03.06.06 4 B.C. – A.D. 41 The Divided Monarchy
Herod’s body was not even in the Herodian tomb when his sons began to squabble about their inheritances. Philip and Antipas each felt they deserved their own kingdom – which they received. But issues concerning Archelaus were different – he wanted to be king.
03.06.06.Z THE DIVISION MAP OF HEROD’S KINGDOM. After the death of Herod the Great, the Roman Senate reviewed his last will and testament. While the former monarch desired his kingdom to go to his three sons, the Senate modified Herod’s final request and gave parts of it to others who would be more effective administrators. Courtesy of International Mapping and Dan Przywara.
Herod’s widow Doris and his sister Salome went with Archelaus to Rome. Archelaus believed they were traveling with him to support his claim for the title of “king of the Jews,” but in reality, they traveled with him to oppose him. When they arrived, they discovered a deputation of fifty Jews had also come from Jerusalem. They all opposed the title Archelaus so dearly desired – “King of the Jews.” However, what the Jewish delegation really desired was to be rid of the Herodian dynasty and be annexed to Syria, as it had been in the past. That did not happen. However, Archelaus was so bitter against the Jews that he mistreated them more than his father did. It was for that reason that Mary and Joseph returned to Nazareth instead of Bethlehem.
Therefore, when Rome executed Herod’s Last Will and Testament, his kingdom was divided into four districts: one was given to Syria and the others were given to his three sons as indicated below. Of Herod’s six surviving sons, three received dominions and three did not. Notice that Rome maintained control over two small areas by Jericho and Ashkelon.
. At various times throughout the Inter-Testamental period, the Jewish land was one of several districts of which Damascus was the capital city for the Greeks, and later for the Romans.