Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there a while.
20He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. Having secured the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king's country for their food supply.
21On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people.
22They shouted, "This is the voice of a god, not of a man."
23Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.
24But the word of God continued to increase and spread.
25When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.
a horrible death
With so little background information it is difficult to understand why Herod had quarreled with the people of Tyre or Sidon, but now representatives from those cities were trying to appease him through his personal servant, so they would not be cut off from an important food supply.
I visualize a selfish, powerful, prideful man sitting on his throne, thinking he himself was God Almighty!!! And, he loved the adulations the people bestowed upon him. But God Almighty was not pleased!!! In Isaiah, He had said, "I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another" (Isaiah 42:8.) The prophet said concerning God, "He it is who reduces rulers to nothing" (Isaiah 40:23.) We are not surprised, therefore, to read that IMMEDIATELY an angel struck him.
Josephus supplies the details of Herod's affliction:
"A severe pain also arose in his belly, and began in a most violent manner. . .Accordingly he was carried into the palace. . . and when he had been quite worn out by the pain in his belly, for 5 days, he departed this life, being in the 54th year of his age and the 7th year of his reign."
Herod's passing was disastrous for the Jews because, even with all of his flaws, Herod had maintained a balance between Roman authority and Jewish independence. Kind Herod fell, but the Word of the Lord FLOURISHED!