Who Was the Real King Herod?
This photograph depicts the Western (or “Wailing”) Wall of the Second Temple, which was erected by Herod and is still standing today. Although no photos of Herod survive today, remnants of his numerous construction projects do. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.) King Herod, often known as “Herod the Great,” reigned as king of Judea from about 74 to 4 B.C., and controlled the country with the sanction of the Romans. While Judea was an autonomous kingdom, it was heavily influenced by the Romans, and Herod rose to power with the assistance of the Romans.
In the modern period, historians largely feel that the narrative is made up.
During a financial crisis, he also played a role in saving the old Olympic Games.
Rise to power
While it is unknown exactly where Herod was born, it is known that his father, Antipater (who died in 43 B.C. ), was from Idumea (also known as Edom), a location on the southern bank of the Dead Sea near the northern border of Israel. Originally from Nabataea, a rich kingdom in Jordan that contained the city of Petra, his mother, Cypros, had emigrated with him. Pompey was in command of a Roman army that launched an offensive in the eastern Mediterranean in 63 B.C., forcing a Jewish dynasty that held what is now Israel to submit to Roman power.
- Herod and his father sided with the Romans, and they were rewarded with more authority as a result of their actions.
- Geza Vermes, who was professor emeritus of Jewish Studies at Oxford University until his death in 2013, said in his posthumously released book, “The True Herod,” that he was inspired by the life of the historical figure Herod the Great (Bloomsbury, 2014).
- Antipater was poisoned to death in 43 B.C., according to legend.
- As soon as he arrived in Rome, Herod sought the assistance of Octavian and Mark Antony, who were at the moment allies of the Roman government.
- Herodias re-entered Judea, and with the assistance of the Roman legions, he was able to retake Jerusalem and other areas around the region by 37 B.C.
- Family members of the Hasmonean Dynasty, who had been in power prior to the arrival of the Romans, were enraged by the fact that the Romans had installed Herod as the ruler of Judea.
- Her three boys, Alexander and Aristobulus, as well as a third son who died young in Rome, and two daughters were born to him, according to Vermes’s account.
on the grounds that she had committed adultery and attempted to assassinate him, according to Herod.
The king also executed his sons Alexander and Aristobulus in 7 B.C., and Antipater II, Herod’s oldest son (whom he had with another wife) in 4 B.C.
Herod accused his three sons of attempting to assassinate him.
Herod became extremely wealthy as a result of the confiscation of the riches of the hostile Jewish upper classes, which supplied him with sufficient means to pay for the continuous goodwill of his Roman ruler, Mark Antony, according to Vermes.
Having a strong desire for Herod’s realm, Cleopatra VII used her influence with Antony to persuade him to give her a portion of Herod’s territory in exchange for her own.
Despite Herod’s backing for Antony, he came himself on the losing end when Antony was beaten at the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE and later committed suicide in 30 BCE, putting Herod on the defensive.
During his meeting with Octavian, Herod removed his crown and informed the emperor that he had stood with Antony until the bitter end, according to the ancient historian Josephus (A.D.
“I have been vanquished by Antony, and with his demise, I have relinquished my throne.
Williamson). Octavian was so taken aback by Herod’s performance that he not only permitted him to continue as king, but also returned to him land that Antony had granted to Cleopatra VII.
Herod the builder
According to Vermes, “Without a question, he was the greatest builder in the Holy Land, designing and directing the execution of palaces, fortifications, theatres, amphitheatres, harbors, and the whole city of Caesarea, and to cap it all, he coordinated the rebuilding the Temple of Jerusalem.” During the Babylonians’ takeover of Jerusalem in 587 B.C., they demolished the First Temple, which had been erected by King Solomon and dedicated to the god Baal.
- While a Jewish temple had been constructed on the site in the late 6th century B.C., Herod constructed a second temple that was far greater in scale.
- Despite the fact that the Romans destroyed much of the Second Temple in A.D.
- “The renowned Western (or Wailing) Wall in Jerusalem, a lovely testament to the past for some and the holiest place of Jewish devotion for others,” said Vermes.
- He also built the Herodium, a complex located 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) outside of Jerusalem that contains palaces, bathhouses, a pool house, and other structures that are built on top of a man-made hill.
- He made a “substantial contribution to the financial support of the quadrennial Olympic games, whose future was endangered by a shortage of funding,” according to the statement.
- And, as a result of Herod’s financial help, “the organizers of the ancient games elected Herod eternal Olympic president and documented it in inscriptions,” according to the article.
Did he kill Jesus?
Most historians think Herod died around 4 BC, however others have argued that he died in 5 BC or 1 BC. There have also been speculations that he died in 1 BC. He is said to have attempted to assassinate baby Jesus and succeeded in killing all of the other infants in Bethlehem, an incident known as the “massacre of the innocents,” according to the Gospel of Matthew. These allegations are largely considered to be incorrect by historians today. According to Peter Richardson, a professor emeritus of religion at the University of Toronto, and Amy Marie Fisher, an adjunct instructor of religion at the University of Edmonton, the legendary “massacre of the innocents” may be a Christian dramatization of Herod’s execution of his own children.
