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.
He 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 is Rachel the beloved wife of Jacob is buried in Bethlehem one 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 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:
18 “A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”
ref also to – Matthew 26:3-4
Herod the Great was an Idumean and was made king of Palestine by the Romans in 37 BC and died in 4BC. He died aged 69 possibly of chronic kidney disease.
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 other than Herod in their Title e.g. .
Other modules in this unit:
- The Angel Gabriel spoke to Mary about the Birth of Jesus. Luke 1:26-38
- Mary got a visit from the angel Gabriel, Luke 1:39-40
- Elizabeth gets a visit from Mary, Luke 1:41-45
- Mary sings a song of praise to God, Luke 1:46-56
- An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, Matthew 1:18-25
- Joseph Goes To Bethlehem, Luke 2:1-4
- Mary traveled with Joseph on a donkey, Luke 2:5
- Jesus a newly born Baby, Luke 2:6-7 and Matthew 1:18-25
- Shepherds keeping watch, Luke 2:8-12 and 2:15-20
- Angels praised God for the birth of Jesus, Luke 2:13-14
- Jesus at 40 days old was taken to the Temple, Luke 2:22-24
- Simeon blesses Jesus, Luke 2:25-35
- Anna the prophetess, Luke 2:36-38
- Magi, traveled from the east to find Jesus, Matthew 2:1-2
- Herod gets a visit from the Magi, Matthew 2:3-8
- Magi followed the star to a house, Matthew 2:9-10
- Jesus as a child in the house, Matthew 2:11-12
- Joseph takes Jesus and Escapes to Egypt, Matthew 2:13-15
- Herod the Great plans how to kill Jesus, Matthew 2:16-18
- The Return from Egypt to Nazareth, Matthew 2:19-23
- Jesus about twelve years old, Luke 2:41-52
- The Cross still to come see Luke and Matthew
- Questions and Answers 1-11
- Questions and Answers 12-23
- Time Line for Birth of Jesus – The Christmas Story
- Timelines – Birth of Jesus
- Background Information – Birth of Jesus – The Christmas Story
- Resources – Birth of Jesus
- Next Module – Ministry of Jesus