The first person is Herod Agrippa I, also known as Agrippa the Great. He was a grandson of Herod the Great, a ruler appointed by the Romans to govern parts of Judea. Agrippa I is mentioned in the book of Acts, where he is depicted as a key character during the early spread of Christianity. His reign saw the persecution of Christians. In Acts 12, he is described as imprisoning the apostle Peter, who mirac
The Bible is filled with a cast of characters whose lives have left an indelible mark on its pages. Among these figures is King Agrippa, a historical character whose encounter with the Apostle Paul is a testament to the power of conviction, faith, and the enduring message of Christianity. In this blog post, we will explore the life and pivotal moment of King Agrippa in the Bible, shedding light on his unique role in biblical history.
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Who Was King Agrippa?:
King Agrippa, also known as Herod Agrippa II, was a ruler in the first century AD and a descendant of the infamous Herodian dynasty. He was the great-grandson of King Herod the Great, the same ruler who sought to kill the infant Jesus (Matthew 2). Born in 27 AD, Agrippa’s life spanned a turbulent period in the history of Judea, with Jerusalem at the center of many significant events.
Agrippa’s Encounter with Paul:
King Agrippa’s most prominent appearance in the Bible occurs in the New Testament, particularly in the Book of Acts. In Acts 25 and 26, Agrippa plays a critical role in the trial of the Apostle Paul. Paul, a devout Christian and missionary, was imprisoned and brought before Agrippa, along with other Roman officials, to provide an account of his faith and actions.
During this encounter, Paul shared his testimony, recounting his conversion to Christianity and his unwavering commitment to spreading the Gospel. His testimony was eloquent and impassioned, prompting Agrippa to utter one of the most famous lines in the Bible, found in Acts 26:28 (NIV): “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”
The Power of Conviction:
Agrippa’s response to Paul’s testimony underscores the power of conviction and the compelling nature of the Christian message. While Agrippa did not immediately embrace Christianity, his response showed that Paul’s words had a profound impact on him. It serves as a reminder of the transformative power of faith and the way the Gospel can touch even the most influential and skeptical hearts.
King Agrippa’s role in the New Testament provides historical context to the events of the early Christian church. His encounter with Paul is a pivotal moment, illustrating the spread of Christianity and the profound impact of Christian testimony, even on those in positions of power.
Agrippa in the Bible: A King’s Encounter with Divine Conviction
There are a few distinct Herods referenced in the New Confirmation. Every one of them are individuals from the Herod tradition, rulers designated by the powers in Rome to supervise Israel. Herod Agrippa II is the person who heard Paul’s safeguard of the gospel and broadly dismissed Paul’s enticement for be saved.
The back up parent of the Herod family was Herod the Incomparable, the ruler when Jesus was conceived and one who attempted to have Him killed (Matthew 2). Herod Antipas managed during the services of John the Baptist and Jesus. He is the person who had John executed (Imprint 6) and sat in judgment at one of Jesus’ preliminaries (Luke 23:7-12). Herod Agrippa I was lord of Judea for a couple of years and the person who had James executed. His demise is kept in Acts 12.
Herod Agrippa II was just seventeen when his dad, Herod Agrippa I, passed on. He was in Rome at that point and was leaned toward by Sovereign Claudius. Claudius saved Agrippa II in Rome for a couple of additional years and afterward made him tetrarch of the Syrian realm called Chalcis and gave him the obligation to oversee the sanctuary in Jerusalem. Herod Agrippa II in the end surrendered the domain of Chalcis yet was conceded the title of ruler and given more region, including everything that had been managed by Herod Philip. Nero later added to his region, including some of Galilee.
Herod Agrippa II lived with Bernice, who was herself in the Herodian line, being a girl of Herod Agrippa I. She had been hitched to her uncle, Herod Pollio of Chalcis (not referenced in Sacred writing), but rather after his passing moved in with her sibling, Agrippa II, in a depraved relationship. Late in his vocation, Herod Agrippa II saw that strains were ascending among Rome and the Jews, and he tried and, tragically, failed to forestall war. At last, he favored Rome, and he was removed by his Jewish subjects. He experienced the remainder of his life in Rome. He was the remainder of Herod’s line to be a ruler.
