Acts 12:20 - 25
ESV - 20 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. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them.
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My interpretation of the passage in question is that Herod's death (although brought about by God) was not instantaneous, but that, a short time after Herod accepted the crowd's plaudits of his oration to them as being "the voice of a god" (rather than of a man), he was stricken with a violent parasitic infection (such as in the stomach or intestines), which Luke expressed as being "eaten by worms", and from which he died. (This would also be in agreement with the account of Herod's death included in the writings of the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who described Herod's affliction as "a severe pain in his belly." (Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities, Book 19, Chapter 8, p343-350).)
He was eaten by worms and died. Josephus, Ant. 19.8.2 (19.343-352), states that Herod Agrippa I died at Caesarea in a.d. 44. The account by Josephus, while not identical to Luke’s account, is similar in many respects: On the second day of a festival, Herod Agrippa appeared in the theater with a robe made of silver. When it sparkled in the sun, the people cried out flatteries and declared him to be a god. The king, carried away by the flattery, saw an owl (an omen of death) sitting on a nearby rope, and immediately was struck with severe stomach pains. He was carried off to his house and died five days later. The two accounts can be reconciled without difficulty, since while Luke states that Herod was immediately struck down by an angel, his death could have come several days later. The mention of worms with death adds a humiliating note to the scene. The formerly powerful ruler had been thoroughly reduced to nothing (cf. Jdt 16:17; 2 Macc 9:9; cf. Also Josephus, Ant. 17.6.5 [17.168-170], which details the sickness which led to Herod the Great’s death). bible.org Herod did not give the glory to the Lord, so this whole scene was nothing but idolatry. “I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another” (Isa. 42:8; see 48:11). Instead of Peter being killed by Herod, it was Herod who was killed by Peter’s God! Perhaps the same angel who delivered Peter also smote the king. Herod contracted some affliction in his bowels and died five days later, according to Josephus. This was in AD 44. (Wiersbe)
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