[The years in questions are generally agreed to span from 142 BCE until 92 CE: Judea received quasi-independence from the Seleucid Greeks in 142 BCE with the assumption of the office of prince and High Priest by Simon and ends with the last king of the Herodian
line, Agrippa II.
(14) According to Geza Vermes, "The Herodians
face us with truly amazing marital complexities." See Vermes, 124.
By Jesus' response to the Pharisees and Herodians
, we are called to see that earthly names and the authority they carry which may be used to set us against one another in human community are set below the primary name by which we are called: beloved child of God.
I suggest that these aspects take on richer and deeper significance when they are interpreted in the context of the everyday experiences of Galilean life and landscape in the Herodian
Jesus the prophet, teacher, and healer tells parables that uncover and challenge the social injustices imbedded in the political, economic, and religious structures of his day; he encourages practices that resist the oppression of the Romans, Herodians
, and high priests; and he follows a path that puts him in direct conflict with all those who trod on the weak and crush the lowly.
At this point he deemed it appropriate to paraphrase Aristotle's famous statement, "He who wishes the law to rule wishes God to rule; he who wishes a king, that is a man, is to want a beast, because he is not always led by reason but mostly by greed." (48) Like Bertram, he equated he rule of the Herodians
Among the other witnesses (admittedly of varying value) attesting an earlier Jewish version of this interpretation, note the following: (a) according to Epiphanius (Panarion 22.214.171.124-6), the Herodians
adduced Herod's ignoble Ashkelonite lineage as proof that he was the `expectation of gentiles' whose coming would follow the cessation of a line of rulers from Judah; for other witnesses see H.
If we read carefully the dialogue between him and the Herodians
(who were pushed by the Pharisees), in Matthew 22:15-21, we will find out the following:
For example, the gloss, "the Herodians
," renders the Greek ton herodianon and not the Syriac dbeyt herawdes, "those of the house of Herod" (p.
The famous historian Arnold Toynbee (1954) in his "A Study of History" claims that in response to a challenge, a society could divide itself into two factions namely Zealots and Herodians
. The Zealots look inwardly and attempt to find response to new challenges by maintaining their purist and puritanical approach to life based on dogmatic interpretations of their religious scriptures.
The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians
against him to put him to death.
In today's Gospel, we see the start of a strange alliance between Pharisees and Herodians
, groups whose only commonality seemed to be their opposition to Jesus.