Herod Agrippa II shows up in the New Confirmation in Acts 25 and 26. Paul had been captured in Jerusalem and blamed by the Jewish pioneers for contaminating the sanctuary. For Paul’s assurance, the centurion in control had sent him under weighty gatekeeper to the Roman lead representative Felix in Caesarea (Acts 23). Felix, who turned out to be hitched to Drusilla (a sister of both Bernice and Agrippa II), heard the charges brought by the Jewish initiative however conceded judgment, for he trusted that Paul would offer him some sort of pay off to be liberated (Acts 23:25-26). Following two years, Felix was prevailed by Porcius Festus, yet Paul stayed in jail in light of the fact that Felix would have rather not rankled the Jews (Acts 23:27).
Lead representative Festus needed to clear up old legal disputes, so he engaged the allegations of the Jews and inquired as to whether he might want to stand preliminary in Jerusalem. Paul acknowledged he would get no opportunity there, so he conjured his right as a Roman resident to engage Caesar: “I’m currently remaining under the steady gaze of Caesar’s court, where I should be attempted. I misunderstand not done any to the Jews, as you, at the end of the day, know well overall. If, nonetheless, I’m at legitimate fault for doing anything meriting demise, I don’t decline to pass on. In any case, assuming the charges brought against me by these Jews are false, nobody has the privilege to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!” (Acts 25:10-11). Festus had no real option except to send him to Caesar, which had the quick consequence of safeguarding Paul from the Jewish initiative.
Festus, nonetheless, was confounded concerning what accuses ought to be sent of Paul to Rome, thus, when Lord Herod Agrippa II visited Caesarea, Festus examined Paul’s case with him, feeling that Agrippa could have more information on the strict issues included. Then Agrippa advised Festus that he might want to hear from Paul himself, and Festus said, “Tomorrow you will hear him” (Acts 25:22).
On the following day, with much fanfare, Festus, Agrippa II, and Bernice assemble to hear Paul. Festus presents Paul by saying, “Ruler Agrippa, and all who are available with us, you see this man! The entire Jewish people group has requested of me about him in Jerusalem and here in Caesarea, yelling that he should not to experience any more. I found he had done nothing meriting demise, but since he made his allure for the Ruler I chose to send him to Rome. However, I have nothing unequivocal to keep in touch with His Highness about him. Thusly I have brought him before every one of you, and particularly before you, Lord Agrippa, so exceptionally that because of this examination I might have something to compose. For I think it is nonsensical to send a detainee on to Rome without determining the charges against him” (Acts 25:24-27).
Herod Agrippa II then gave Paul leave to represent himself. “So Paul motioned with his hand and started his guard: ‘Ruler Agrippa, I see myself as lucky to remain before you today as I make my safeguard against every one of the allegations of the Jews, and particularly so in light of the fact that you are very much familiar with every one of the Jewish traditions and contentions. Hence, I beseech you to pay attention to me persistently'” (Acts 26:1-3). Paul then proceeds to recount the narrative of his life as a persecutor of the congregation and how Jesus appeared to him making a course for Damascus. He closes with referring to predictions that the Savior would miraculously come back to life and that salvation would be given to the Gentiles.
Lead representative Festus interfered with Paul’s safeguard by then, yelling, “You are utterly crazy, Paul! . . . Your extraordinary learning is making you crazy” (Acts 26:24). Paul answered, “I’m not crazy, most brilliant Festus. . . . What I’m talking about is valid and sensible. The ruler knows about these things, and I can talk unreservedly to him. I’m persuaded that absolutely no part of this has gotten away from his notification, since it was not finished in a corner. Lord Agrippa, do you trust the prophets? I realize you do” (refrains 25-27). Then, at that point, Herod Agrippa II shared with Paul, “How about that in such a brief time frame you convince me to be a Christian?” (refrain 28). Paul’s answer shows the core of an evangelist: “Brief time frame or long — I appeal to God that you as well as all who are paying attention to me today might become what I’m, with the exception of these chains” (refrain 29). At that, the royals left the room, persuaded of Paul’s guiltlessness. Herod Agrippa II shared with Festus, “This man might have been liberated in the event that he had not spoke to Caesar” (refrain 32).
It is huge that Herod Agrippa II concedes Paul misunderstood sat idle and ought to by all privileges be liberated. With the conceivable exemption of Herod Antipas who jumped at the chance to pay attention to John — though for eccentric reasons — this is the main scriptural record of a positive cooperation between a Herodian lord and Jesus and His congregation.