- It is also claimed in the Gospel of Luke that Mary and Joseph (the parents of Jesus) were required to be registered in a census at the time of Jesus’ birth, which is another reference to Herod’s reign.
- “As for the census, which had the objective of preparing the introduction of Roman taxes in Judaea, it could not have taken place during Herod’s rule because of the conflict with the Romans.
- The fact that the Bible asserts that Jesus was born before Herod died poses a conundrum that academics have been arguing for quite some time now.
- Or, did Herod live for a longer period of time than the historical records indicate, and not die until around 1 BCE?
Is it possible that the Bible’s assertion that Jesus was born before Herod died is incorrect? Over the course of more than a century, scholars have been debating the solutions to these concerns.
Near the conclusion of Herod’s life, a rebellion began to develop. A group of people attempted to demolish an eagle, which was a Roman emblem, from the Second Temple just before Herod’s assassination. Herod ordered the execution of those who were involved in the crime. It was the anticipation of his death that “began to loosen the tensions that had been buried just under the surface of a peaceful kingdom.” Richardson and Fisher collaborated on the writing. During Herod’s dying days, according to Josephus, he was so detested by his own people that he requested his sister, Salome, to kill a large number of them when he died, according to Josephus.
Herod, according to Josephus, proclaimed that he would “When I die, I expect loud celebrations from the Jews, but I can be grieved on the behalf of others and have a wonderful burial if you would follow my instructions.
Following Herod’s death, a great insurrection erupted throughout his kingdom, prompting Rome to dispatch military troops.
Herod did not have his picture on his coins, and he did not erect sculptures of himself because he was concerned about violating Jewish beliefs that were often opposed to “the portrayal of human beings,” according to the historian Vermes.
- Study biblical archaeology to have a better understanding of the subject. Find out what Jesus was like on the inside. According to the findings of the research, animal sacrifice had a significant part in the economics of ancient Jerusalem.
Owen Jarus is a writer for Live Science who specializes in archaeology and all topics relating to the history of mankind. A bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto and a journalism degree from Ryerson University are among Owen’s qualifications. He loves learning about fresh research and is always on the lookout for an interesting historical story.
Who was King Herod the Great?
King Herod was a cunning and cunning dictator who also happened to be a master builder. His amazing buildings, especially his stronghold of Masada, are still visible in Israel today, some 2000 years after he built them, despite the passage of time. He constructed Masada because he was concerned that someone might attempt to seize control of his realm. Indeed, he killed his own sons on the grounds that they were viewed as being a danger to his empire. In Herod’s day, it was claimed that it was “better to be one of Herod’s pigs than one of his sons.” Greg Laurie goes into much detail on the question in the video below: Who was King Herod the Great, and what was his reign like?
The New King: JesusChrist
Upon arriving in Jerusalem, a group of wise men from the East inquired, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” Herod was taken aback when he discovered there was another king in town (Matthew 2:2). Herod was reportedly worried, according to the Bible. “When you have discovered Him, please send back news to me so that I can come and adore Him as well,” he instructed them (Matthew 2:8).
Herod was a false worshiper in the same way that the wise men were sincere worshipers. While he harbored animosity toward God, he pretended to be a follower of the Lord.
Don’t Be King Herod
There are Herods in the seats of many churches today, and there are dozens of them. They look to be devout and genuinely religious on the outside, but on the inside, they are deceiving themselves. They have no understanding of God. They don’t have a personal relationship with Him at this time. They are welcome to perform the songs and contribute to the donation. While people may do all of the proper things, this doesn’t always imply that they are sincere worshipers, because God looks at what is in the heart.
What does God see in your heart when you close your eyes?
Are you one of the genuine ones?
Did King Herod tax on the order of Rome?
A strong argument is made that Herod was a “rex socius,” or “allied ruler,” and that any taxes raised in his jurisdiction must therefore have been levied by him. This is a valid point of contention. However, it is difficult to understand how Herod was allowed to be referred to as a rex socius in the first place, given that the phrase literally implies one who is associated, or in economic terms, a partner. Herod was entirely the creation of Augustus; he was appointed king not because he had any legitimate rights to the throne or even because he was of Jewish heritage, but rather because he could be a valuable weapon in the hands of the Romans.
Josephus recalls several examples that demonstrate how completely he was subordinated to the emperor and his deputies, the governors of Syria, during his rule.
(Joseph, Antiq., xvii.
4.) (Joseph, Antiq., xvii.
