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Antipater was the father of King Herod the Great.

Antipater was from Edom.

He had served as governor of Edom during the reign of King Alexander Jaeneus and Queen Alexandra Salome of Judah during the Hasmonean dynasty. After the death of Alexander Janeueus his wife Queen Alexandra Salome ruled for a while. When she died shortly afterwards, she left two sons feuding for the throne: Aristoboulos and John Hycarnus. Aristoboulos declared himself king and forced John Hycarnus into becoming high priest. Antipater saw this as an opportunity.

He ingratiated himself to John Hycarnus and requested aid from Aretas III king of Nabatea (Arab kingdom). The Nabateans marched into Judah and gave the crown to John Hycarnus . To ensure that Aristoboulos would cause no more trouble, Antipater had him "accidentally" thrown into a coffin full of honey (a sticky grave).

Antipater began to notice the growing power of Rome in the region and so aligned himself with Pompey the great who in 63 BC came into Judah. The Roman general visited Jerusalem and entering the temple, he walked into the Holy of Holies where the holy altar to God where sacrifices were made on Passover was situated. The priests were shocked that God did not strike down Pompey immediately. But Pompey was struck down a good 12 years later literally while going to Egypt. He was stabbed to death on his boat as he was crossing from his galley to the Egyptian shore. Antipater throughout this time thrived by playing the dangerous game of Roman politics. When Julius Caesar was being besieged in Alexandria, Egypt shortly after Pompey's death, Antipater went to his aid with 3000 men. To reward him, Caesar showered him with honors and declared that Judah would be free of taxes.

Antipater moved his two sons Phasael and Herod into positions of power and influence. Following the assassination of Julius Caesar, Cassius one of Caesar's murderers came to Syria and demanded 700 talents of silver from Judah. Antipater split the cost between his two sons ans handed the tribute over to Cassius. An aristocrat named Malichus (who's life Antipater had saved) plotted to murder Antipater. In this enterprise he succeeded by poisoning his wine.