King Herod, also known as Herod the Great, was multifaceted. Historians agree that in many respects he had a hugely successful reign. Ethnically Arab but a practicing Jew, he increased the land he governed from Palestine to parts of modern Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, constructing fortresses, aqueducts and amphitheaters. The Romans also gave him the title “King of the Jews” because of the Jewish population he ruled. This title begins to explain the impression we have of Herod from the Bible – one of the Bible’s biggest villains. He was a wicked king who saw baby Jesus as a threat and wanted to murder Him. Like most kings he wanted more power, not less power. Herod knew his status as a ruler was tenuous. He gained and maintained his power by brute force and manipulation. He had little support from the common people around Jerusalem. Herod was also extremely paranoid. He lived in constant fear – no matter how many enemies he tortured or executed; he knew their numbers would continue to grow. It also wasn’t jealousy that Herod was experiencing when he ordered the massacre of hundreds of babies, it was fear. Fear of losing what was most important to him: power. Here are five things you didn’t know about the Bible’s biggest villain: King Herod.