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Friday, December 16, 2016

HEROD THE GREAT

Matthew 2:3 New Living Translation
“King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.”
     What about Jesus birth was disturbing to King Herod?  People like Herod become paranoid, ever waiting for the other shoe to drop or worse still an assassination plot to unfold.  It was because he was a bad man who had done very bad things that he was disturbed by the events that were taking place in Bethlehem. 
       Herod the Great, as he was called, was an Edomite, who were “descendants of Esau, the firstborn son of Isaac and the twin brother of Jacob”[1].  Herod came from a family of manipulators who worked their way into political office with the assistance of the Roman Government, whom they supported.  Once in power, his reign was marked by harsh and bloody cruelty.  It was understandable that the people would welcome a change in leadership. When the Magi came thru the area speaking of visiting the newborn King of the Jews you can imagine why Herod would be disturbed.  Other translations use words like “deeply troubled” and “alarmed”.  Suffice it to say Herod was not at all pleased by these developments. This is why he had all Jewish boys 2 years old and younger murdered.[2]
       Herod was nearing the end of his reign which only served to heighten his paranoia toward anyone he might suspect to usurp his throne. Whenever there is a change in leadership there is tension among the people.  You never really know ones intentions until they are in office and begin to rule over you.  The Jewish people looked upon the newborn Christ child with cautious optimism.
       The birth of Christ would bring hope to a people who were seeking some semblance of encouragement, some sign that God hadn’t forgotten them.  God sent his Son to fulfill the prophecy regarding the coming of a deliverer (Messiah) for the Jewish people.  Once born Christ’s life would be a long, eventful walk from a manger to a cross.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

[2] Matthew 2:16 “Herod was furious when he realized that the wise men had outwitted him. He sent soldiers to kill all the boys in and around Bethlehem who were two years old and under, based on the wise men’s report of the star’s first appearance.”

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