MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: multipart/related; boundary="----=_NextPart_01C621CC.7607B760" This document is a Web archive file. If you are seeing this message, this means your browser or editor doesn't support Web archive files. For more information on the Web archive format, go to http://officeupdate.microsoft.com/office/webarchive.htm ------=_NextPart_01C621CC.7607B760 Content-Location: file:///C:/1ED3AA44/KingHerod_TheKingwhotriedtokillGod.htm Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" King Herod: The King who tried to kill God

King Herod: The King who tried to kill God

Text: Matthew 2:1-18

Dr Alex Tang





Whom do you worship?  <= span class=3DGramE>If  you d= o not worship the Lord, you will end up worshipping personal power and spiritual powers.



Matt 2:1-18

MT 2:1 After = Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King He= rod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem

&n= bsp;

Herod the Great, king of the Jews 40-4 bc, born c. 73 bc. His father Antipater, a Jew of Idumaean descent, attained a position of great influence in Judaea after the Roman conquest and was appointed procurator of Judaea by J= ulius Caesar in 47 bc. He in t= urn appointed his son Herod military p= refect of Galilee, and Herod showed his qualities by the vigor = with which he suppressed brigandage in that region; the Roman governor of Syria was so impressed by his energy that he made h= im military prefect of Coele-Syria. = After the assassination of Caesar and subsequent civil war Herod enjoyed the good= will of Antony. When the Parthians invaded Syria and Palestine and set the Hasmonaean Antigonus on the thron= e of Judaea (40-37 bc) the Roman senate, advised by <= /span>Antony and Octavian, gave Herod the title ‘king of the Jews’. It took him 3 years of fighting to make his title effective, but wh= en he had done so he governed Judaea for 33 years as a loyal ‘friend and ally’ of Rome.









        =             &nb= sp;            =             King Herod the Great

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;      King of Judea, Galilee, Iturea, Traconitis (37-4BC)

        =             &nb= sp;            =             =             &nb= sp;       Birth of Jesus (Mt 2:1-19; Lk 1:5)




Herod        =           Archelaus        Aristobulus    Herod        =        Herod     =           Antipater

Philip II        =             &nb= sp;            =          Alexander          &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;  Antipas           Phi= lip I


M:Cleopatra  =             &nb= sp;  M:Malthace        &= nbsp;     M: Mariamne      = ;  M:Malthace        &= nbsp;     M: Mariamne      = ;      M: Doris

Tetrach of Iturea      &= nbsp;  Governor of       = ;     Not mentioned     Te= tratch of       = ;       He did not rule

and Traconis            =    Judea, Idumea         in the Bible.          Galilee and        &= nbsp;     First husband of

(4BC ̵= 1; AD34)      &n= bsp;       (4 BC – AD 6)    &nb= sp;     Hasmonaeans     Perea        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;  Herodias (Mt14:3;

(Lk 3:1)        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;             = (4BC-AD39)        &= nbsp;   Mk6:17)

        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;            Second husband


 = ;

        =             &nb= sp;     

            = ;            &n= bsp;  Herod of Chalcis        =            King Herod Agrip= pa I

        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;            King of Judea (AD 37-44)

        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;            Killed James, put Peter in

        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;            prison.

        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;            Struck down by an angel

        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;            (Ac 12:1-24)

 = ;

 = ;



            = ;            &n= bsp;            = ;           Drusilla            King Herod Agrippa II    &nb= sp;         Bernice

        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;     Married Felix,  &nb= sp;        King of Judea. Paul make a&n= bsp;            = ;        with her

        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;     governor of  = ;           legal defence before him.    =             &nb= sp;      brother at the

        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;     Judea        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p; (Ac 25:13-26:32)     &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;     time of Paul’s

        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;     (AD 52-59)      &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;         defense

        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;     Felix tried      &n= bsp;            = ;            &n= bsp;            = ;            &n= bsp;            = ;            = (Ac 25:13)

        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;     Paul

        &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;           &nbs= p;            &= nbsp;     (AD 24:24)




2 and asked, "Where is the one w= ho has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."


Magi are probably astrologers, perhaps from Persia, southern Arabia or Ch= ina? They are not kings. Nowhere in the Bible did it indicate that there are thr= ee Magi. They are looking for the kings of the Jews, indicating that they were= Gentiles. Matthew wants to show t= hat Jesus will be Lord over all the nations of the earth.


    MT 2:3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Chr= ist was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "= for this is what the prophet has written:


The chief priests are the Seducees who were in charge of= the worship in the temple and the teachers of the law were probably the Pharise= es.


The text said Herod was disturbed and all Jerusalem was disturbed. Why was everybody disturbed? I am sure from the priests and = the teachers; Herod must have learnt about the Messiah, the King of Kings, the Christ. Herod was disturbed because here was a n= ew challenge to his kingship. I am surprised that = Jerusalem was disturbed. I would have thought that they would be delighted that their long awaited messiah is here.


