December 21


                                           WHO ARE THESE GUYS?

A group of scholars from the Mid-east arrived in Jerusalem today and asked for an audience with King Herod.  They parked their camels in front of the king’s palace and upon entering the palace were given the red carpet treatment.

Their statesman said, “For sometime we’ve been studying a special star.  We believe it belongs to a baby who someday will be the king of the Jews.  Can you tell us where we might find him?”

That got Herod’s attention.  He gave orders to his scholars to search the scrolls until they found the answer.


                                                     SORTING OUT THE HERODS

Herod the Great is the Herod of the nativity story.  He was a puppet king for Caesar Augustus and the despised half-breed King of Israel.  Herod was a master buildeer but is identified mostly for his part in trying to trick the magi and when they didn’t do things his way he had all the male children in Bethlehem two years or younger massacred.  Herod died in A.D. 6 and his kingdom was divided between his three sons:  Herod Archelaus and Herod Antipas were brothers and Herod Philip was their half-brother.

Herod Archelaus ruled over half of Israel, including Jerusalem and Bethlehem.  He was so ruthless that the Roman Emperor Augustus had him removed in two years after his father’s death.  At that time Rome instigated having procurators in charge of keeping the peace in Israel where riots and uprisings were common.  During Christ’s young adult years Pontius Pilate held this position.

Herod Antipas ruled in Galilee.