Saturday, April 1, 2017

Herod the Great Was a Cranky and Greedy Man

By Mary Vee
Matthew 2



From Matthew's Notes


My name is Herod, I am the appointed king of Israel by the Roman emperor.

Since my early twenties, I have work hard to impress the Roman emperors. I held no allegiance to any one of them. Whichever man was in power was the one I wanted to impress. Not holding allegiance to past emperors has saved my life at least once.

Let me first make it clear that I am not a Jew.

I have a very inventive mind. I see how things work and immediately think of ways to make them better. Nothing is good enough as it is. There is always room for improvement.

For example, water was needed in the area of Joppa and north. Fresh water. By studying the area, I figured out that if aqueducts in these areas were angled on a one degree slope, water would continuously flow. I had two aqueducts constructed, side by side, each nine miles long, to meet the needs of the cities.

This is only one of the my many inventions.

I find myself to be a giving king, but also demand obedience and hard work from those around me. I wanted to please the Jews. Realizing they didn't have the mind for construction that I had, I trained the slaves to build the structure with the highest caliber of craftsmanship.

I was a very busy man with endless projects going at one time. When a group of wisemen came from the East, I was duly impressed. They wanted to know where the new king of the Jews had been born. 

I had no knowledge that one had been born and didn't like the fact that my throne stood in jeopardy. I called in my advisors who determined that Bethlehem was the location the wisemen wanted. I sent them off to continue their journey, but pretended to have interest in worshiping this new king. I asked them to come back and tell me where they found the king so I could go too.

Days had passed and the wisemen had not returned. I was furious. I paced back and forth in my chambers trying to come up with an idea what to do about the situation. Then the idea came to me. A devious one.

I called for my captain and ordered all boys two years old and younger living in Bethlehem to be executed. "No, wait, I want the surrounding area included in these orders." I told him. 

The captain bowed and left the room. I knew my order would be carried out to perfection.

I felt better already. It didn't matter which boy was the new king. He wouldn't be alive by sundown the next day.


Author's note: Matthew 2:16-18 says: Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 

"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.

Rachel is mentioned here because Bethlehem is in the area known as the tribe of Benjamin. Benjamin was Rachel's second son born to Jacob.

Come back for the next story.

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sources: 
*A Harmony of the Gospels for Historical Study, An Analytical Synopsis of the Four Gospels by William Arnold Stevens and Ernest DeWitt Burton, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York 1932
*New International Version, New King James Version. 
*My Bible College training.
*My notes and walk through classes I've taught in Children's church. Answers to student questions, etc.
*Pastoral sermons on this time
*Matthew Henry Commentary
*F. LaGard Smith Commentary

Jewish History.org
*Jewish Virtual Library.org

My research in Israel.

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