Thursday, February 8, 2018

King Herod and the Magi 529-1 - 2 - 5

The father of Herod (Herod the Great) was an Edomite, a descendant of Esau, of an Idumean family. During the Maccabean wars, the Edomites were conquered by the Jews and forced to convert to Judaism. Herod the Great was Rome appointed King of Judea and, as a counterfeit Jew, his rule was rather tenuous.
Herod was a great builder, a tyrant, and a man who would murdered his own family if he thought his monarchy was threaten. The Roman Emperor Augustus said of him, "It is better to be Herod's dog than one of his children."
Herod was in power at the time of the birth of Jesus; enter wise men from the east. These wise men from the east were the Magi, a priestly caste of magistrates who came with an extensive entourage. They were both priest and political counselor vested with the authority to appoint kings. They were looking for the new born King of the Jews, so Herod likely felt his sovereignty was in peril.
Matthew 2:2-3, “2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”
Herod’s minions knew of Micah 5:2, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
That the Magi departed without returning to inform Herod of the baby’s whereabouts played to his obsession. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.”
Hosea 11:1, “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt” fulfilled, Matthew 2:15, "And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son."
Although the wise men are usually pictured as visiting Jesus as a newborn, it was a year or two later. Herod was so obsessed by the thought of a challenge to his reign that he ordered the murder of all the children that were in Bethlehem from two years old and under.
Matthew 2:18, “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” In his paranoia Herod caused the fulfillment of prophecy, Jeremiah 31:15, “Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.”
King Herod attempts to protect his kingship resulted in the fulfillment of prophecy. 

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