Is strictly the ruler of the fourth part of a state or province; but in the New Testament it is a general title applied to those who governed any part of a kingdom or province, with an authority subject only to that of the Roman emperor. Thus Herod the Great and his brother were at one time, in early life, constituted tetrarchs of Judea by Antony. At the death of Herod the Great, he left half his kingdom to Archelaus, with the title of ethnarch; while the other half was divided between two of his other sons. Herod Antipas and Philip, with the title of tetrarchs. See HEROD 1 and 2. In the same manner Lysanias is also said to have been tetrarch of Abilene, Lu 3:1. It is Herod Antipsas who is called the tetrarch in Mt 14:1; Lu 3:19; 9:7; Ac 13:1. As the authority of the tetrarch was similar to that of the king, so the general term king is also applied to Herod, Mt 14:9; Mr 6:14.
strictly the ruler over the fourth part of a province; but the word denotes a ruler of a province generally (Mt 14:1; Lu 3:1,19; 9:7; Ac 13:1). Herod and Phasael, the sons of Antipater, were the first tetrarchs in Palestine. Herod the tetrarch had the title of king (Mt 14:9).
Properly governor of the fourth part of a larger province and kingdom, i.e. a tetrarchy. The title "king" is applied by courtesy, not right, to Herod "the tetrarch" (Lu 3:1; Mr 6:14). (See HEROD.) As Archelaus was "ethnarch" over half of Herod the Great's whole kingdom, so Philip and Antipus had divided between them the remaining half, and were each "tetrarch" over the fourth; Herod over Galilee; Philip over Ituraea and Trachonitis; Lysanias over Abilene. Caligula annexed the three tetrarchies to the kingdom of Herod Agrippa I, whom he honoured with the title "king" (Acts 12).
The transliteration of a Gr. word (tetrarch
Literally the governor over a fourth part of a province, but also applied to the governor of any small province. It is employed in the N.T. in reference to Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea; Philip, tetrarch of Ituraea and Trachonitis; and Lysanias, tetrarch of Abilene. Mal. 14:1; Lu 3:1,19; 9:7; Ac 13:1.
properly the sovereign or governor of the fourth part of a country.
The title was, however, often applied to any one who governed a Roman province, of whatever size. The title of king was sometimes assigned to a tetrarch.