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King Herod murderer or madman?

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posted on Dec, 29 2003 @ 07:56 PM
This was the title of a recent tv documentary that was
on discovery channel.
It was about the life and personality of the infamous King

Like many other tv documentaries on disscovery, I found this
one informative and interesting.
However only up to a certain point was this show objective.
That is until they mentioned what some refer to as the massacre of the innocents.

The story goes that 3 wise men came to his court and
supposedly told him about a great king who was to be born in bethlehem.
When he heard this he supposedly when about killing all
the infants in Bethlehem.

The only evidence for this as the show admits, is one
passage or reference in the bible.
There is no other historical reference or evidence to support this.
This show mentioned one of the sources for Herod and
his reign was the historian Josephus.
In his writings however Josephus mentions many things
about Herod but not this incident. Why?

Some biographers of Herod have maintained that this
occurence is no more than a myth .
Michael GRant in his biography of Herod has also stated

As this documentary mentions he was a brutal and paranoid ruler who had his wife and children murdered
on suspicion of treachery.
Based on this the show then concludes that it was very possible for him to go about murdering innocent infants.
That is if he thought they would have grown up to challenge his throne.
One psychologist interviewed on the show concluded
this based on his previous behavior.
Aside from that no other evidence is given but that one
scriptural evidence.

Where is the facts here in this case?
Anybody else seen this show and know anything about
I still think this story about the massacre of the innocents
is simply a myth and nothing more.

posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 10:34 AM
I saw parts of it. Of course, there's really no way of knowing if the massacre actually occured or not. But all rulers back then were sort of kooky and paranoid, and it would be entirely possible one would slaughter children based on a prophecy foretold by wise men.

I think that the little details given in the Bible account (IE the cutoff for ages to be slaughtered) lends it a little credulity, since if it were completely made up, would the writer have cared to put in such extraneous information?

posted on Jan, 6 2004 @ 10:57 AM
In a world where people fly planes into buildings and strap bombs to themselves to kill innocent men,women and children i unfortunately do not find it so hard to believe that 2000 years ago someone would kill infants for their own interests.

posted on Jan, 11 2004 @ 09:08 PM
I have just pondered something.
If these 3 wise men supposedly predicted the birth of
christ as the bible says, then how is it they were not able
to foresee the massacre of the infants?

Or maybe they really didn't care ?
The lives of the innocent children were of probaly trivial
importance perhaps?
And how did they know that there was suppose to even
be a king or messiah born in the 1st place?

posted on Jan, 11 2004 @ 09:21 PM
As to this:
"....then how is it they were not able to foresee the massacre of the infants?"

Perhaps because the "slaughter of the innocents" (ie: the male babies) quite possibly never happened. There are no mention by historian's of that time period, Josephus, mainly, never recorded such an occurrance.

"HEROD'S SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS: Matthew 2:16 describes King Herod's order that all of the boy infants who had not reached their second birthday in Bethlehem and vicinity were to be murdered. The date of that mass murder would give an approximate idea of Jesus' birth. Unfortunately for historians (and fortunately for the residents of the Bethlehem area) the killings never happened. If the children were killed, then historians of the era would have been certain to have recorded the event. Josephus would have been one. He wrote in great detail about even minor actions and decisions of Herod. The mass murder was never mentioned."

As to your other mentions:
"And how did they know that there was suppose to even be a king or messiah born in the 1st place?"

Ancient Biblical Prophecy is 'how'.

"Hundreds and even thousands of years BEFORE Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Old Testament Prophets predicted His coming. Their predictions were not just general ones that "a Messiah, a Saviour, will come" etc., but SPECIFIC prophecies about places, times and events that have been fulfilled in only ONE person who has ever lived--JESUS of Nazareth! In this brief lesson we have chronologically arranged several of the most outstanding Old Testament Messianic prophecies in the actual verbatim text of the Scriptures and followed them with their New Testament fulfillments.


PROPHECY: Nearly 750 years before Christ's birth, the Old Testament Prophet Isaiah prophesied: "The Lord Himself
3. shall give you a sign; Behold, a VIRGIN shall CONCEIVE, and bear a SON, and shall call His name Immanuel."--Isaiah 7:14.

FULFILLMENT: In exact FULFILLMENT of this prophecy, Mary was a young VIRGIN engaged to be married to Joseph, a carpenter of Nazareth, when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her saying that she would bear a child. "Then Mary said to the Angel, `How shall this be, seeing I have not laid with a man?' And the Angel answered, `The HOLY GHOST shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you! Therefore that holy One which shall be born of you shall be called the SON of GOD."--Luke 1:26-35. (Immanuel means "God with us", and for those of us who have received Jesus into our hearts, that's Who He IS: God is WITH us!)

PROPHECY: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: And the government shall be upon His shoulder: And His NAME shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the MIGHTY GOD, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace!"--Isaiah 9:6. (Prophecy given 740 B.C.)

FULFILLMENT: This shows that the ancient Jews, unlike most modern ones, believed that God had a SON--Who was to be born in the flesh and Whom the prophecy said was to be called "The Mighty GOD".

PROPHECY: Micah, prophesying in the eighth century B.C., predicted the exact village where the Messiah would be born: "You, BETHLEHEM, though you are small among the clans of Judah, yet out of you shall He come forth unto Me that is to be RULER over ISRAEL; Whose existence has been of old, from EVERLASTING."--Micah 5:2. (Prophecy given 710 B.C.)

