Herod the Great plans how to kill Jesus – Matthew 2:16-18

Herod the Great is angry because the Magi, or wise men, do not come back to see him. He works out how to kill Jesus, who is born to be King of the Jews.

Herod the Great orders the killing of all male children under two years old, in a 16km or 10 mile radius of Bethlehem.

The Roman Senate had appointed Herod, an Idumean, as king of Palestine in 37BC. He dies during 4BC.

Interesting that Rachel the beloved wife of Jacob, is buried in Bethlehem, meaning is house of bread.

Now read the background reading with this information in mind.

In Greek, Herod means: heroic.

Background Reading: Herod the Great plans to kill Jesus

16 Herod flew into a rage when he learned that he had been tricked by the wise men, so he ordered the execution of all the male children in Bethlehem and all its neighboring regions, who were two years old and younger, according to the time that he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then what was declared by the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled when he said,

18 “A voice was heard in Ramah:
wailing and great mourning.
Rachel was crying for her children.
She refused to be comforted,
because they no longer existed.”
Matthew 2:16-18

ref also to – Matthew 26:3-4

More Information:

Herod the Great was an Idumean and was made king of Palestine by the Romans in 37 BC and died in 4BC. It was chronic kidney disease, that probably killed, him, at the age of 69.

How do we find which Herod is which?
There is a number of men called HEROD in the Bible, starting with Herod the Great who died in spring [March, April, May] 4BC.

There is also a number of rulers descending from this man, to whom the Bible gives names too, other than Herod, in their title e.g. Herodian Dynasty.

For example; Which Herod was Jesus referring to in Mark 8:15? It was Herod Antipas.


Other modules in this unit: