Regarding antitypes of the “Man of Lawlessness” in scripture, what about the Herods? Ran across this scripture, and saw the glimpse of a pattern…
Acts 12:21 “On a set day, Herod clothed himself with royal raiment and sat down on the judgment seat and began giving them a public address. 22 Then the people who were assembled began shouting: “A god’s voice, and not a man’s!” 23 Instantly the angel of Jehovah struck him, because he did not give the glory to God, and he was eaten up with worms and died. 24 But the word of Jehovah went on growing and spreading.”
This led me to research further about the Herods. What’s fascinating, is that the Herods were really Edomites who falsely passed themselves off as Jews!
The Insight book reports “Antipater’s son, also called Antipater or Antipas, was the father of Herod the Great. Josephus relates that the historian Nicholas of Damascus says Antipater (II) was of the stock of the principal Jews who came out of Babylon into the land of Judah. But Josephus says that Nicholas’ assertion was merely to gratify Herod, who was actually an Edomite on both his father’s side and his mother’s.” (Insight p. 1091)
And regarding “lawlessness”, as a class, it’s astounding what all the Herods were responsible for:
1) The slaughter of Jewish children in an attempt to kill the Christ. (Matt 2:16)
2) The arrest of John the Baptist and his subsequent murder. (Mark 6:17-19; Luke 3:19; Matt 14:5-10; Mark 6:27)
3) The conspiratorial actions of the “Party Followers of Herod”, a political group likely associated with the Sadducees, who schemed to entrap and kill Jesus. (Mark 12:13; Matt 22:16-22; Mark 3:6; Insight p. 1099)
4) The murder of Jesus. (Luke 13:31,32; Luke 23:11,12)
5) The persecution of Christians.
(Acts 4:27-30; 12:1)
6) The murder of the Apostle James (Acts 12:2)
7) The arrest and attempted murder of the Apostle Peter (Acts 12:3,4,11,19)
8) Besides the scriptures, other historical documents record the Herods as being cruel murderers of family members as well as countless other Jews. (Insight p. 1090-1099)
Of secondary note, Herod the Great was also responsible for rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem, along with many other building works. Thanks kinda interesting too, isn’t it? (Insight p. 1091)
Of further interest, Jesus warned his disciples “in no uncertain terms” to keep their eyes open and “look out for the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” — Mark 8:15
What is the leaven of Herod?
Insight in the Scriptures brings out “The disciples at first did not understand that Jesus was using a symbolism, but they finally discerned that he was warning them to be on guard against false doctrine and hypocritical practices, “the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees,” which teaching had a corrupting effect. (Mt 16:6, 11, 12; Lu 12:1) He also mentioned Herod (evidently including his party followers) in one of his warnings, saying: “Keep your eyes open, look out for the leavenof the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” (Insight p. 230)
In more detail, under “Herod” it brings out “Both of these sects, the Pharisees and the Herodians, or party followers of Herod, opposed Jesus Christ and his teachings, and though they were at enmity with each other, both saw Christ as a common enemy and were united against him. The Herodians were more political than religious; it has been said that they claimed to follow the Law but maintained the opinion that it was lawful for the Jews to acknowledge a foreign prince (for the Herods were not true Jews, but Idumeans [Edomites]). The Herodians were very nationalistic and supported neither the idea of theocratic rule under Jewish kings nor Roman rule, but they wanted the restoration of the national kingdom under one or the other of the sons of Herod.” (Insight p. 1096)
So to sum it all up, we have a multi-generational group of lawless men who ruled over God’s people right before, during and right after the coming of Jesus, who lyingly passed themselves off as faithful Jews but, in the end proved themselves enemies of God, his Son, and his people. And to top if all off, in the end we have Herod Agrippa, who places himself in the judgement seat and exalts himself above God, only to be done away with by Jehovah’s angel.
All very reminiscent of 2 Thess 2:4,8:
4 “He stands in opposition and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits down in the temple of God, publicly showing himself to be a god.”
8 “Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will do away with by the spirit of his mouth and bring to nothing by the manifestation of his presence.”
Lastly we have Agrippa Il, who Paul witnesses to (Acts 26:4-32). He’s the only Herod that doesn’t seem to fit anywhere within this pattern. But not sure if he needs to? If any of you have any thoughts where he might, please chime in. 🙂