What Did Herod Understand?

One of the most enigmatic characters in the Ballet of the Heavens is Herod.  As noted previously, when the Persian cavalry (Cataphracti) appeared, as they escorted the Magi, it must have filled him with fear.  Both he and his father had on previous occasions run for their lives from their invasion of Palestine.  But was that the only thing that “troubled” Herod [Matthew 2:3]?

The Magi had asked “Where is He Who has been born King of the Jews?  For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”  Those two simple statements had profound meaning and their import did not escape Herod.

Herod was not of the house of Israel (Jacob), but was rather a descendent of Esau (Edom), and if that were not bad enough, he also knew that David’s “throne shall be established forever” [II Samuel 7:16] – that is, the throne belonged to David’s descendant alone.  Of such was the prophecy from Isaiah 9:6-7: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; … of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His Kingdom, … from that time forward, even forever.”

How do we know that Herod knew about these prophecies?  Because Matthew tells us that he let slip a significant word: “he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born” [v 4] – not the Child, but the Christ, the Messiah, God’s Anointed One.  It is one thing to know that “eventually” the promised Occupant of David’s throne would come, but it is a totally different thing to receive word that He has now “set foot” on the earth!  As frightening as it was to see the Cataphracti crest the hill, it must have been even more terrifying to realize that Jehovah was now also stepping into the mix as well.

But was it so much that Herod feared God, or that he simply feared that God would upset his little empire?  Did he see all his trouble to attain and keep his throne begin to slide away?  He had wheedled, bribed, and murdered to attain his throne – was it all for nothing?  Earlier in his career, he had supported Mark Anthony against Augustus (Octavian), but when Augustus was winning, he deftly switched allegiance and was named King of the Jews.  To protect his power, his list of executions and murders ranged from his brother-in-law, to his favorite wife Mariamne (later, Herod is said to have roamed the palace at night searching for her), to his sons (which prompted Augustus’ comment that it would be better to be Herod’s pig than his son, since kosher law would never allow the pig to be slaughtered), as well as many common folk.

The Jews did not like Herod, who was seen as a foreigner and a Roman lackey, so imagine the enjoyment of the chief priests and scribes who probably “had” to review before Herod the various prophecies of the Christ, for instance, the prophecy of Balaam in Numbers 24:17-19 (probably because the Magi had also referred to it), which refers to the Star out of Jacob Who
When Sports Rehabilitation researcher look into the endurance level of athletes during intense exercise, it demonstrates the inappropriate the secretion of arginine vasopressin, the body’s main antidiuretic hormone. To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria and maintain the right amount of calories to maintain a proper body weight. Sometimes, the method causes damage to the tissues. india tadalafil That’s why it’s said to give visible results better than any ED medicine,” Get more fit.

shall smash the boundaries of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.  Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.  Out of Jacob shall come He Who shall have dominion, and shall destroy the survivors of the city.

In other words, Herod’s home country and people would be destroyed by this Christ!  Who knows what else they further identified, watching Herod squirm as perhaps they “innocently” went from prophet to prophet, finally settling on Micah 5:2 and its reference to Bethlehem.  And all Herod could do was grit his teeth.

Unfortunately what is too characteristic of humans is that in spite of the strong evidence before them, even as they passed the information on to Herod and the Magi, although they acknowledged the truth, the chief priests and scribes would not be affected by the message that they bore.  One would think that even out of curiosity they would have gone along with the Magi to see if the prophecies really were happening, but they apparently simply went home, back to their usual day, perhaps snickering about how Herod had to take it and yet ignoring completely the importance of what they had just held in their hands.

As happens even today, as one looks at atheism, evolution, even politics, big business, and the like, how often the choice is not whether to submit to God, but rather on how one can remove Him from the picture.  It would be no different in Jesus’ ministry.  Despite the miracles, even to where one was raised from being quite dead [four days, Lazarus – John 11; note John 12:10: “But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also”], the reaction was not to be called to repentance and obedience to the will of God, but rather to eliminate the One Who upset their cozy power structures.  One need only consider the martyrs of the past as well of the present, the vitriolic barbs aimed at Christianity, persecutions large and small that are still very real around the world, to realize just how desperately mankind would really rather just be rid of Jehovah.

Although there is no known reference outside the Bible to the massacre of the innocents [Matthew 2:16-18], it is not out of character for humanity to attempt to snuff out God’s presence as soon as He comes to earth – a desire that reaches its climax on the Cross.  Herod was simply mankind’s and Satan’s lackey both in his desperate desire to keep his throne, as well as probably in his anger at what the prophesies contained.  It really is not a stretch of the imagination to see him acting in such a manner, in his determination to thwart the plan of the Almighty Jehovah of Covenant (in fact, a mirror image of when Pharaoh had ordered the death of Jehovah’s “Firstborn” back in days of the Exodus [1:22; 4:22]).

Yes, Herod did understand that the Christ had come, but rather than believe and submit to the will of God, this little human in the vastness of the universe thought he could simply eliminate the Creator so that he could get on unhindered with his tiny empire on this miniscule planet.

Leave a Reply