4.) Therefore, to assert that Augustus would, in the case of Herod’s claim to any royal rights, grant him a special exemption and would refrain from enforcing his general policy of taxation throughout his dominions is to declare the Roman ruler a constitutional monarch and to attribute to him a softness of disposition that is not supported by any other acts of his public life.
The following is an adaptation of Samuel James Andrews’ The Life of Our Lord on the Earth. Credit for the image goes to WikiMediaCommons/publicdomain.
Frequently Asked Questions
When did Herod the Great reign?
Herod, also known as Herod the Great or Herodes Magnus, was a Roman-appointed king of Judaea who reigned from 37 to 4 BCE and was the focus of political and familial intrigues in his latter years. Herod the Great was born in 73 BCE and died in Jericho, Judaea, in March or April 4 BCE. He is depicted as a dictator in the New Testament, and it is into his rule that Jesus of Nazareth was born.
Family and early life
In the southern part of Palestine, Herod was born. His father, Antipater, was of the Edomite ethnicity (a Semitic people, identified by some scholars as Arab, who converted to Judaism in the 2nd centurybce). Antipater was a man of great power and wealth, which he increased by marrying the daughter of a noble from Petra (in southwestern Jordan), which was at the time the capital of the rising ArabNabataean Kingdom. Antipater was a man of great influence and wealth, which he increased further by marrying the daughter of a noble from Petra (in southwestern Jordan).
The fight against Pompey (106–48 BCEinvasion )’s of Palestine in 63 BCE was backed by Antipater, who thus began a lengthy alliance with Rome, from which both he and Herod would reap benefits.
The family received additional favors from Julius Caesar, who appointed Antipater procurator of Judaea in 47 BCE and conferred on him Roman citizenship, an honor that passed down to Herod and his descendants.
Six years later, Mark Antony elevated him to the position of tetrarch of Galilee.
King of Palestine
During the invasion of Palestine by the Parthians in 40 BCE, a civil war erupted and Herod was forced to flee to Rome. The senate in that city nominated him as king of Judaea and provided him with an army to defend his position in the region. Herod became the undisputed ruler of Judaea in the year 37 BCE, when he was 36 years old, and he would hold that position for the next 32 years, until his death. In order to further consolidate his position, he divorced his first wife, Doris, and banished her and their son from the court.
- In spite of the fact that the marriage was intended to put an end to his dispute with the Hasmoneans, a priestly dynasty of Jewish leaders, he was genuinely smitten with Mariamne.
- Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.
- The fight between the two triumvirs Octavian and Antony, the two successors to Caesar’s rule, occurred during the reign of Herod, who sided with his buddy Antony.
- After Antony’s fatal loss at the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE, he came clean to the triumphant Octavian about whose side he had been with.
- He also returned to Herod the area that had been seized by Cleopatra.
- Both the emperor and the minister paid him state visits, and Herod returned to Italy on two further occasions.
- In the years 22 and 20 bce, he doubled the size of Herod’s dominion, expanding it to encompass not only Palestine, but also sections of what is now the kingdom of Jordan to the east of the Jordan River, as well as southern Lebanon and Syrian land.
In addition, he wanted to bequeath the Nabataean kingdom on Herod, but by the time that throne became empty, Herod’s mental and physical degeneration had rendered this impossible.
Construction of the Second Temple and role in the story of Jesus
His realm was adorned with massive fortresses and magnificent cities, of which the two most important were new, and largely pagan, foundations: the port of Caesarea Palestine on the coast between Joppa (Jaffa) and Haifa, which would later become the capital of Roman Palestine; and Sebaste, which was built on the long-desolate site of ancientSamaria, which was later to become the capital of Roman Palestine.
- His castle at Herodium, in the Judaean desert, was a magnificent structure, which archaeologists tentatively identified as the location of Herod’s burial in 2007.
- One of his most ambitious projects was the Temple, which he completely reconstructed.
- He also enriched foreign cities, like Beirut, Damascus, Antioch, and Rhodes, as well as several villages.
- In his own kingdom, he was unable to indulge his passion for splendour without risking alienating the Pharisees, the ruling group of Judaism, with whom he was always at odds since they considered him as a foreigner.
- He had a dark and nasty element in his nature, which became more apparent as he grew older, but Herod was not completely without flaws.
- His fondness for Mariamne was tempered by severe jealousy attacks, which his sister Salome (not to be confused with Herodias’s daughter Salome) used to bring about the dissolution of their marriage.
- Herod had eight more wives, all of whom bore him children, in addition to Doris and Mariamne.
- He was the father of 14 children.
- He was forced to repress a revolt, became embroiled in a dispute with his Nabataean neighbors, and ultimately fell out of favor with Augustus as a result.
- He changed his will three times before disinheriting and murdering his firstborn, Antipater, in his last act.
- Herod died as a result of an unsuccessful attempt at suicide.
Stewart Henry Perowne was an English author and poet who lived in the 17th century. Those in charge of editing the Encyclopaedia Britannica
Who Was Herod?