  MT 2:6 " `= But you, Bethlehem, in the <= st1:PlaceType>land of <= span style=3D'font-family:Arial;mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";color:b= lue; mso-ansi-language:EN-US;layout-grid-mode:line'>Judah,

    ar= e by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

  for out= of you will come a ruler

    wh= o will be the shepherd of my people Israel<= /st1:country-region>.' "<= /p>


The prophecy from Micah was given seven centuries earlier. There are 330 prophecies = about Jesus in the Old Testament. Bethlehem<= /st1:City> was the place where Jacob buried R= achel. Where Ruth met and married Boaz. Where David grew up and tended sheep. That is why it is also called ‘the city of David’.


    MT 2:7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found = out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make= a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so tha= t I too may go and worship him."


    MT 2:9 After th= ey had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the e= ast went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense = and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream n= ot to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.


Contrary to popular beliefs, the Magi did not visit= baby Jesus at the night of his birth, as did the shepherds. As Luke would have noted, it is unlikely that the shepherds would be out with their sheep in t= he hills during winter. Most scholars agree that Jesus was likely to be born in the spring or summer in the year 4= BC. The Magi came some months later and saw the child, not a baby and in his house,= not in a manger.

·      =   Gold was considered the most precious of metal and the universal symbol of mater= ial value and wealth. It is also a symbol of nobility and royalty. <= /span>

·      =   Frankincense was a costly beautiful smelling incense that was= used only for special occasions such as the grain offering at the Tabernacle and= Temple.

·      =   Myrrh was a perfume, not so expensive as frankincense,= but valuable. Mixed with wine, it is used as an anesthetic (Mk 15:23) and mixed with other spices, it is used to prepa= re bodies for burial.

Those were the Magi’s gift to Jesus. Gold for the King of= kings, frankincense for his Deity and myrrh for His Humanity.


MT = 2:13 When they had gone, an angel of the= Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell yo= u, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."


    MT 2:14 So he got up, took the child and his mother during the= night and left for Egypt, 15 where = he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."=


    MT 2:16 When H= erod 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. 17 Then w= hat was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:


  MT 2:18 "A voice is heard in Ramah,

    weeping and great mourning,

  Rachel weeping for her children

    and refusing to be comforted,<= /span>

  because= they are no more."

Jerusalem. It is one of the towns the people will be lead in chains to their exile by the Babylonians. Rachel, Jacob’s favorite=   wife and the grandmother of Ephraim and Manasseh were symboli= c of the northern kingdom.


John MacArthur in his commen= tary on this passage said these are “ the three typical response to Jesus = Christ throughout history.

(1)    Some, like Herod are immedia= tely hateful, wanting to know nothing of God’s way except to attack, and if possible destroy it.

(2)&= nbsp;  

(3)&= nbsp;  


Why would Herod want to kill the ‘king of the Jews’? The messiah? The Christ?


Power. Power of being king. In those times, being king is like almost like being God= . You have absolute power over everything in your kingdom. You have absolute cont= rol over everyone. It is not a constitutional monarchy. It is raw power. Once y= ou have such power you will not want to give it up. You begin to worship the power. Herod has fallen into the power trap.


A.   &n= bsp;            = ;            &n= bsp;            = ;      Worship of personal power.


The crown ‘king of the Jews’ sat uneasy on Herod’s head<= span style=3D'font-family:Arial;mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-ansi-= language: EN-US;layout-grid-mode:line'>. Herod is a king that is afraid that his pers= onal power will be taken away from him. He wants to hang on to power at all cost= . He worships power.


(1)    Antony was influential in giving him the crown. Antony was having an affair with Cleopatra. And Cleopatra wants Judea to be added to her kingdom.=

(2)    Octavian became Augustus Caesar. Herod tried to please him by lavish building projects. He rebuilt Samaria and named it Sebaste after the emperor. He rebuilt Strato’s To= wer and named it Caesarea<= /span>.

(3)&= nbsp;   The people were not happy with him be= cause he is an Edomite. A descendent of Esau, not Jacob. He tried to please the people by embracing the Jewish religion and rebuilding the Temple. The rebuilding began in 19= BC and was finished 68 years afte= r his death.


Herod’s paranoid nature is well illustra= ted by the story of the visit of the Magi and the slaughter of the infants of <= /span>Bethlehem (Mt. 2); although this story does not appear elsewhere, any rumor of a rival king of the Jews was bound to rouse his wor= st fears. This suspicion latterly grew to insane proportions, and in consequen= ce Herod has been remembered more for his murderous outbursts than for his administrative ability. You can have an idea about his personality in t= his story that he knew that when he died, there would be no one to mourn him. S= o he ordered that some prominent leader= s in Jerusalem<= /st1:City> be killed on the day that he died, so that there will be mourning in Jerusalem.


