A religious group visiting Massada this week
Herod, the king of the Jews, was actually not a Jew himself.
Herod was placed on the throne of Jerusalem by the Romans and was to reign for 37 years.
He was one of the most important figures in the history of the Second Temple period.
He was considered as a ‘converted’ Jew, but in fact King Herod was an Edomite, Arab people presented in the Bible as descendant of Esau.
Not wanting to offend his Jewish subjects’ mosaics palaces never accounted for humans or animals, the King used geometric designs with only the seven species of Israel :
barley, dates, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and wheat.
He died at the age of 67, a rare age in those days, which originated the expression
‘Old as Herod’