Herod the Great, who reigned as king of the Jews at the time of Jesus’ birth, is one of the most important characters in the Christmas tale. During the time of Jesus’ life and ministry, Judea was controlled by Herod and his sons. But who exactly was this individual? And what was it about the news of Jesus’ birth that made him so hostile?
How Herod Got His Power
From 37–4 BC, Herod “the Great” ruled as king of the Jews under Roman control for thirty-three years, during which time he was known as “the Great.” In the accounts of Jesus’ birth (Matt. 2:1–19; Luke 1:5), Herod is the one who features most prominently. Herod has shown to be an outstanding political survival from the beginning of his reign. When a civil war erupted in Rome between Mark Antony and Octavian, Herod first allied with Antony and his ally Cleopatra VII, the queen of Egypt, before shifting his allegiance to Octavian.
On returning to Rome after his triumph, the Roman senate elevated him to the position of imperator, or supreme military commander, and bestowed upon him the honorary title “Augustus” (“exalted one”), which means “exalted one.” Historians consider this event to be the culmination of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Roman Empire, marking the transition from the governance of the senate to the rule of a supreme emperor in the Roman Empire.
Herod’s position as king of the Jews was safe under the patronage of Octavian, who would later become Caesar Augustus.
What Herod Was Like
Herod was a peculiar combination of a cunning and effective ruler and a brutal tyrant, and he was hated by both. On the one hand, he was suspicious, envious, and violent, mercilessly destroying any possible opponents. On the other hand, he was kind and understanding. He was enraged by the fact that the Jews refused to recognize him as their true monarch. He was constantly paranoid about conspiracies. In the event that he suspected his wife of a conspiracy against him, he killed her. Three of his sons, another wife, and his mother-in-law all met the same end when they were all accused of being involved in a plot as he did.
Considering what we know about Herod’s ambition, paranoia, and cruelty (Matt.
Was there a good side to Herod?
Herod wasn’t without his redeeming qualities. He posed himself as the defender of Judaism and attempted to win the acceptance of the Jewish people. He fostered the growth of synagogue communities and, in times of tragedy, he forgave taxes and provided free grain to the populace in need. He was also a fantastic builder, which won him the epithet “the Great” for his efforts. One of his most important projects was the reconstruction and embellishment of the temple in Jerusalem, which he completed in a manner even more magnificent than it had been under the reign of Solomon.
He increased Israel’s territory via conquest and constructed fortifications to protect Israel’s borders from the Romans.
He erected theaters, amphitheaters, and hippodromes (outdoor arenas for horse and chariot racing) in the style of Greek architecture across the country.
According to the Gospels (Mark 3:6; 12:13), the Herodians were Hellenistic Jewish followers of the Herodian Dynasty who preferred the stability and status quo brought about by Roman control.
The Death of Herod
Herod died around 4 BC (see Matthew 2:19), most likely as a result of intestinal cancer. His final act of revenge against his despised citizens was to pick up senior Jews and order that they be killed at the time of his execution. He reasoned that, if there was no sorrow for his death, at the very least there would be grief for his death at the hands of others! In the aftermath of Herod’s death, the decree was overturned, and the captives were released.
And then there’s this: if Herod died in 4 BC, who was the Herod who emerges later in the Gospels, the Herod with whom Jesus interacts? There were actually more than one of them. As a result of Herod’s several changes of will during his life, his last will and testament was challenged by three of his sons after his death. They made an appeal to Caesar Augustus, who granted them a division of the kingdom.
During his reign as ethnarch of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea (4 BC–AD 6), Archelaus was given the assurance that if he performed well, he would be elevated to the position of king. His actions were repressive and unpredictable, and Augustus dismissed him from his position in AD 6. According to Matthew, Joseph and Mary relocated to Galilee in order to evade Archelaus’ authority (Matt. 2:21–23). The control of Judea and Samaria was passed to Roman rulers, who were known as prefects and, subsequently, procurators, after Archelaus was ousted from his position as governor.
Other governors who figure in the New Testament include Felix (AD 52–59) and Festus (AD 59–62), both of whom tried Paul (Acts 23–26) and were executed by the Romans.
When Herod Antipas’ father died in 4 BC, he succeeded him as tetrarch of Galilee and Perea, a position he held until he was ousted by the Roman emperor Caligula in AD 39. The term tetrarch originally denoted a ruler of the fourth portion of a region, but it has now come to refer to any small ruler in any area of the world. This is the Herod of Jesus’ public ministry at the time of writing. he imprisoned and later murdered John the Baptist when the latter spoke out against the marriage of his brother Philip to Herodias, Philip’s ex-wife (Luke 3:19–20; Mark 6:17–29; Luke 3:19–20).
), he was likewise perplexed as to Jesus’ identity.
