Thought For The Day 12/05/14


 Herod… The Rest Of The Story 

   Post 1364   




“Rebellion to tyranny is obedience to God.”

Thomas Jefferson


I am always thirsting for more knowledge and a deeper understanding of historical characters who significantly impacted the birth, life and death of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. And there was one man that I wanted to learn more about since he had been anointed by Caesar himself as “King of the Jews”. Of course, I am talking about King Herod, a man who so coveted his position and title that when the soothsayers foretold of the coming birth of the Messiah, he sent the Magi to discover the location of the Christ Child, intending to slay this threat. Of course, we know that these three sage men, discovering the true nature of the child, betrayed their King, upon which time Herod ordered the massacre of all of the newborn male infants younger than two, in Bethlehem!


Herod became King of Judea upon appointment by Rome in approximately 37 BC. Herod was of Middle Eastern (Arab) ancestry but was a practicing Jew. In fact he was considered a somewhat successful leader, having been responsible for the development of many extraordinary buildings, aqueducts and amphitheaters throughout his region of rule (today the area would include Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria). He was, in fact, labeled Herod the Great (Herodes Magnus). However, the term “the Great” is not particularly apt since he was considered to be a madman who murdered indiscriminately to achieve his goals.


Interestingly, the only actual evidence for the infanticide he is accused of, lies within only a couple of verses in the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew 2:16-18 ESV says, Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”


Bethlehem of the day was really only a small village. There were most likely less than 1000 residents in total, of which male babies under the age of two would most likely have numbered no more than a handful. It may well be this which accounts for the lack of supporting evidence of this infanticide. However, what is known is that he failed abysmally at ridding the world of the one he perceived as his nemesis for the loyalty of the people, because, as we know, Joseph, Mary and Jesus avoided the executioner’s sword by fleeing to Egypt.


It may well have been both ego as well as his possessive love for his wife, Mariamme, that was his ultimate undoing. Once during an assignment to Rome, and knowing full well that he was unpopular because he had sided with Marc Anthony against Caesar, he feared he would be killed. Unable to bear the thought that his wife might find love with another, Herod ordered that if he did not return, she was to be killed. Later he was convinced by his vicious sister that Mariamme was plotting against him and so he ordered her tried, and upon conviction, had her executed.


Always searching for the love he had lost, he suffered much unhappiness during the later years of his life, most deservedly, as a matter of fact. He executed three of his sons and became polygamous! A ruthless tyrant who was not above using whatever measures might be necessary to guarantee his continued reign, it seems likely that the Biblical story in Matthew was, quite possible! And of course we also know that it was his namesake and heir, Herod Antipas, who was the one who condemned and ordered the execution of Christ. Yes, King Herod was the Patriarch of a legacy of political schemers!


King Herod heard about this, for Jesus’ name had become well known. Some were saying, “John the Baptist has been raised from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”

Mark 6:14 NIV


Mandy 2014

Copyright © 2011-2014 “MandysPath” Ministry


About Mandy Bruscella

Mandy's Story: As a Registered Professional Nurse with Certification in a number of specialties including home care, I was afforded the opportunity of working closely with various Social Service Agencies in NY and NJ. ~ A lifelong Christian, I was ordained as a Presbyterian deacon in 1993 and, after relocating to SC in 2000, elected to become ordained as a non-denominational minister. ~ I established "MandysPath" Ministry in 2011. "MandysPath" Ministry is a member of Pacific Life Church, El Sobrante, CA, network of ministries. ~ I direct an outreach ministry in an alternative setting, providing spiritual care to a congregation of more than 500 people from around the world via the Internet. ~ As part of this outreach, I write a daily faith based blog. In March, 2012 I was asked to become a board member of Heroes For Children which is a non-profit foundation, established to assists the Guardian ad Litem program of Horry County, SC. Guardians ad Litem are a group of court appointed advocates who represent the best interests of children in Family Court proceedings involving allegations of abuse or neglect. Working closely with these men and women who make a difference in the lives of children, I completed training and have been sworn in to serve as a Guardian ad Litem for the state of South Carolina . ~ I have been married since 1975 to a wonderful man, Daniel. I have a son Daniel and his wife Melissa who live in NYC. My daughter Sabrina and my grandson Landon live here in SC. ~ My father Harold continues to share his wisdom with me and is responsible for many of the ideas I write about!

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