Herod Agrippa II likewise says something to Paul that has ignited the creative mind of millions of Christians. In the Ruler James Rendition, Acts 26:28 is deciphered “Then, at that point, Agrippa said unto Paul, Nearly thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” Numerous lessons throughout the years have been taught about the one who “nearly” turned into a Christian in any case didn’t. The expressions of Agrippa II have turned into a useful example of “nearly” turning into a Christian, yet standing by excessively lengthy. A gospel tune named “Practically Convinced” was composed by productive lyricist Philip Euphoria in 1871 and has been sung in places of worship for a few ages:
Nearly convinced now to accept;
Nearly convinced Christ to get;
Appears to be currently a spirit to say,
Go, Soul, go Thy way,
Some more helpful day
On You I’ll call.
Practically convinced, come, come today;
Practically convinced, dismiss not;
Jesus welcomes you here,
Heavenly messengers are waiting close
Petitions to God ascend from hearts so dear;
O drifter, come!
Practically convinced, collect is past!
Practically convinced, destruction comes finally!
Nearly can’t profit;
Nearly is however to come up short!
Miserable, miserable, that severe cry —
Nearly, however lost!
The opinions communicated in the psalm are honorable, and surely the Good book cautions about holding up on the grounds that “today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2; cf. Jews 3:7-15). Notwithstanding, the messages and tune depend on an unfortunate interpretation of what Agrippa II really said. There is no clue in Acts 25 that Agrippa was truly thinking about turning into a Christian. As a matter of fact, a more exact interpretation of what he said gives practically the contrary impression. The NIV precisely deciphers refrain 28, “How about that in such a brief time frame you convince me to be a Christian?” all in all, Agrippa completely comprehended what Paul was attempting to do, and he tells Paul obviously that it won’t work out, essentially not in such a brief time frame.
There is an illustration for us here on private evangelism. Acts 25 — 26 gives an incredible model for devotees to follow. Paul was in chains with his life and opportunity on the line, yet he didn’t recoil from loyally announcing the gospel to those in, influential places. While the quantity of individuals who are “practically convinced” to accept however at that point dismiss is upsetting, what ought to be considerably more alarming is the quantity of Christians who are “practically convinced” to strongly represent Christ whenever they are offered the chance, just to compliantly let the open door cruise them by.
Who was King Agrippa in the Bible?
There are two King Agrippas in the Bible, both part of the Herod family. King Herod Agrippa I was a grandson of Herod the Great; he ruled over Judea and Samaria. Agrippa I is the “King Herod” who killed James and imprisoned Peter (Acts 12:1–3). The son of Agrippa I was King Herod Agrippa II, also known as Julius Marcus Agrippa; he was the brother of Bernice and Drusilla and heard Paul’s defense of the gospel in Acts 26. Agrippa II had quite a lot of power in Jewish religious affairs, for he had been given custodianship of the temple and the authority to appoint the high priest.
The apostle Peter escaped King Agrippa I’s clutches, being miraculously released from prison (Acts 12:6–11). Later, Agrippa I traveled to Caesarea where he addressed a crowd from his throne. The people shouted, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” (Acts 12:22). Agrippa, filled with pride, accepted the praise, and “immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last” (Acts 12:23). So the persecutor of Christians died, “but the word of God increased and multiplied” (Acts 12:24).
During King Agrippa II’s rule, the apostle Paul was engaged in a missionary journey. His teachings about Jesus Christ and salvation were accepted by many, but he also gathered quite a few enemies. When opponents to Paul’s preaching incited a citywide riot in Jerusalem (see Acts 21:27–31), Paul was arrested by the Roman commander in charge of the city. Not knowing what to do with a Roman citizen who had the ability to incite so much anger among the Jews, the commander brought him before the Sanhedrin. The priests conspired to kill Paul, but the Roman commander got wind of the plot and had Paul safely transferred to Caesarea (Acts 23:35). Here, the Jewish leaders secured a lawyer named Tertullus (Acts 24:1) and accused Paul before the Roman governor, Felix. To appease the Jews, Felix imprisoned Paul.
After two years in prison, Paul was brought before Festus, Felix’s successor (Acts 24:27—25:1). Paul appealed to the emperor, and Festus acquiesced, intending to send Paul to Rome. A few days later, King Agrippa II and his sister Bernice (with whom Agrippa had an incestuous relationship) arrived for a visit. Festus told King Agrippa about Paul’s case, admitting that he was at a loss as to how to handle the matter (Acts 25:20). Agrippa’s curiosity was piqued, and he asked to hear what Paul had to say (Acts 25:22).
The next day, Paul was brought before Festus, Agrippa, Bernice, and other officials gathered in the audience chamber of the palace (Acts 25:23), where Festus announced that he needed specific charges against Paul before sending him to Emperor Nero. King Agrippa II gave Paul leave to speak his mind (Acts 26:1). Paul spoke boldly, outlining his Roman citizenship, reputation, past history as a Pharisee of the Law, and conversion to Christianity. In the course of his speech he laid out the gospel clearly to all who were gathered.
