Smote him (epataxen auton). Effective aorist active indicative of patassō, old verb, used already in Act 12:7of gentle smiting of the angel of the Lord, here of a severe stroke of affliction. Like Nebuchadnezzar (Dan 4:30) pride went before a fall. He was struck down in the very zenith of his glory.
Because (anth' hōn). Anti with the genitive of the relative pronoun, “in return for which things.” He accepted the impious flattery (Hackett) instead of giving God the glory. He was a nominal Jew.
He was eaten of worms (genomenos skōlēkobrōtos). Ingressive aorist middle participle, “becoming worm-eaten.” The compound verbal adjective (skōlēx, worm, brōtos, eaten, from bibrōskō) is a late word (II Macc. Act 9:9) of the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, used also of a tree (Theophrastus), here only in the N.T. The word skōlēx was used of intestinal worms and Herodotus (IV. 205) describes Pheretima, Queen of Cyrene, as having swarms of worms which ate her flesh while still alive. Josephus (Ant. XIX. 8, 2) says that Herod Agrippa lingered for five days and says that the rotting of his flesh produced worms, an item in harmony with the narrative in Luke. Josephus gives further details, one a superstitious sight of an owl sitting on one of the ropes of the awning of the theatre while the people flattered him, an omen of his death to him. Luke puts it simply that God smote him.
Gave up the ghost (exepsuxen). Effective aorist active of ekpsuchō, to breathe out, late verb, medical term in Hippocrates, in the N.T. only in Act 5:5, Act 5:10; Act 12:23. Herod was carried out of the theatre a dying man and lingered only five days.