B.   &n= bsp;            = ;            &n= bsp;            = ;     Worship of Spiritual Powers<= /b>


There is another side to this story. Another side to the coin.  Herod and his kingdom are in the physical world. In the spiritual world, there are also others who are invol= ved. The physical world is only the tip of an iceberg.


In Ephesians  6:12, Paul wrote:  For our = struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.


We must be aware that there is a supernatural realm that exist and is closely intertwined with our physical realms. In the spiritual realms are angels that worship and obey God. There are also fallen angels and demons that oppose God and what God wants to do in this world. P= aul named them as rulers, authorities, powers and spiritual forces of evil. The= se powers exist and want us to worship them.


Think of the players in a football game. The g= ame is going on and we can see the players kicking the ball. What we do not see = was the coach who designed the game strategy, the owners who financed the footb= all club. The invisible dimension which has its influence o= n the game.


The answer to Daniel’s prayers was delayed for 21 days because the messenger angel which God s= ent was opposed by the ‘prince o= f Persia, obviously a fallen angel. He managed to get through when Michael, the guar= dian angel of Israel came to his help. So angels are given control over certain countries.


The letters to the 7 churches in Revelation is addressed to the angels rather than the people in the churches.


Walter Wink, professor of Biblical Interpretat= ion at Auburn Theological Seminary in New York wrote that Powers are spiritual beings in cha= rge of social and economic institutions. There are powers behind companies, communities, governments and ideologies. That’s why we talk of corpor= ate culture, and wonder why certain communities have personality of its own. In= his three books, En= gaging the Powers, Unmasking the Powers = and Naming the Powers, Walter Wink awa= kened the church to presence of these powers.

He wrote: = ;          The Powers are good

  &n= bsp;            = ;            = The Powers are fallen

  &n= bsp;            = ;            = The Powers must be redeemed.


In the meantime, the Powers are opposing God a= nd influencing man and woman to worship them. Herod is one such man. These Pow= ers offers wealth, health, control, and ‘all the good things in life̵= 7;. I believe it is under influence of= this Powers that Herod tried to kill Jesus. By killing Jesus in childhood, the Powers will have prevented the redemptive act of God.


Lessons for us


A.     How to Avoid the Worship of  Personal Power

The antidote for the worship of personal power= is self-denial.

MT 16:24 Then J= esus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny hi= mself and take up his cross and follow me.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, wrote: “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”  It is only when we die to self can= we break the worship of personal power.






B.    How Avoid the Worship of Spiritual Powers

Richard Foster, Money, Sex & Power, gave us 6 principles to break the worsh= ip of spiritual powers:

i.        =             We must recognize that Christ has already defeated the powers.

ii.        = ;          We defeat = the powers by cultivating the gift of discernment.

iii.      =           We defeat = the powers by forthrightly facing the ‘demons’ within.

iv.        = ;         We defeat = the powers by inner renunciation of all things

v.        =            We defeat = the power by rejecting the weapons of power of this world

vi.        = ;         We defeat = the powers by using weapons of Ephesians 6.

13 Theref= ore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be ab= le to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of t= ruth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, = 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occas= ions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and alw= ays keep on praying for all the saints.


This can be summarized as discernment, armor of God and intercessory prayer.


Concluding remarks

It is very = easy to fall into the worship of personal power and spiritual powers. The spirit= ual powers will try to destroy the work of God. Herod tried to kill Jesus becau= se he thought Jesus would become king of the Jews, thus a threat to his person= al power. The spiritual powers know that Jesus, God who became flesh, has come= to bring us redemption and tried to kill Jesus by using Herod. Herod tried to = kill God. It is the understanding of P= aul and the author of Revelation that demonic activities and worship of spiritu= al powers will increase in the last days.


Whom do you worship?  God?  Personal power? = Spiritual powers?



In our study of the Four Kings, we have considered various aspect of worship:

King Asa: The King who start= ed well.

King Jeroboam: The King who corrupted the heart of worship

King Ahad: The King who committed apostasy

King Herod: The King who tri= ed to kill God.From the four kings we can draw the following lessons about worship:

   &n= bsp;            = ;            &n= bsp;            = ;       A life of worship: a good beginning does not

guarantee  a good ending. Complacency and

of trust lead to a bad end.=


The heart of wor= ship is corrupted when we

by our own rituals and our = own



Worship is furth= er corrupted when we add

of other religions : God pl= us


We end up worshipping personal power and

spiritual= powers instead of God.=



 = ;

Whom do we Worship?

 = ;

        =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =             &nb= sp;            =         S= oli Deo Gloria



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