Acts 12:21-23, How Did Herod Agrippa Die

So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.

//Have you ever wondered about this passage in Acts? What really happened that day? Is Luke (the author of Acts) taking creative liberties, assuming supernatural intervention in the death of Agrippa to underscore a point?

The story in Acts is actually very similar to that which is told by Jewish historian Josephus. Here is how Agrippa dies according to Josephus:

Agrippa came to Caesarea (as reported in Acts 12:19) and appeared at a festival, where he was flattered by the crowd, and called a god. Said the crowd, “Be thou merciful to us; for although we have hitherto reverenced thee only as a man, yet shall we henceforth own thee as superior to mortal nature.”

Agrippa “neither rebuked them nor rejected their impious flattery,” but shortly afterward, looked up and saw an owl sitting on a rope over his head, which he recognized as an evil omen. A severe pain arose immediately in his belly, and he said to his friends, “I, whom you call a god, am commanded presently to depart this life.” After five days of belly pain, he died.

1 Comment

  1. Looks like perhaps he was filled with intestinal parasites? Worms ate him up THEN he diedis what is scary. After in the ground earthworms will eat a body, but it appears he had been contaminated in food or water and it got so bad it killed him. It also seems quite a time to die, right after being called immortal.

    Lesson? There is only one good God, and we are not it. Leaders who want worship and are not humble do not deserve power.

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