The Sickness, Death and Funeral of Herod
What the modern historian needs to do is to catalogue the events that occurred from the day of the lunar eclipse until Herod died, then add on the time that elapsed for his funeral and burial, and then count the period from Herods burial to the springtime Passover which found Archelaus (the son of Herod) reigning in Jerusalem. The events are well recorded by Josephus. True, Josephus does not give in his writings the exact number of days from the lunar eclipse to the next Passover, but this interval of time can be generally determined without difficulty. Note the sequence of events recorded by Josephus that shows this.
The day before the lunar eclipse two prominent Jewish rabbis were burnt alive at the command of Herod for tearing down a golden eagle which he had erected over the eastern gate of the temple, and on that very night there was an eclipse of the moon. 1 The morning after the eclipse, Josephus said Herods illness became worse. He had been sick some two or three months. People began to say that the intensification of Herods affliction was a result of the rabbis deaths. 2 One has to allow two or three days after the eclipse for Herods physical deterioration to become noticeable. His physicians then tried one remedy after another. 3 For several remedies to be practiced on Herod in order to cure him occupied at least four or five days ― a remedy for each day. The elapsed time for these events would reasonably occupy (at a bare minimum): one week.
Those various remedies performed on Herod, however, did not improve his condition. The physicians then recommended that he leave Jericho, which was then his temporary residence, and retreat to the mineral baths at Callirrhoe. These baths were located on the Dead Sea about 25 miles southeast of Jericho. Herod heeded their advice. Since he was very ill and getting worse, it would have taken at least a day for him to have been carefully transported to the baths, probably longer. He then began a period of treatment using the mineral waters. The therapy certainly took two or three days to give the chemicals in the waters a chance to work. But use of the baths gave Herod no sign of improving his condition. He then ordered his attendants to carry him back to Jericho. The elapsed time for these events associated with taking Herod to the baths of Callirrhoe and returning to Jericho would have occupied at least one week. The interval of time would now be two weeks away from the eclipse.
Once back at his palace in Jericho, Herod devised a monstrous plan. Since he knew his death was not far off, and realizing that most of the Jewish people had a vehement hatred of him, he decided on a scheme which would have the whole nation in mourning at the time of his death. He had many prominent Jewish elders from all areas of his kingdom assemble at Jericho. Without the elders realizing his intention, Herods plot was to place them in custody, then on the day of his death, they were to be executed. In Herods warped reasoning this would guarantee that the entire Jewish nation would go into a state of mourning.
This heinous plan was put into action. Messengers were sent from Jericho to all parts of Herods realm bearing orders for the elders of the cities and villages to appear at Jericho on pain of death for their refusal. 4 Since the northern cities of Herods kingdom were at least 130 miles away, a period of 3 days for the couriers to reach the elders, a day or so for them to prepare for the trip, and then 3 or 4 days for the elders to reach Jericho would occupy, at the very least, a weeks time. Josephus said these municipal elders with other Jewish dignitaries finally arrived at Jericho and were locked up in the hippodrome (the racetrack area). The elapsed time for this assemblage of elders was at the very least one week. The interval of time now being three weeks away from the eclipse.
Josephus said that after this, letters came from Augustus in Rome giving Herod permission to kill his son Antipater. The king had him executed immediately and Herod died 5 days later. 5 Herods survivors then determined that the elders imprisoned in the hippodrome were not to be killed. They were released and many were allowed to return home. The elapsed time for these events would reasonably occupy 5 to 7 days (now almost four weeks away from the eclipse).
A physician has suggested a grisly new theory as to what killed King Herod, of biblical fame.
It was chronic kidney disease complicated by a severe infection that led to the rotting of his genitals, said Jan Hirschmann, a clinician at a Veterans' Administration hospital and professor of medicine at the University of Washington.
The condition, known as Fournier's gangrene, was announced Friday after a "historical autopsy" -- an annual event at the Clinico-Pathologic Conference (CPC) organized by the VA and University of Maryland School of Medicine
I still like the biblical version Herod was eaten by worms because he made himself to be a god, or like a god
Luke, in the Acts of the Apostles, states that Herod Agrippa, wearing his royal robes and sitting on his throne, gave a public address to a deputation from Tyre and Sidon. They started to shout "This is the voice of a god, not a man". Herod apparently accepted this grovelling instead of giving glory to God and an angel of God "struck him down", apparently during the course of this speech.
Israel to open King Herod exhibit
And thanks, 444Flyer for the link in post 18.