Herod the Great

Herod, also known as Herod the Great and Herod I, was the Roman client king of Judea during the time of Jesus' birth. He was born around 74 BC in Idumea and died in in 4 BC.[1] Herod was, arguably, the greatest builders ever in the land of Israel. Among some of his projects was the expansion of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the development of water supplies for Jerusalem, the fortresses Masada and Herodium, and the construction of the port city of Caesarea.

Massacre of the Innocents Edit

Herod is most remembered for the events described in the book of Matthew (2:1-18). After Jesus was born, wise men from the east saw the star of Bethlehem and came to Jerusalem looking for "he who has been born king of the Jews." When Herod heard of this he brought together all the chief priests and scribes and questioned them on this matter. They told him of the prophesy written by the prophet Micah which explains how the Messiah will come from Bethlehem.[2] Upon hearing this Herod summoned the wise men and ascertained when this star had appeared. He told them to search for the child and report back to him. Finding Jesus they fell down and worshiped Him. They gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. After departing Jesus the wise men were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, so they went back to their country another way. It was at this time that an angel came to Joseph and told him to take his family to Egypt where He will be safe from Herod. When Herod discovered he was tricked by the wise men he became furious. He had every male child aged two years and younger in Bethlehem and all the region surrounding it to be killed.

References Edit

  1. Andrew Steinman, "When Did Herod the Great Reign?", Novum Testamentum, Vol. 51, No. 1, 2009, p 1-29.
  2. Micah 5:2