Naughty Mark Antony
In Response To: naughty john hyrcanus ()

Interesting page on Herod's origins. But if Herod was the son of John Hyrcanus surely he would have boasted of it and had far less difficulty being accepted by the Jews.

The accusation of "slave" is also a familiar one, and often applied to royal women and men as part of the rigid pecking order. Cyprus could not have been a literal slave.

And what had John Hyrcanus actually conquered to the south of Judea? Was it only Idumaea, or did he also take Nabatea/Petra? (In more ancient times, the site of Petra was part of Edom.) So, was Antipater actually made king of Petra?

Look at the king list for Petra:

It is fairly obvious that Herod the Great was one and the same as Obodes II. (There are some previous posts on this subject.) If so, might not his predecessor Malchus have been Antipater father of Herod? And doesn't Malchus sound a lot like Marcus. What if Malchus was one and the same as Antipater and one and the same as Marcus Antony?

Could the name Cypros really be a pseudonym for Antonys high-society mistress Cytheris? Cytheris was the epithet of Aphrodite on Crete. Aphrodite was also called Cypros, because this (Cyprus) was said to be her first home.

Antipater was said to have enlisted the help of Malchus. As they say, when you need to get a job done right, sometimes you have to do it yourself! Also Malchus allied himself with Parthia against Rome. Seems like a reasonable thing for Antony to do when civil war broke out between himself and Octavius/Augustus.

Mark Antony took the 16-year old Herod under his wing when campaigning in Palestine. Antony made Herod governor of Galilee at 26 and Tetrarch at 31. He imposed upon the Roman Senate to make him King at 33. Sounds like the things a father might do for his son.

Antipater had other sons as well. Two (Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphos) were by Cleopatra VII and perhaps at least one (Archelaus) was by Glaphyra of Cappadocia. Might one or more of these correspond to Herods brothers Phasaelus, Pheroras, and Joseph. Joseph especially looks like a match for Archelaus son of Glaphyra.

And what are we to make of the wild goose chase that Syllaeus the "chief minister" of Obodes of Petra (alter ego of Herod) led the Roman army on (when he escorted them into the Trans-Jordan). It definitely recalls the episode in 2 Kings 3 when the king of Judah (Jehoshaphat) led the king of Israel (Joram) and an unnamed king of Edom into the land of Moab after the renegade King Mesha. Their army was paraded around in the desert until they ran out of water just so Elisha could perform a great miracle. The Roman sequel also seems to combine elements of 2 Kings 6:8-23 where Elisha deceived the army of Aram into following him into a trap.

The Romans were cooperating (wittingly or not) with an escapade conjured up by Herod in which he intended to fulfill earlier precedent and establish one of his sons as an "Elisha" figure. At the time of the event one of his older sons, such as Antipater, Alexander, or Aristobulus, would have likely been the beneficiary of such a stunt.

See Chapter 26 beginning with the section, "A Son Set Against His Father" and the first section of Chapter 27 for more discussion of the two Elisha passages.

And who was Aretes IV of Petra's glory days, whose daughter was married to Herod Antipas. We don't really need to look outside the extended Herodian family. A good choice would be Antipater son of Costabar and Herod's sister Salome. He was the uncle of Herodias, and may have adopted her as his daughter after her real father's execution. The reason I like this scenario is because it means that the adultery of Herod Antipas and Herodias was a total farce, as well as the feud between Antipas and Aretes! The daughter of Aretes and Herodias were one and the same.

Nevertheless, there are a number of other potential candidates, such as Philip I ("Zebedee") and Philip II ("John the Baptist/Elijah"). Elijah, if you recall, was associated strongly with the Trans-Jordan. If he is the right choice then the dates of the reign of Aretes IV would need to be adjusted slightly, but not by much.

Other possibilities would be the full brothers of Herodias, namely Herod of Chalcis, Aristobulus, and Agrippa. There is also Phasaelus son of Herod the Great's older brother Phasaelus.

Less likely is Archelaus son of Herod the Great.

Finally, there is Joseph son of Herod's brother Joseph, which may be the most likely of all. His daughter was Mariamne IV, who became the mother of Jesus, James/Andrew, Jude/Judas Thomas/James the Lesser, Jose/John, and Simon/Lazarus/Paul. If Mariamne IV was the "daughter of Aretes", then she was also the mother of Simon/Peter. This also would mean that Peter and James were full brothers, not half brothers! What's more, if Mariamne IV was the daughter of Aretes, then her divorce by Antipas in order to marry Herodias was still a bit of a farce. Mariamne IV/Helen had already been the wife or consort of a number of royal men.