The trial of Antipas culminated with the sending of Jesus to stand before Antipas (Luke 23:7–12; compare.
Herod Philip was elevated to the position of tetrarch over the territories of Iturea, Trachonitis, Gaulanitis, Auranitis, and Batanea, which were located north and east of Galilee.
The land he owned became part of the Roman province of Syria after he died without leaving an heir. Only one time in the New Testament is he mentioned: in Luke 3:1. (the Philip ofMark 6:17is a different son of Herod the Great).
Herod the Great’s Grandsons
Aside from Herod, the Herodian dynasty is represented by just two additional individuals, both of whom appear in the book of Acts. Herod Agrippa I was the son of Aristobulus and the grandson of Herod the Great. He reigned as king of the Romans from 63 to 66 BC. He assassinated James, John’s brother, and detained Peter in prison (Acts 12). Luke and the Jewish historian Josephus both describe his death in Caesarea as a result of God’s judgment (Acts 12:19–23; Josephus, Ant. 19.8.2 343–52; Josephus, Ant.
- Herod Agrippa II was Agrippa’s son, and he was known as Herod the Great.
- Drusilla, another sister, was married to Felix, the Roman ruler at the time (Acts 24:24).
- Adapted from the Four Portraits, One Jesus online course taught by Mark Strauss, this essay was first published on his blog.
- Strauss offers a FREE introduction video to his work.
- taught by some of the world’s greatest Bible experts
Jesus was born King
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea during the reign of Herod the Great, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” Because we have seen His star in the East and have come to adore Him,” says the author (Matthew 2:1,2). This is the beginning of the biblical story of the three wise men who traveled to Jerusalem in search of the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Over the course of around two years, they followed the miraculous moving star until it brought them to the Holy City of Jerusalem.
- The scribes and elders of Israel reacted by informing them that it had been prophesied that the hamlet of Bethlehem would be the birthplace of the Christ King, and that they were correct.
- While following the star in the sky, God continued to direct their steps.
- “And when they entered the home, they saw the little infant with Mary His mother, and they dropped to their knees and worshiped Him,” Matthew 2:11 says.
- They came bearing presents to be presented to the One who had been born King.
- First and foremost, by the time the three kings arrive in Bethlehem, Jesus is no longer a baby laying in a manger, but rather a “young kid” living in a family.
- Approximately two years have passed since the arrival of an unspecified number of magi to the house of Jesus.
- To add to that, the gifts that were offered to Jesus had nothing to do with His birthday, but rather were presents fit for a king and befitting of His presence.
As a result, they offered gold, frankincense, and myrh as symbolic presents, demonstrating their recognition that Jesus, while a child, was still a ruler.
A prince would normally be born to a member of the royal family, and the throne would be passed down to the next generation after his death, but this was not the case in this instance.
In a monarchy, it would have been normal for the firstborn son to be designated as the successor to the throne, and following the death of his father, the firstborn son would be named king.
He is the Eternal God, who has existed since the beginning of time.
The wise folks were well aware of this.
A deep understanding had been instilled in them that the small kid, who was only a toddler roaming around a house, would one day sit on the throne of Israel, governing and reigning throughout all of time and all eternity.
Jesus was king while he was lying in a manger.
Jesus was King, despite the fact that he was mocked, rejected, and slain.
Jesus was King, even though he was buried in a rented tomb.
Jesus was born as the King of the Jews. In my hope and prayer that you recognize Christ as your King today, as well as that you have humbled yourself before Him in loving surrender, because Jesus is, after all, the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
The Birth of Jesus
Matthew chapters 1 and 2, and Luke chapters 1 and 2.
An Angel Visits Mary
|The angel Gabriel appeared to Maryand said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. Youwill conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. Hewill be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” (TNIV)|
A young Jewish woman named Mary was approached by an angel named Gabriel one day some 2,000 years ago. The angel was named Gabriel. The angel Gabriel informed Mary that she would be the mother of a boy named Jesus, who would be the Son of God! Despite the fact that she was befuddled and concerned by the unexpected news, Mary had confidence in God and answered, “I am the Lord’s servant; let it be as you say.”
Journey to Bethlehem
Mary and her future husband, Joseph, resided in a town named Nazareth around the time of Jesus’ birth. In order to register for a census ordered by the Romanemperor, Caesar Augustus, they were required to go to Bethlehem, which they did. Both Nazareth and Bethlehem are located inside the borders of what is now known as Israel. The distance between Nazareth and Bethlehem is approximately 65 miles (105 kilometers), and the journey probably took them many days. In Bethlehem, when Joseph and Mary arrived, there was no place for them to stay because the inn had already been fully booked.
It’s likely that there was fresh hay on the floor, which they utilized as beds.
Because there was no cot available, they placed the newborn Jesus in a manger, which was a food dish for animals.
