on Acts 25 :13
King Agrippa - This was the son of Herod Agrippa, who is mentioned Acts 12:1. Upon the death of his father's youngest brother, Herod, he succeeded him in the kingdom of Chalcis, by the favor of the Emperor Claudius: Jos. Antiq. lib. xx. cap. 4, s. 2; and Bell. lib. ii. cap. 12, s. 1. Afterwards, Claudius removed him from that kingdom to a larger one, giving him the tetrarchy of Philip, which contained Trachonitis, Batanea, and Gaulonitis. He gave him, likewise, the tetrarchy of Lysanias, and the province which Varus had governed. Jos. Antiq. lib. xx. cap. 6, s. 1; Bell. lib. ii. cap. 19, s. 8. Nero made a farther addition, and gave him four cities, Abila, Julias in Peraea, Tarichaea and Tiberias in Galilee: Jos. Antiq. lib. xx. cap. 7, s. 4; Bell. lib. ii. cap 13, s. 2. Claudius gave him the power of appointing the high priest among the Jews; Joseph. Antiq. lib. xx. cap. 1, s. 3; and instances of his exercising this power may be seen in Joseph. Antiq. lib. xx. cap. 7, s. 8, 11. This king was strongly attached to the Romans, and did every thing in his power to prevent the Jews from rebelling against them; and, when he could not prevail, he united his troops to those of Titus, and assisted in the siege of Jerusalem: he survived the ruin of his country several years. See Bishop Pearce and Calmet.
Bernice, or, as she is sometimes called, Berenice, was sister of this Agrippa, and of the Drusilla mentioned Acts 24:24 : She was at first married to her uncle Herod, king of Chalcis, Jos. Antiq. lib. xix. cap. 9, s. 1; and, on his death, went to live with her brother Agrippa, with whom she was violently suspected to lead an incestuous life. Juvenal, as usual, mentions this in the broadest manner - Sat. vi. ver. 155: -
Deinde adamas notissimus, et Berenices
In digito factus pretiosior: hunc dedit olim
Barbarus incestae, dedit hunc Agrippa sorori.
"Next, a most valuable diamond, rendered more precious by being put on the finger of Berenice; a barbarian gave it to this incestuous woman formerly; and Agrippa gave this to his sister."
Josephus mentions the report of her having criminal conversation with her brother Agrippa, φημης επισχουσης, ὁτι τἀδελφῳ συνῃει. To shield herself from this scandal, she persuaded Polemo, king of Cilicia, to embrace the Jewish religion, and marry her; this he was induced to do on account of her great riches; but she soon left him, and he revolted to heathenism: see Jos. Antiq. lib. xx. cap. 7, s. 3. After this, she lived often with her brother, and her life was by no means creditable; she had, however, address to ingratiate herself with Titus Vespasian, and there were even rumors of her becoming empress - propterque insignem reginae Berenices amorem, cui etiam nuptias pollicitus ferebatur. - Suet. in Vit. Titi. Which was prevented by the murmurs of the Roman people: Berenicen statim ab urbe dimisit, invitus invitam. - Ibid. Tacitus also, Hist. lib. ii. cap. 1, speaks of her love intrigue with Titus. From all accounts she must have been a woman of great address; and, upon the whole, an exceptionable character.
on Acts 25 :13
After certain days, king Agrippa - This Agrippa was the son of Herod Agrippa Acts 12:1, and great-grandson of Herod the Great. His mother's name was Cypros (Josephus, Jewish Wars, book 2, chapter 11, section 6). When his father died he was at Rome with the Emperor Claudius. Josephus says that the emperor was inclined to bestow upon him all his father's dominions, but was dissuaded by his ministers. The reason of this was, that it was thought imprudent to bestow so large a kingdom on so young a man, and one so inexperienced. Accordingly, Claudius sent Cuspius Fadus to be procurator of Judea and of the entire kingdom (Josephus, Antiq., book 19, chapter 9, section 2). When Herod, the brother of his father, Agrippa the Great, died in the eighth year of the reign of Claudius, his kingdom - the kingdom of Chalcis - was bestowed by Claudius on Agrippa (Josephus, Antiq., book 20, chapter 5, section 2). Afterward, he bestowed on him the tetrarchy of Philip and Batanea, and added to it Trachonitis with Abila (Antiq., book 20, chapter 7, section 1). After the death of Claudius, Nero, his successor, added to his dominions Julias in Perea and a part of Galilee. Agrippa had been brought up at Rome, and was strongly attached to the Romans. When the troubles commenced in Judea which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem, he did all that he could to preserve peace and order, but in vain. He afterward joined his troops with those of the Romans, and assisted them at the destruction of Jerusalem. After the captivity of that city he went to Rome with his sister Bernice, where he ended his days. He died at the age of seventy years, about 90 a.d. His manner of living with his sister gave occasion to reports respecting him very little to his advantage.
And Bernice - She was sister of Agrippa. She had been married to Herod, king of Chalcis, her own uncle by her father's side. After his death she proposed to Polemon, king of Pontus and part of Cilicia, that if he would become circumcised she would marry him. He complied, but she did not continue long with him. After she left him she returned to her brother Agrippa, with whom she lived in a manner such as to excite scandal. Josephus directly charges her with incest with her brother Agrippa (Antiq., book 20, chapter 7, section 3).
To salute Festus - To show him respect as the governor of Judea.
on Acts 25 :13
25:13 Agrippa - The son of Herod Agrippa, Acts 12:1; and Bernice - His sister, with whom he lived in a scandalous familiarity. This was the person whom Titus Vespasian so passionately loved, that he would have made her empress, had not the clamours of the Romans prevented it.