In church we've been working our way through the book of Matthew. Yesterday Steven preached a message on Herod the Great (chapter 2). I had never realized just how horrible this man was. It seems as if the "Massacre of the Innocents" is never expounded upon, or just quickly read over and forgotten. Herod killed every male baby under the age of two in the entire city of Bethlehem. I wonder what the men were thinking when they were ordered to carry this out. Were they fathers themselves? Did the children struggle? Did they laugh? What kind of insanity would provoke a man to these lengths?
Other things I didn't know about Herod: he killed two of his own children, his favorite wife (for cheating, of which she was innocent), his eighty-year old uncle (who had previously saved Herod's life), his brother-in-law (because the Jews liked him better than Herod), and another brother-in-law for conspiracy. I'm sure there are more.
Supposedly he died a horrible long and painful death. I don't believe in karma, but I do believe that vengeance belongs to God. God used extraordinary means to protect Jesus and His family. Thank God Joseph was faithful to obey!