Earlier this month, a schoolboy found a coin dating from the New Testament era whilst on a class trip in Israel.

On January 27, 2019, The Times of Israel reported:

A boy found a 2,000-year-old coin from the Second Temple-era rule of Herod Agrippa, the last king of Judea, during a hike last week in the northern West Bank.

The rare piece was uncovered in the Shilo stream during a school trip, according to a Sunday statement from the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), an Israeli body that administers civilian matters in the West Bank under the Defense Ministry.

The coin features three stalks of grain on one side, and a royal canopy surrounded by an engraving reading “King Agrippa” on the other side.

The boy notified his tour guide, who, in turn, contacted an employee of the Archaeology Unit at COGAT’s Civil Administration. The boy gave the employee the coin, which was duly analysed.

The coin will soon join the Israel Antiquities Authority’s collection of National Treasures.

I was excited to see this article, even happier when the journalist carefully identified the Herod involved:

Herod Agrippa ruled Judea from 41 CE until his death three years later. He was the grandson of Herod the Great and the father of Herod Agrippa II, the last king of the Herodian Dynasty. He ruled the territory to the satisfaction of the Jews, and was hailed at the time as “Agrippa the Great,” according to Josephus.

In Acts 12, St Luke — the author of Acts — wrote of how Agrippa had James (John’s brother, the sons of Zebedee) beheaded, put Peter in prison and not long afterwards, after an angel of the Lord released Peter from prison, he received a divine judgement: death by worms, which ate him alive.

The Jewish historian Josephus wrote that it took five days for the worms to consume his body.

I am amazed by the ancient finds that continue to turn up.

In London, as the exciting new Crossrail line is being built, archaeologists are still examining sets of skulls unearthed during construction a few years ago. The skulls date to around 100-110 AD, so, during the Roman rule of Britain — and not that long, relatively speaking, after Herod Agrippa I’s death. But I digress.

In closing, when I get to Acts 26 in my Forbidden Bible Verses series, I will be writing about St Paul’s encounter with Herod Agrippa II.