Bible Question:

Was King Herod a descendant of Esau?

Bible Answer:

Flavius Joephus (approx. A.D. 30 – 100), the Jewish historian, tells us that Esau’s descendants inhabited the region of Idumea at least two times in his writings.

. . . and these were the sons of Esau. Aliphaz had five legitimate sons: Theman, Omer, Saphus, Gotham, and Kanaz; for Amalek was not legitimate, but by a concubine, whose name was Thamna. These dwelt in that part of Idumea . . . (Josephus. The Antiquities of the Jews. Book 2, Chap. 2).

So he fell upon the Idumeans, the posterity of Esau, at Acrabattene, and slew a great many of them, and took their spoils. (Josephus. The Antiquities of the Jews. Book 12, Chap. 8).

This means the Idumeans were considered to be the descendants of Esau. Then in chapter 12, Josephus tells us that King Herod was an Idumean. This means that King Herod the Great was a descendant of Esau.

. . . but Antigonus, by way of reply to what Herod had caused to be proclaimed, and this before the Romans, and before Silo also, said, that they would not do justly if they gave the kingdom to Herod, who was no more than a private man, and an Idumean . . . (Josephus. The Antiquities of the Jews. Book 12, Chap. 8).

Conclusion:

The secular historian Flavius Josephus tells us that King Herod the Great was a descendant of Esau. Herod’s father was an Idumean and his mother was an Arab.