Shepherds Visit Jesus
|Jesus was born in a stable and laidto sleep in a manger. The shepherds came to see firsthand the things theangel had told them.|
Some shepherds were out in the fields near Bethlehem on that particular night, keeping an eye on their flocks of sheep. They were visited by an angel who brought them the joyful news that a Savior, the Messiah, had been born to them. The shepherds were instructed by an angel that they would be able to discover Jesus laying in a manger. All of a sudden, a large number of angels arrived and began to sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill among mankind!” After a hasty journey into Bethlehem, the shepherds discovered Jesus in the manger, just as the angel had said.
Wise Men Visit Jesus
|Wise men from the East came to worshipJesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.|
A few years later, wise men from eastern countries, known as ormagi, witnessed a star in the sky that heralded the birth of a new emperor. They traveled to Judea, the region around the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, to worship Jesus, the new king, and to learn more about him. The king of Judea was a guy by the name of Herod. He summoned the wise men to a conference and instructed them to track out the new king so that he may pay his respects to him as well. The wise men proceeded on their journey to Bethlehem, where they followed the star until it was precisely above the home where Jesus was being raised.
They gave presents to Jesus in the form of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which were considered to be among the greatest things in the ancient world.
In order to produce a delicious scent, Frankincense was burned, and Myrrh was used to manufacture luxury perfume. Following their encounter with Jesus, the wise men had a dream in which they were cautioned not to return to King Herod, prompting them to choose an alternate path home.
Journey to Egypt
When King Herod informed the three wise men that he desired to worship Jesus, he was lying. He was concerned that this new “king” would usurp his position as monarch of Judea. He was unaware that Jesus would grow up to be the king of God’s spiritual kingdom, rather than the monarch of Judea, as he had assumed. What Herod actually desired was to track down and kill Jesus! When Herod discovered that the three wise men had not returned to inform him where to find Jesus, he became enraged. He dispatched his men to Bethlehem with the orders to murder any infants under the age of two, believing that Jesus would almost likely be among those slaughtered.
Joseph relocated Mary and Jesus to Egypt, where they would be safe from Herod’s persecution.
Is it true that Jesus was born on Christmas Day? We commemorate the birth of Jesus on Christmas, yet no one is certain of the precise day of Jesus’ birth, or even the year in which Jesus was born. In 336 A.D., the Western Church, centered in Rome, chose December 25 as the day to commemorate “Christ’s Mass,” which means “Christ’s sacrifice.” The Eastern Church picked the sixth of January. The holiday was dubbed Epiphany, which literally translates as “appearance.” The time between December 25 and January 6 became known as the Twelve Days of Christmas as a result of this tradition.
The legends of Jesus’ birth serve as a connection between the past and the present. Considering the circumstances of Jesus’ birth, it seems clear that He fulfilled the Old Testament predictions about a coming Messiah (Isaiah7:14, Matthew 1:23). He was born in the city of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:5-6). He had been summoned out of Egypt (Hosea 11:1, Matthew 2:15). When Jesus was born, it was in a stable, which was the most basic of settings. In a similar vein, Jesus demonstrated how God’s favor is reserved for the impoverished and disadvantaged.
Gentiles would eventually make up the majority of the Christian world in the future.
Meet Herod the Great and Learn Why He Hated Jesus
A cruel monarch named Herod the Great appeared as the antagonist in the Christmas narrative, and his desire to murder the infant Jesus was the driving force behind the plot.
Herod the Great
- During the reign of Herod the Great, two Old Testament prophesies were brought to pass: In Bethlehem, when King Herod ordered the slaughter of all babies two years old and younger, it fulfilled Jeremiah 31:15
- As a result of this threat, Joseph took Mary and Jesus and fled to Egypt with their infant son Jesus. They returned to Jerusalem after Herod’s death, thereby fulfilling Hosea 11:1
- God permitted Herod the Great to construct a beautiful temple in Jerusalem. Even bad individuals are used by the Lord to carry out his plans and goals. Herod Antipas, following in his father’s footsteps, assassinated John the Baptist and permitted Jesus to be crucified because he did not want any challenges to his rule.
Herod the Great’s Story
Herod the Great was not entirely Jewish, despite the fact that he was the ruler of the Jews in Israel during the time before Christ. At 73 BC, he was born in Ashkelon, a seaport on the Mediterranean Sea in southern Palestine to an Idumean man named Antipater and a lady named Cyprus, who was the daughter of an Arab sheikh. He was the son of Antipater and Cyprus. Herod was a cunning schemer who took advantage of political turmoil in Rome to claw his way to the top of the political ladder. Herod gained the favor of Octavian, who would eventually become the Roman emperor Augustus Caesar, during a civil war that erupted in the Empire.
- He was responsible for the restoration of the great Jerusalem temple, which was subsequently destroyed by the Romans in A.D.
- It is recorded in Matthew 2:1-22 and Luke 1:5 that Herod the Great’s life is recounted.
