But also in this chapter we see Herod, who with such a short account, seems like kind of a jerk. But reading into it, we can see he’s a really smart GIGANTIC jerk. First, he sends the wise men to find Jesus so he can worship him too. Very thoughtful, isn’t it? Then, once that plan is foiled, he just kills all the male children under 2 in that whole area. And the story then moves on and we read about Joseph and…
WAIT. Just imagine you’re minding your own business one day and then the soldiers show up and kill your baby son. You probably wouldn’t have any idea why, but if you did, you’d know it was because the ruler was afraid he’d get displaced by an INFANT. I wonder how many young boys were slaughtered? What a brilliant solution, however. Just kill off the entire pool of people who could contain the threat to his power.
Thankfully this doesn’t happen very often. Except of course when Pharaoh wanted all the male Hebrews killed off. They were pretty inconvenient. Hitler didn’t much care for the Jews, they were far more convenient to use as scapegoats. And we still slaughter millions of babies because they are inconvenient to our lives, or perhaps more convenient to companies like Pepsi who use their discarded tissue to test new flavors. Evil hasn’t apparently changed all that much.
God is literally opposed from the moment He created us and gave us life and all good things, and this story continued when Jesus was just a mere, helpless baby. God is still opposed now when we persecute, hurt, and kill the innocent.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 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.
When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth 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. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 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.
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, 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.