One imagines that Herod had no precise theology in mind when he sent out his soldiers to kill all the toddlers in Bethlehem two years of age and under. Did he really believe that he was murdering the Messiah? Certainly he thought he was murdering someone who might claim to be Messiah, or whom people might later come to think was Messiah. Theological precision was not one of his gifts. Where he was gifted was in detecting threats to his rule. Maybe too gifted: it is recorded that in his paranoia he had members of his own family murdered, including his beloved wife Mariamne. For Herod, detecting any whiff of threat was enough to have you killed. If his own wife and family were not immune, a few toddlers in a small town like Bethlehem wouldn’t stand a chance. So many were Herod’s atrocities that the slaughter of few dozen children doesn’t even show up in the stats.
|The Nativity Journey Infographic|