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Luke 3:1

Context
The Ministry of John the Baptist

3:1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, 1  when Pontius Pilate 2  was governor of Judea, and Herod 3  was tetrarch 4  of Galilee, and his brother Philip 5  was tetrarch of the region of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias 6  was tetrarch of Abilene,

1 tn Or “Emperor Tiberius” (“Caesar” is a title for the Roman emperor).

sn Tiberius Caesar was the Roman emperor Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus, who ruled from a.d. 14-37.

2 sn The rule of Pontius Pilate is also described by Josephus, J. W. 2.9.2-4 (2.169-177) and Ant. 18.3.1 (18.55-59).

3 sn Herod refers here to Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great. He ruled from 4 b.c.-a.d. 39, sharing the rule of his father’s realm with his two brothers. One brother, Archelaus (Matt 2:22) was banished in a.d. 6 and died in a.d. 18; the other brother, Herod Philip (mentioned next) died in a.d. 34.

4 sn A tetrarch was a ruler with rank and authority lower than a king, who ruled only with the approval of the Roman authorities. This was roughly equivalent to being governor of a region. Several times in the NT, Herod tetrarch of Galilee is called a king (Matt 14:9, Mark 6:14-29), reflecting popular usage.

5 sn Philip refers to Herod Philip, son of Herod the Great and brother of Herod Antipas. Philip ruled as tetrarch of Iturea and Trachonitis from 4 b.c.-a.d. 34.

6 sn Nothing else is known about Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene.



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