- He attempted to deceive them into disclosing the location of the infant in Bethlehem on their journey home, but they were warned in a dream to avoid Herod, and they returned to their own nations through a different path.
- Following his discovery that the Magi had outfoxed him, Herod got outraged, ordering the massacre of all boys under two years old in Bethlehem and the surrounding area (Matthew 2:16).
- courtesy of Getty Images/Buyenlarge The fact that Joseph did not return to Israel until after Herod’s death is well known.
- Herod ruled for a total of 37 years.
- A member of this group, Herod Antipas, was a conspirator in the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
The tomb of Herod the Great was discovered by Israeli archaeologists in 2007 at the site of the ancient city of Herodium, which is located 8 miles south of the capital of Jerusalem. There was a shattered sarcophagus, but there was no corpse.
In the ancient world, Herod boosted Israel’s status by growing its commerce and transforming it into a trading hub for the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East. Theaters, amphitheaters, a dock, shops, temples, dwellings, palaces, walls encircling Jerusalem, and aqueducts were among the many projects on his huge construction schedule. He maintained order in Israel, but only via the use of secret police and oppressive authority.
Herod had a good relationship with Israel’s Roman invaders. He understood how to get things done because he was a good politician. Herod the Great is a historical figure who lived during the reign of King Herod the Great. Contributing photographer Kachelhoffer Clement is represented by Getty Images.
His father-in-law, several of his 10 wives, and two of his sons were all slaughtered by Herod the Great, who was also a terrible guy. He disobeyed the rules of God in order to suit his personal interests, and he preferred the favor of Rome over the interests of his own people. Herod’s high taxes, which were used to fund extravagant projects, placed an unjust burden on the Jewish population.
Life Lessons From Herod the Great
Unchecked ambition has the potential to transform a person into a monster. When we put God first and foremost in our lives, he assists us in keeping everything in right perspective. Jealousy impairs our ability to make sound decisions. Instead of being concerned about others, we should be grateful for what God has provided for us. Great accomplishments are pointless if they are carried out in a manner that is unworthy of God. Rather of erecting monuments to ourselves, Christ urges us to love relationships with one another.
Herod the Great’s Family Tree
Antipater is the father’s euphemism. Several wives of Cyprus, include Doris, Mariamne I and Mariamne II, Malthace, Cleopatra (Jewish), Pallas, Phaedra, Elpis, and others. Sons: Herod Antipas, Philip, Archelaus, Aristobulus, Antipater, and a number of additional names are mentioned.
Matthew 2:3–3:3 “While King Herod was reigning in Judea at the time of Jesus’ birth, Magi from the east traveled to Jerusalem and inquired about the whereabouts of the one who had been born king of the Jews. We noticed his star as it rose in the sky and have come to adore him.’ When King Herod learned about this, he was alarmed, as was the entire city of Jerusalem” (NIV). Matthew 2: 7-8 (NASB) “Then Herod summoned the Magi in secret, and it was through them that he learned the precise hour the star had shone.
You must immediately inform me of your discovery so that I might go and adore him as well.'” (NIV).
Why did King Herod try to kill Jesus shortly after His birth? After all, what difference could a tiny baby have made?
Historically, historians tell us that King Herod (also known as Herod the Great, depending on who you ask) was a harsh and power-hungry tyrant who ruthlessly slaughtered anybody he suspected of attempting to depose him from power. He even went so far as to murder numerous members of his own family because he believed they were conspiring against him. One question occupied the minds of a group of wise men (or professors) who arrived in Jerusalem immediately after the birth of Jesus: where might they discover the newly-born ruler of the Jews?
When King Herod learned of this, he summoned them and pleaded with them to locate the kid so that he, too, might offer sacrifices to him.
His true objective was to destroy the infant, for he feared (incorrectly) that Jesus would one day usurp his position as ruler of the world.
Herod was not the only one who attempted to harm Christ and His followers; even in our own day, wicked men and women attempt to undermine God’s plans.
It is true, however, that “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” as God says in his Word (Matthew 16:18, KJV). Christ will return to judge all evil, and Satan’s defeat will be complete when Christ returns again to judge all evil. Which side are you on, exactly?
Tale of Jesus’ Birth Provides Look at Social Climate of the Times : History: Scholars say Mary and Joseph lived in an oppressive society in which they were heavily taxed.
It’s a chilly Mediterranean night roughly 2,000 years ago, and the sun is setting. In order to travel the 100 miles from Nazareth to Joseph’s homeland of Bethlehem, Joseph and a pregnant Mary must trudge over rugged terrain on donkey and foot. Should they have made the decision to go on their own, the pair may have opted to do it during the dry season. They didn’t have a choice, though. According to the narrative of Jesus’ birth in the Gospel of Luke, Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem in order to file their tax returns.
- Taxes were collected in the form of crops and livestock back then.
