Michael Skir



In my Holy Land articles, I try to bring to you, my tourist, as much information about history

and important facts of the Holy Land, just as if you would walk with a private tour guide,

exploring new places, new facts of the Holy Land.

Phoenician in origin

Greek in his culture

Edomian at his birthplace

 A Jew in his religion

 A Jerusalemite at his place of residence

Roman in his citizenship.

 Herod was born in 73 B

 Every trip to the Land of Israel is a reminiscent of King Herod. Every tour guide in Israel will

mention Herod at least twice, three or more times.

Because Herod changed Israel into a state, he changed the people.

From 37 BC until his death in 4 BC, Herod was almost obsessively engaged in building the land in establishing his status, and in stubborn and constant fighting with his enemies at home and abroad.

Herod is said to have sneaked into the throne like a fox, exercised his rule like a lion, and died like a dog. Herod’s father, the Edomian Antipater, was appointed by Julius Caesar to be the guardian of Horcanus his son.

 At that time, Herod had already been appointed governor of Galilee and

showed cruelty and boldness, some blaming the fierce hatred between Galilee and Herod

based on Herod’s Judaism.

Herod was the son of Antipater, of Hasmonean descent, but his mother Cyprus was a

Nabataean princess and was not a Jew. Therefore, the people and especially the Sadducees

(priests) despised Herod-This became the main issues in his kingdom.

 Herod’s path in establishing his kingdom began with many difficulties. While the Parties – (Persians) who were conquered Judah and placed in Israel Matityahu Antigonus II as their representative, he slipped into the Masada area with his mother Cyprus, his fiancée Miriam and mother-in-law Alexandra, then continued to the land of the Nabataeans invaded Masada and the siege on it, Herod sent his forces to release the siege and his mother and thus condemned Matityahu Antigonus the Great, his enemy and representative of the parties in Israel.

Michael Antonio –helped him carry out his cruel policy inIsrael and suppress any rebellion in a very systematic and cruel way.

His wife Doris the Edomian was another symbol of his lack of Judaism, so he married the

Jewish Miriam, a woman he loved very much but she despised and rejected him. Miriam’s

brother Aristobulus was also a candidate for high priest but was eventually murdered.

 His wife Miriam was also murdered on suspicion of treason. To explain and justify the murder of his wife, Herod built the Antonia Palace to Marcus Antonius, his Roman ally, but the Romans themselves hated Herod.

After the murder of Miriam, Herod married Maltaki the Samaritanian.

The construction of Caesarea was also to divide Judea and Galilee.

The Tower of David is a collection of about 3 towers Petzal, Hippicus and Miriam Tower. These were used as guard towers and only lately became knowns as the Tower of David.

 Herod built the citadel of Antonia on the foundations of the Hasmonean fortress, the capital

that was used by the Romans and changed the topography of Jerusalem to make up for his

controversial figure in front of the Jews as the super Jew.

In 23 BC Herod will begin the most ambitious construction project of his time: Herodium, a

fortified palace overlooking Jerusalem and requiring an almost impossible engineering


Around 20 BC Herod began construction of the Temple, whose foundations are the Temple of Ezra and Nehemiah. In 22 BC, he began the construction of the port of Caesarea (before that a small and modest port operated there.

Under the direction of Herod, magnificent streets, huge warehouses,huge city was build.

market squares, luxurious bathhouses in the best Roman tradition, various public buildings, a large temple dedicated to Augustus and spacious complexes where sports competitions were held.

The construction of Caesarea was part of thought and planning. Wider to permit the

construction of the Temple, through the city of Caesarea were transferred the stones and trees that were used to build the temple and for a long time Caesarea served as the capital of Israel. 

(please see a separate article-of Caesarea)

 In every corner of the Land of Israel one can notice the enterprise of Herod’s life: the building of the Land of Israel.

 If so, why is he not remembered as a good, benevolent, architect and builder king?  Perhaps

because in the eyes of the Jews he was not a Jew at all, and perhaps because of his cruelty,

perhaps because he was forced to engage in ongoing politics vis-à-vis Rome, thus only

intensifying the Jewish people’s sense of nothingness.

And maybe, and this is my hypothesis as a tour guide to the Land of Israel, who deals with

history but also lives in history: sometimes we do not like something, for no reason. Herod was hated for all reasons.

Herod was probably buried in a glorious tomb at Herodium.

Herod sends to kill Jesus (Matthew 2 12), a claim that only strengthens Herod’s cruelty, but raises another point: how does Herod excuse or explain his will to the Roman commissioner, and the emperor in Rome?

We know that Herod was not free to do as much as he could because of his spirit. As a result, the family fled to Egypt. About the time of Jesus in Egypt as a child there is no detail in the scrips but there are details of the cruelty of Herod: he killed babies, among them Jesus. who was saved only following the resourcefulness of his father Joseph.