It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Historically, Herod, to put it mildly, did not have a peaceful reign. His many sons and wives were involved in bitter rivalry for his throne. Herod was not a man to hold family relation sacred. He had three of his sons executed for conspiracy. He executed his brother-in-law, Joseph. At the urging of Joseph's widow, Salome, he murdered his own wife, Mariamme. If he treated his own family badly, his opponents and enemies were given even more ferocious handling. He murdered the Jewish High Priest, Aristobolus III and forty five members of the Sanhedrin for their support of the Hasmoneans. These are just samplings of Herod's atrocities. He was therefore a kind of man that could have committed the crime Matthew attributed to him.
The atrocities listed above are taken from Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews. From Josephus' own writings, we can tell that he hated Herod, for he obviously took pleasure in noting down every crime and atrocities that was attributed to the Idumean king. Many of the crimes described by Josephus were far less "wicked" than the slaughter of the innocents described by Matthew. Now Josephus' list was very detailed. Had the slaughter actually occurred it would have been an event well known enough for the Jewish historian to have heard of it. Yet the silence of Josephus and the absence of any reference to it in any contemporary secular writings (Jewish, Greek or Roman) cannot be explained if the event was historical. The conclusion forces itself on us, it never happened.
The conclusion forces itself on us, it never happened.