- It is said that local and distant authorities wanted as much as 50-60 percent of what the common people cultivated and possessed, putting them in a difficult financial situation.
- In “Liberation of Christmas,” author Richard Horsley describes the social and political context that existed at the time of Jesus’ birth.
- “As a result, Joseph returns Mary to Bethlehem.
He most likely left Bethlehem because of debt and traveled roughly 100 miles away from his home in order to find employment.” Horsley claims that Caesar was so tax-hungry that if someone couldn’t pay, the Romans would compel the peasants to return home and cultivate the land again—despite the fact that they had fled because they couldn’t make it.
- * Although some academics argue over whether or not a census was ever conducted, claiming that it occurred years after Jesus’ birth, they do not deny that the peasants who lived at the time of Jesus’ birth were living in an atmosphere of instability and social unrest.
- Herod was referred to as a “client king,” since he was selected by Rome to rule a vast kingdom of Jews.
- In the words of Douglas Oakman, a religion professor at Pacific Lutheran University, “It’s apparent that Herod was harsh.” “Jesus was born into what was effectively a third-world environment under a military government.
- Horsley estimates that the remaining 90 percent worked in the fields surrounding Nazareth, where they grew grapes, olives, and grain.
- According to Oakman, the people were subsistence farmers who raised one bag of food for themselves and another bag for Herod or Caesar.
- While the wealthy benefited, the peasants were disadvantaged.
- In the words of the Rev.
- Meier, professor of religion at the Catholic University of America and a biblical scholar, “the Jews despised him because he had a reputation as a killer and a thug.” “There was definitely a sense of unease.
- When it came to getting rid of you, Herod could have slashed the throat of anybody he chose.
- Malina, a theology professor at Creighton University, in order to comprehend society at that period, one must first understand Mediterranean culture.
- “It was a male-dominated environment in which they never came into contact with one another except in bed.” The women stayed in the vicinity of the two-room dwellings, where they looked after the children, the garden, and the chickens.
They went out to gather water, cooked in a semipublic courtyard, and milked goats, which is what academics believe Mary did as well, according to the evidence. Traditionally, men toiled in the fields; but, in the case of Joseph, he worked with his hands, cutting stone or constructing buildings.
Jesus, Born to be King
Over 2,000 years ago, the arrival of Jesus as a little infant on the world was brought to our attention by the celebration of Christmas. As we go through life, it offers a chance to pause and consider his life and how He connects with ours, no matter where we are in our path. Jesus is recognized by many different names, each of which describes a different aspect of who he is and/or a different function that he plays. We can think of Jesus as both Saviour and Immanuel at the same time. Jesus was also referred to as the Messiah or the Christ, which both mean ‘anointed one,’ as well as the Son of Man (because of his humanity) and the Son of God (because of his divinity) (his deity).
- ‘, one old preacher describes Jesus in such a beautiful way.
- The earliest disciples recognized Jesus as the long-awaited King of Israel.
- He is always demonstrating the majesty of Jesus.
- Matthew is the only gospel in which the title “Son of David” is used more frequently than in any other gospel (see Matthew 15:22; 21:9; 21:15).
- In Matthew 21:1–11, the triumphant arrival was an intentionally dramaticized claim to be King, fulfilling prophesies from Isaiah 62:11 and Isaiah 9:9, as well as prophecies from other sources.
- Even as he was hanging on the cross, the title “King of the Jews” was attached to his chest, although mockingly (Matthew 27:37).
- His message was of God’s kingdom coming, but he realized that he would perish as a result of his message.
Throughout history, the early church has declared Jesus to be King above all monarchs, both now and at the time of his return (1 Timothy 6:15.
They adored Jesus as the Son of God and as the King who reigned and continues to rule in their hearts and minds.
Those who had been waiting for his coming and the full realization of His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven were filled with hope (something they prayed for regularly, as Jesus taught them).
If your life could be compared to that of an automobile.
In the car, but locked in the trunk on Sundays, where you shove him back in for the remainder of the week in case he causes any disruptions to your normal routine?.
But who else is in the automobile but a front-seat passenger?
and, if so, do you like to be a backseat driver?
What are the indications of a problem?
General William Booth was the driving force behind the establishment of the Salvation Army.
When he looked back on his life, he remarked the following: “God had everything there was of me.” It’s true that there have been others with larger ambitions and possibilities than I did; nonetheless, from the day I got a glimpse of what God could do, I made up my mind that God would have everything that was left of William Booth.” Is Jesus able to hold all of you?
In other words, it is about experiencing life in the present under new management – specifically, under the new leadership of King Jesus.
Following Him and cooperating with the job he is doing in history is what life is all about, as your journey adds to HIS overall tale.
Give yourself over to his loving direction again. He is a leader worth following, and he is the one who knows the most. His aim for you is for you to live life to the fullest (John 10:10).