Herod Agrippa I

Herod Agrippa I was a grandson of Herod the Great. He grew up in Rome, where the future Roman emperors Gaius (Caligula) and Claudius were his childhood playmates. It was largely due to these friendships that Herod was granted rule over various territories in Judea. Herod was a violent persecutor of Christians, perhaps because he believed such persecution would help him gain favor with the Jews (12:3). He executed James, and had Peter put in prison. Following a well-received speech given to the people of Tyre and Sidon, Herod was enthusiastically praised as a god. Rather than reject the people’s worship, he embraced it. The Bible says that because of this demonstration of godless pride, an angel of the Lord immediately struck him down, and he died a gruesome death (12:23). (Acts 12:1–3)