Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there.
Comment: It might seem a bit tough for the soldiers to be put to death but that was the standard treatment for soldiers who failed in their duties. The angel who opened the door (see earlier comment on March 20th) and the very human Peter should have been seen by the guards on duty if they hadn’t been asleep or carousing.
Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 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.
But the word of God increased and multiplied.
And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.
Comment: This passage tells us of Herod’s pride and self-glorification. It makes a statement as to why he became ill and died. A reason which would have needed to be discerned (as I doubt if God wrote in the heavens) but fits well with what is known of this man both in the scriptures and historically. The passage says that he immediately became ill and that this led to his death but doesn’t fix a time frame, except to hint that he didn’t get well and died later. Non biblical history says that he died of ‘chronic kidney disease complicated by a very uncomfortable case of maggot-infested gangrene of the genitals’. I guess that maggots are worms!
Prayer: Teach me well, please, that the first and great commandment is to love You with every part of me.