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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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(Acts 24:24)

The youngest of the three daughters of Herod Agrippa I. She was but six years old when her father died in a.d. 44 (Jos. Ant. XIX. ix. 1). He had betrothed her to Epiphanes, son of the king of Commagene. This marriage did not take place, as Epiphanes refused to undergo the rite of circumcision (Ant. XX. vii. 1). Drusilla was given by her brother Agrippa II. to Azizus, king of Emesa. The marriage took place seemingly in a.d. 53. Very shortly afterwards the procurator Felix, who had lately come to Judaea , met the young queen and was captivated by her charms (‘She did indeed exceed all other women in beauty’ [Ant. xx. vii. 2]). Employing as his emissary one Simon, a Cypriote, he persuaded her to leave her husband and to join him as his third wife-and third queen (‘trium reginarum maritum,’ writes Suetonius of Felix [Claud. xxviii.]). Of this union there was issue a son, who was given the name Agrippa, and of whom Josephus (Ant. xx. vii. 2) records incidentally that he and his wife perished in the eruption of Vesuvius in the reign of the Emperor Titus, i.e. in a.d. 79. Of Drusilla herself nothing is recorded later than the statement in Acts, which permits us to assume that she was present when St. Paul had audience of Felix, and used the opportunity to reason ‘of righteousness, and temperance, and the judgment to come.’

G. P. Gould.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Drusilla'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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