The Herods

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I’m presenting a brief discussion on the two evil monarchs named Herod in the blog today… Thanks for reading this holiday weekend…

Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” 19 But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 20 saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” 21 And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel (Matt 2:16-21 ESV).

The wise men had ignored Herod’s demand that when they found the Christ Child, they were to come back and report to him. So, in his paranoid and demonic state, Herod the Great decreed the death of baby boys under the age of two in the area of Bethlehem, hoping to kill the Christ Child early on.  He would die not long after issuing this murderous decree.

Now, to Herod’s grandson…

Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them. 22 And the people were shouting, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last (Acts 12:20-23 ESV).

Why Herod was displeased with Tyre and Sidon, we aren’t told, but they tried to make peace with him. So, with great fanfare, Herod announced proudly the agreement he had made with Tyre and Sidon regarding food source, making himself appear to be their savior.  The people were greatly pleased with Herod, so much so, that they cried over and over “the voice of a god, and not of a man!”  And Herod received gladly the acclamations of the people that he was a “little god.”

Immediately, the Angel of the LORD smote Herod. The historian Josephus said that he lingered for five days with agonizing pains in his stomach, and then he died.

Key to understanding the nature of the Herods was that their genetic ethnicity was Idumean— that is, an Arab people, yet their religion was for political motives Jewish, but their citizenship, culture and politics were of Roman identity. The Antichrist will, likewise, be able to make simultaneous appeals to the Jewish, Arab and Western world based on his identification with each; as it were, a satanically animated attempt to be as all things to all people: to the Jew a Jew, to the Arabs an Arab, and to the Europeans a European.

Following the rescue of Peter, we witness Herod accepting worship as a god to whom people made supplication as their provider of peace and food. (Acts 12: 20-23) The Antichrist will, likewise, bring a false peace to the Middle East and by means of the inability to buy or sell without the number of his name or mark, (Rev. 13: 16-17) will control food supplies. The divine judgment after his deification falls upon Herod following the rescue of Peter; the Harpazo will follow the same pattern. – Jacob Prasch, Harpazo: The Intra-Seal Rapture of the Church

I’m continuing today with Old Testament Prophecy of the early years of Jesus Christ’s Incarnation on Earth…

Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. 16 Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. 17 And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border (Jer 31:15-17 KJV).

Part of this prophecy was fulfilled when the Hebrews were carried captive to Babylon and get again when they were slain by Herod. But the weeping and the Promise of “for thy work shall be rewarded” belong to the future.  “And there is hope in your end” speaks of the Restoration of Israel at the Second Coming of Christ.

I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God. 19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth (Jer 31:18-19 KJV).

At the Second Coming, “Ephraim” will repent and be at last restored.

Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord. 21 Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities (Jer 31:20-21 KJV).

Travel the “way” of Repentance and there will be “waymarks” all along the way to keep from confusion.

How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man. 23 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah and in the cities thereof, when I shall bring again their captivity; The Lord bless thee, O habitation of justice, and mountain of holiness (Jer 31:22-23 KJV).

The “virgin of Israel” is what the LORD will make of this “backsliding daughter” upon her Repentance. Israel never quite knew or understood the purpose of the Sacrifices, which pointed to a coming Redeemer, but because of her Repentance, she now fully understands what the LORD is doing and desires to follow Him.

Every day is a good day to talk about Christ and Him Crucified… There are many false teachers out there—of all stripes—who try to dissuade people from taking opportunities to talk about the One of Only Jesus Christ of Scripture or are trying to diminish its importance… Personally, I find it overwhelming at times—the state we’ve gotten too… But no matter how prevalent the false teaching becomes, the Truth does not change… Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever… He is the Eternal God…

And finally today, an old hymn…

Father of mercies, in Thy Word what endless glory shines! Forever be Thy name adored, for these celestial lines.  ‘Tis here the tree of knowledge grows, and yields a free repast; here purer sweets than nature knows invite the longing taste.  ‘Tis here the Savior’s welcome voice spreads heavenly peace around, and life, and everlasting joys, attend the blissful sound.

O, may these heavenly pages be my ever-dear delight; and still new beauties may I see, and still increasing light. Divine Instructor, gracious LORD, be thou forever near; teach me to love Thy Sacred Word, and view my Savior here. — Steele