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Tuesday, March 1 2016
Matthew 2: Escape From Herod and The Rachel's Children Prophecy
"Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod"
The Messiah was born when the Roman Empire was beginning. Its first emperor, Octavian, who had just become "Caesar Augustus" (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars which has a photograph of an in-his-lifetime actual sculptured portrait of him) is famous for declaring the census that resulted in the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Messiah's birth in Bethlehem (see also Bethlehem In History And Prophecy).
"2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2:2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
At the time of the birth of the Messiah, the Roman Senate (see The Politics Of Rome) had appointed Herod (who thereafter became known as "Herod the Great") as the "king of Judea" - with life and death dictatorial power over the people. Herod then began transforming much of Judea into a Roman reflection of himself.
Herod's greatest architectural showpiece was the expanded Temple in Jerusalem (it was constructed over the actual rebuilt Temple in the time of Zerubbabel, Ezra and Nehemiah; see Zerubbabel's Return, Ezra's Journey From Babylon and The Arrival Of Nehemiah's Cavalry), that became known as "the Herodian Temple," or "Herod's Temple" - which was occupied by men who were as subservient to Rome as Herod was - but were "great" within the limits of the little world that they had created for themselves.
Herod's reasons may have been different in regard to the Temple than for other places in Judea; Herod was, nominally, a practicing Jew, by his supposed conversion to Judaism by the Hasmoneans, the "Maccabees" (who Herod replaced as the ruler of Judea and Jerusalem; see Israel In History and Prophecy: Hasmonean Judea). By that time however, the religion of the people of Judah had become little more the "traditions" of the religious parties, such as the Pharisees and the Sadducees who invented Judaism (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Judaism and Israel Never Knew Purim, Hanukkah Or Judaism).
Herod is most infamous for his attempt to kill the newborn Messiah after he was informed of the birth by the "Magi" (see Why Did The Magi Come?) - and for the "slaughter of the innocents" in his attempt to do so.
"2:1 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, 2:2 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.
Note from the map above that the Messiah's flight into Egypt was not out of the Roman Empire, but out of Herod's jurisdiction in the Roman Empire. Herod then fulfilled another prophecy with his "slaughter of the innocents" (see The Rachel Prophecies).
"2:13 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.
The death of Herod partially solved the problem, for the time being. Other Herods would follow - and in years to come would bring about the deaths of John the Baptist and then the Messiah (see The Herods and Lethal Lust).
"2:19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
Fact Finder: What did the Messiah prophesy about Herod's Temple? When did then happen?
This Day In History
This Day In History, March 1
752 BC: Romulus, the legendary and semi-mythical first king of Rome, was victorious over the Caeninenses (see also The Politics Of Rome).
509 BC: Publius Valerius Publicola, Roman consul, won the first triumph of the Roman Republic after his victory over the deposed king Lucius Tarquinius Superbus at the Battle of Silva Arsia (see also A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
293: Roman Emperor Diocletian and Maximian appointed Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as fellow Caesars - beginning of the Tetrarchy or Quattuor Principes Mundi ("The Four Rulers of the World").
1498: Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama arrived at what is today Mozambique, on his voyage to India.
1562: Roman Catholic troops massacred over 1,000 Huguenots as they prayed at Vassy, France, starting the First War of Religion. The 40 years of conflict ended when Henry IV of Navarre seized the French throne and granted the Protestants partial freedom.
1565: The city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was founded.
1632: Samuel de Champlain was appointed the first governor of "New France" (northeastern North America; see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1692: Sarah Osborne, Sarah Good and Tituba were brought to court in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning "the Salem witch trials" (see also What Is Sorcery?).
1815: Napoleon landed in France after returning from Elba, where he had been after being forced to abdicate in April 1814. Britain put only a small fraction of its military forces into the relatively minor wars of 1776 and 1812 against the U.S. revolutionary colonies; the bulk of the British army and navy was involved in fighting Napoleon's French Empire throughout Europe and Africa e.g. British Admiral Horatio Nelson's victory over the French fleet at Trafalgar and Wellington's victory at the Battle of Waterloo.
1845: U.S. President John Tyler signed a bill to authorize the annexation of the short-lived Republic of Texas, after its independence from Mexico.
1871: German troops entered Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.
1896: The Battle of Adowa in Ethiopia between the Ethiopian army of King Menelik II and Italian forces. The Italians, outnumbered 80,000 to 20,000 were routed. The decisive Ethiopian victory checked Italy's attempt to build an empire in Africa comparable to that of the French or British.
1917: During the First World War, the "Zimmermann Telegram" was published; the message from the German foreign ministry to Mexicans encouraged them to go to war against the U.S. to recover their lost territories in alliance with Germany.
1932: The infant son of aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh was kidnapped. The child was found dead on May 12.
1941: Bulgaria joined the Axis Powers and allowed German forces to enter the country.
1960: Approximately 20,000 people were killed at the Atlantic seaport city of Agadir, Morocco. The city was destroyed by 2 earthquakes, a tidal wave and fire.
1966: The Soviet Venus III landed on Venus. It was the first spacecraft to land on another planet.
1985: The Pentagon accepted the theory that a nuclear war would block the sun, causing a "nuclear winter" i.e. there would be no "winner" in a nuclear war.
1992: Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence from Yugoslavia.
2003: The International Criminal Court held its first session in The Hague, Netherlands. The Court has remained mostly impotent because most of the greatest war criminals of the modern age escape justice in their militarily-strong nations. Only the weak and the losers of wars face that Court's "justice." True justice is surely coming however; no one "gets away with" anything (see What Happens After The Messiah Returns?).