I’m quite fascinated and interested in history, especially those that way back the time of Christ. Adding some stuff to your brain apart from what was fed by the bible makes you more curious and want to dig deeper.
Hubby was complaining last Good Friday that there were no religious/spiritual program on in telly. [in my mind, i reckon, this is how Aussies commemorate holy week]. Well, it was already Easter when we had our little share of the show that we expected to see since the start of the week. The last bit was about Herod the Great.
We know Herod as the Jewish King who ordered the killings of the infants when Christ was born.
Matthew 2:16-18 (New International Version)
16When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18″A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”[a]
The program was related by historians and apart from the bits a pieces of exaggeration, which makes you think they were actually present during that times not just making speculations and educational guesses of what had happened based on the artifacts, the show was superbly discussed and illustrated.
Herod was just a commoner that turned to be a great icon in the Roman times. He was born and raised in Idumea to an Idumean father who later was converted to Judaism and became founder of the Herodian Dynasty. He became governor at the age of 25. He was appointed King of the Jews by Mark Anthony and later show his allegiance to Octavius – after the latter defeated Mark Anthony.
During his reign, he built the Temple of Jerusalem, the fortress in Herodian – the first ever man-made mountain with a palace on top of it, and a man-made harbour in Ceasaria – all of which was Roman inspired to show his loyalty to the latter. His architectural success was viewed as a political triumph and a show that Judea was prosperous.
Despite all these parade of his talent he was still remembered as the cruel king. He had ordered the death of the old Judean King when he was positioned to power, the killings of the high priests, the death [it was shown as an accident in the pool] of his brother-in-law – the latter being a threat to his position as a king, and even the death of his wife if he will die. He loved his wife [Mirriamne II] so much that he didn’t want her with other man after him.
Fast forward, Herod suffered acute diseases in his later years – shortness of breath, severe stomach pain and the most-that-will-make-you-puke, worms were coming out of his body. In ancient beliefs, these illnesses were viewed to be the bad karma for what he had done but in todays medical research, he was said to be suffering from heart failure, kidney problem and the worm was caused by the flies that infested his infected body, leaving maggots.
Most if not all dying people, repent when they were in their death bed, but Herod was still Herod-like. In between pains and agony, he left a message that all the high priests will be killed right after he die – the mourning widows will make a spectacle that they were grieving for him.
Although being Herod “the Great”, he died alone and mourned by no one.