FULFILLMENT: The Gospel says "Jesus was born in BETHLEHEM of JUDEA."--Matthew 2:1. Although the Jews knew that their Messiah was to be born there (Matthew 2:4-6), they didn't, as a nation, accept Jesus as their ruler. Nonetheless, the prophecy says that He "IS to BE ruler". This takes place spiritually now for those who voluntarily accept His Messiahship, and will SOON take place LITERALLY by FORCE at His Second Coming!

Jesus' existence, as the prophecy says, "has been of OLD, from EVERLASTING". Jesus said, "Before Abraham was (around 2,000 B.C.), I AM."--John 8:58. He was here referring to Himself as the eternal God Who revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush as: "I AM THAT I AM"(Exodus 3:14), the eternal Son of God! (See also John 1:13,14.)"


Hope this helps.


posted on Jan, 11 2004 @ 09:29 PM
As for King Herod....
He was not mad, per se' but then again, in truth, he was not a Jew or of Jewish descent. King Herod was Arab: "Herod was not actually of Jewish blood. His mother Kypros was an Arab, his father Antipater an Idumaean, and neither of them was of royal lineage. The little that did seem Jewish about him was a veneer which had been applied to his ancestors by violence. Herod meaning "descendent of heroes" shows how little of Jewish spirit his father had absorbed when he gave his circumcised son a name out of Greek mythology. Herod had a frenzy for power. No tyrant in history ever was more hated than Herod was hated by the people who worshipped there. They resented an man not of their blood, he was an Arab from Ashkelon, a tribal warrior, ferocious enough to win many a battle, shrewd enough to be an expert politician, but no true king of theirs. By turns Herod had tried being cruel and kind. Having despoiled their treasury, and with the very money he had filched from them, he built a magnificent house of God. The people took this new temple to their hearts but they barred him from entering any part of it. It may be clear to others why Herod had been called the great, but to the Jews it has always remained a mystery. He was the arch-murderer of his time. He murdered 45 members of the Sanhedrin as well as his family and all the children of Bethlehem.

Herod was married ten times. Of his family those who cross the New Testament were: Herod Philip the First - First husband of Herodias, Herod Antipas - Ruler of Galilee and Perea, second husband of Herodias. Archelaus - Ruler of Judea, Samaria and Idumaea. A thoroughly bad ruler, Herod Antipas was deposed and banished. Herod Philip the second - called Philip also in New Testament as King of Judea meaning almost all of Palestine."


In such, he was simply "a tyrant"....cunning and viscious mixed with a bit of "madness".


posted on Jan, 12 2004 @ 08:33 PM
From seekerof>

Perhaps because the "slaughter of the innocents" (ie: the male babies) quite possibly never happened. There are no mention by historian's of that time period, Josephus, mainly, never recorded such an occurrance.

Which was exactly my point in the beginning.
This was the point I was making to others who responded
to my topic.
They seem to believe that this incident did occur as is
commonly believed.

But as you just said there is no historic evidence at all
for this .
The so-called prophecy made by the 3 wise men is just
a myth or legend.
If this was really true then the 3 wise men should have been able to foresee the results of their actions in telling
Herod of a king who was to come.
That is they would have also been able to have predicted
the massacre of the innocents.

posted on Jan, 30 2004 @ 04:56 PM
Not only was this horrific event a fact it has been recounted in great detail recently, not 2000 years ago. Read "The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary" by Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich. This is the most accurate and fine book on King Herod's massacre - a sad episode in her and Jesus' life.

Both the child Jesus and John the Baptist, thank God, were able to escape by angel's coming to warn the holy family.

I recall reading that about 700 babies were slaughterred. All the mothers were summoned to be given rewards for their 'fertility'. The killing of these innocent children went on all day, while the mothers screamed and cried.

John the Baptist escaped into the wilderness, where he was very much at home and able to survive inspite of his youth.

Then Mary, Joseph, and Jesus went on their well known "Flight into Egypt" and returned years later after Herod was dead.

Oh, and about the three kings. They did indeed warn the holy family about staying there in Bethlehem before they fled after bringing their gifts. They offered their protection. After they were warned not to return to Herod in Jerusalem, that is.

...That should be enough to get you started, FYI.

The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary

posted on Jan, 30 2004 @ 05:00 PM
There is tons of evidence to support what you say but much of it is hidden for obvious reasons. King Herod was a wise man who knew the fate he faced and acted rationally in his position. This is what evil does to the soul, makes it collapse on itself.

posted on Jan, 30 2004 @ 05:33 PM
Hindu texts tell a story of a similar King named Kansa who ordered the murders of male infants in hopes to kill Krishna. Krishna is said to have lived about 5000 years ago. The Mahabarata was written 2 centuries before the birth of Jesus.

forgot to mention another site.

[Edited on 1-30-2004 by worldwatcher]

posted on Jan, 30 2004 @ 05:33 PM
The Gospels were compiled very late in the first century, by Jews. The Gospel of Matthew was specifically written to Jews. If that had never happened, the people would only be two or at the most three generations past the event. If it hadn't happened, they would have known that and it would have hurt the credibility of the document. That points (I didn't say prove) to it really happening.

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