Agrippa’s seed

Jerusalem Post - - COMMENT & FEATURES - REU­VEN CHAIM KLEIN Beitar Il­lit

In “King Agrippa I: The last Mac­cabee” (Com­ment & Fea­tures, May 30), Eli Kavon echoes the oft-re­peated as­ser­tion that Agrippa I was a de­scen­dant of Herod the Great and his Jewish wife, Mari­amme (Miriam), mak­ing him a scion of the Has­monean dy­nasty.

While this view of events is recorded by Jose­phus, the Tal­mud states that Herod’s Jewish wife com­mit­ted sui­cide, and that all of his de­scen­dants were through his non-Jewish wives, who had slave sta­tus, mak­ing any­one who claimed to be de­scen­dant from the Has­moneans a slave.

More­over, Kavon cited the his­to­rian Martin Good­man, who iden­ti­fied the Agrippa men­tioned in dif­fer­ent Mish­naic sources as Agrippa I. The tra­di­tional view iden­ti­fies the fig­ure in those sources Agrippa II.

CLAR­I­FI­CA­TION The grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony re­ported in “Bar-Ilan’s Safed med­i­cal school grad­u­ates its first class, with 48 new physi­cians” (June 2) took place at Beit Yi­gal Al­lon, a cul­tural cen­ter in Safed, and not as stated.

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