There was a time, when I assumed there was only one King Herod in the bible. I believed this same Herod, wrecked havoc from the time of the birth of Christ through the beginnings of the early church, in the book of Acts. There actually are four men in the bible who ruled over Jerusalem, and carried the title of Herod, being mentioned in the gospels as well as the book of Acts.
The first was known as “Herod the Great.” He is the king who asked the wise men to lead him to the Christ child. Herod lied, saying he too desired to worship this new king. He actually wanted to murder Jesus to protect his own kingdom. The wise men were warned in a dream from The Lord, to not go back to Herod.
When they did not obey him, Herod the not so great, ordered all baby boys, 2 years old and under to be killed. Herod was a wicked man, and thought killing the young boys, would ensure the death of any king who might one day take his place.(Matthew chapter 2). Joseph however was also warned by the Lord in a dream, and fled with his family to Egypt.
Herod the great had a son, who ruled after him. He was referred to as Herod Antipas or Herod the tetrarch. This is the Herod, who ordered the execution of John the Baptist,in Matthew chapter 14, and whom Jesus was sent to just prior to His crucifixion (Luke 23 ).
Herod Agrippa I was the grandson of Herod the Great. (Acts 12 ). This was the ruler who persecuted the early church and had the apostle James, the brother of John by the sword. History records that he died suddenly in 44 A.D. The bibles indicates that Herod died because he allowed people to call him a god, and when he received their worship he fell dead, and was eaten by worms.
Agrippa’s son, Herod Agrippa II, rule after him. He is the king who played a part in saving the Apostle Paul from being tried and imprisoned by Jews who were against his testimony of Jesus Christ being the Messiah. King Agrippa II, allowed Paul to defend himself, because Paul was a Roman citizen.
This opened the door for Paul to preach the gospel of Christ, to all who were assembled (Acts 25-26 ). Agrippa II was last in the line of Herods. I read once, that there were a total of 7 Herods who ruled in Palestine. The history I uncovered, as well as the bible only identifies these 4.