King 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. King Herod 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 Edomite (Idumean), as king of Judea in 37BC. He died about 29th March-4th April 4BC.
Note: It is noteworthy that Rachel, the beloved wife of Jacob, is buried in Bethlehem. The meaning of the name Bethlehem is: The 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.”
Ref also to – Matthew 26:3-4
King Herod the Great was an Idumean and was made king of Judea by the Romans in 37 BC and died in 4BC.
It is thought that the most likely cause of King Herod’s death was chronic kidney disease.
He died at the age of 69.
How do we find which Herod is which?
There are a number of men called HEROD in the Bible, starting with King Herod the Great who died in spring (March, April, May) 4BC.
Other modules in this unit:
- The angel Gabriel spoke to Mary about the birth of Jesus
- Mary got a visit from the angel Gabriel
- Elizabeth got a visit from Mary
- Mary offered a hymn of praise to God
- An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream
- Joseph goes to Bethlehem
- Mary traveled with Joseph on a donkey
- Jesus a newly born baby
- Shepherds keeping watch
- Angels praised God for the birth of Jesus
- Jesus at 40 days old was taken to the Temple
- Simeon blesses Jesus
- Anna the Prophetess
- Magi traveled from the East to find Jesus
- The visit of the Magi to Herod
- Magi followed the star to a house
- Jesus as a child in a house
- Joseph takes Jesus and escapes to Egypt
- King Herod the Great plans how to kill Jesus
- The return from Egypt to Nazareth
- Jesus about twelve years old
- The cross is still to come
- Questions and Answers 1-11
- Questions and Answers 12-23
- Timeline for Birth of Jesus – The Christmas Story
- Background Information – Birth of Jesus – The Christmas Story
- Resources – Birth of Jesus
- Next Module – Ministry of Jesus » »