When Paul mentioned the resurrection of Christ in Acts 26:23, Governor Festus interrupted his speech in a state of incredulity, saying that Paul’s learning must have made him insane (Acts 26:24). But Paul turned to Agrippa instead, knowing that Agrippa had knowledge of Jesus’ ministry and the prophets’ predictions about Him: ” For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner” (Acts 26:26). Paul then pressed the ruler on the matter of faith: “King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you believe” (Acts 26:27). But King Agrippa, likely knowing that he had a reputation to uphold, replied, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?” (Acts 26:28). Paul responded graciously with the prayer that the whole assembly would come to know Christ (Acts 26:29), and then King Agrippa, Bernice, and the governor left the room. Conferring with each other, they decided that Paul was innocent and need not be jailed. King Agrippa II pointed out that, since Paul had appealed to Caesar, he could not be released (Acts 26:32).
Paul was later transferred to Rome, where he was placed under house arrest. He would eventually be executed in this city in AD 68, the final year of Emperor Nero’s reign.
What Can We Learn from Herod Agrippa?
1. No power is greater than God.
Although both King Herod Agrippa I and King Herod Agrippa II had great world influence, neither commanded history. God is sovereign, and He ultimately reigns over every human leader, evil or good.
“But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another.” (Psalm 75:7 NKJV)
“For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1 ESV)
“For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” (Psalm 95:3 ESV)
2. Seeking to please people more than wanting to please God is wrong.
Both Agrippas were guilty of looking for peoples’ favor even when it meant doing what was against God. How easily we fall into the same kind of trap. Popularity, notoriety, followers, likes, and successes defined by the world tempt us on a path that leads us from focusing first on Christ.
Paul must have seen this relatable struggle in himself and others when he wrote these words, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10 ESV).
Other Biblical examples of persons who sought people’s pleasure over God instruct us not to do the same. Old Testament kings often were guilty of pacifying their diverse kingdoms by adopting other gods into their territories. Peter feared the people when he denied Christ. Influenced by the crowd, Pilate chose to release Barabbas and delivered Jesus to be crucified. Even the chief priests in the New Testament acted on the turbulent waves of public opinion.
Jesus Christ sought to please God. As Messiah, Jesus did not fulfill all the political and military expectations people sought or expected. Their refusal of His Authority proved they did not truly seek God.
“For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” (John 12:43 ESV)
“How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44 ESV)
3. The gospel of Jesus Christ must be proclaimed boldly regardless of persecution or rejection.
Herod Agrippa I and Herod Agrippa II both had the opportunity to believe but rejected the truth. Persecution from the Agrippas could not squelch the message from spreading. God placed the Herods into the story of His church. Despite unbelieving rulers, believers boldly carried the message of Jesus to those who had never heard. In fact, persecution took the gospel to places where believers had never existed before.
4. Be prepared to proclaim Christ.
Paul was ready when the opportunity arose. He knew how to get to the heart of why Jesus came and for what purpose. In his persuasive speech to Agrippa II, one short sentence clearly proclaims Jesus.
“that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead, and would proclaim light to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26:23 NKJV)
This was the gospel in a nutshell for them to contemplate. This remains our message to the world.
5. God is still King today.
The title “Herod” meant “heroic.” The Herodian dynasty in the New Testament played a cruel part in the new church’s history, yet it taught us this truth: no ruler exists outside an Almighty God’s control. He used King Herod Agrippa I and King Herod Agrippa II, even though they refused to submit to His Authority.
The Psalmist proclaims, “For God is the King of all the earth…” (47:7 NIV) “God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.” (47:8 NIV) “…for the kings of the earth belong to God…” (47:9 NIV)
“To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:17 ESV)
A look at the kings of history reminds us God is Sovereign. Herod Agrippa I and Herod Agrippa II confirm no matter how great one is in this life, there is One much greater. This day, as we go about our lives, we can be encouraged to know our loving Father reigns. The only God. Above all.
King Agrippa’s encounter with the Apostle Paul is a remarkable episode in the Bible, highlighting the power of conviction and the influence of the Christian message. While Agrippa’s response may have left questions unanswered, his exchange with Paul remains a testament to the enduring impact of faith and the transformative potential of the Gospel. It serves as a reminder that the message of Christianity has the power to reach hearts and minds, regardless of one’s background or position in society.