Reply To: Who was Bernice in the bible

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Bernice was the daughter of Agrippa I, who was the grandson of Herod the Great, the king who reigned over Judea when Jesus was born. She was also the sister of Agrippa II.

Bernice had several short-lived marriages and eventually spent most of her time in the company of her brother Agrippa, which generated rumors of impropriety in their relationship. That was her situation when she encountered Paul at Caesarea.

Paul had been imprisoned at Caesarea because of a dispute with the Jewish leaders at Jerusalem. While he was there, Festus, the Roman governor, invited Agrippa and Bernice to hear Paul’s case and help him decide what to do about Paul. Agrippa and Bernice arrived in great pomp, and Paul was allowed to speak. In the process, he boldly urged Agrippa and Bernice to become Christians! Agrippa and Bernice immediately left the room, declaring Paul to be innocent.


We hear nothing further about Bernice after this episode. Perhaps she was not moved at all by Paul’s invitation. But perhaps she was. We can only hope. A few years after Paul’s appeal to Agrippa and Bernice, the Jews revolted against the Romans, and the couple traveled to Jerusalem to appeal to the Romans to be merciful to the Jews. Their appeal was unsuccessful, and the Jews forced them to flee to Galilee, where they eventually gave themselves up to the Romans.