one that killed the infants at the time of Jesus' birth - 'Herod the Great'.

  • 2 The one that killed John the Baptist - 'Herod Antipas'. (Also 'the Tetrarch'.)

  • 3 The one that killed James, the brother of John - 'Herod Agrippa'.

(See Young's Analytical Concordance under 'Herod'.)

Wikipedia - Herod Antipas agrees with Robert Young that Herod Antipas is 'Herod the Tetrarch' the brother of the other Tetrarch, Philip.

Josephus is quoted in regard to this - Flavius Josephus

  • which is Herod the Tetrarch?
    – Joshua
    Nov 21, 2020 at 19:52
  • 1
    @Joshua Herod the Tetrarch is the Herod who imprisoned John the Baptist, John having reproved him regarding his brother, Philip's, wife (Luke 3:19) ; Philip also being a tetrarch. Robert Young lists Herod the Tetrarch as Herod Antipas. See Wikipedia - Herod Antipas.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 21, 2020 at 20:38

Matthew 2:1 refers to Herod the Great, son of Antipater who ruled from 37-4 BC.

Luke 3:1 refers to Herod Antipas, Son of Herod the Great, who ruled from 4 BC to 39 AD. He was the one refered in Matthew 14 responsible for the death of John the Baptist and also the one in Jesus' interrogation (Luke 23:6–12).

So they're definitely not the same person: Matthew 2 speaks of the father, Luke 3/Matthew 14 speaks of the son.

Note: There is another Herod mentioned in the Bible, Herod Agrippa, which was the king of Judea from AD 41 to 44. He was a grandson of Herod the Great and nephew of Herod Antipas.

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