JERUSALEM — An Israeli boy who recently took a school trip to the Shilo Valley found a coin during his visit that turned out to be linked to the biblical king Herod Agrippa, who is stated in the Book of Acts to be responsible for the death of Jesus’ disciple James, and for jailing Peter, who later escaped with the aid of an angel.
According to reports, the student contacted the group leader about his find, who in turned reached out to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).
The coin features three stalks of grain on one side, with the inscription “King Agrippa” on the other side, along with a royal canopy.
“It is an exciting find. Every archaeological find has a story behind it that sheds light on the history of Land of Israel and the Nation of Israel,” Hananya Hezmi, a member of COGAT with the Israeli Civil Administration told Arutz Sheva 7. “Findings like these complete another part of the historical puzzle of our people.”
Acts 12:1-5 states of Herod Agrippa, “Now about that time, Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the Church. And he killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also.”
“And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him, intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison, but prayer was made without ceasing of the Church unto God for him.”
Agrippa I is the grandson of Herod the Great, who sought to have Jesus killed following word of the savior’s birth.
Christian News Network reached out to the Pennsylvania-based Associates for Biblical Research (ABR) to obtain feedback about the find. The organization advised that its dig staff had likewise unearthed a coin bearing the name of King Agrippa.
“Shiloh boasts a rich numismatic corpus, as evidenced by this find. The ABR excavation at Shiloh has yielded almost 200 coins, including this exact coin of Agrippa I,” said dig director Dr. Scott Stripling.
“Dated to the sixth year of the reign of Agrippa I (AD 41/42), this coin provides a direct connection to the end of the Second Temple period,” he explained. “Agrippa I was close friends with Emperor Claudius, and this coin was minted in the first year of Claudius’ reign. Agrippa’s title on the obverse (front) of the coin is BASILEUS, the Greek word for ‘king.’ Three ears of barley adorn the coin’s reverse. In AD 44, Agrippa I suffered a gruesome death as recorded in Acts 12:23 and Josephus (Ant. 19.8.2).”
Other ancient coins that have been unearthed in recent years include the discovery of a coin depicting the Roman emperor Nero and a treasury of coins dating to the Great Revolt.