A Bible Study by Paula Yingst …
The following is quoted from The Complete Jewish Bible …
After Yeshua was born in Beit-Lechem [Bethlehem] in the land of Y’hudah [Judah] during the time when Herod was king, Magi from the east came to Yerushalayim [Jerusalem] and asked, “Where is the newborn King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”
When King Herod heard of this he became very agitated, and so did everyone else in Yerushalayim [Jerusalem]. He called together all the head cohanim [chief priests] and Torah-teachers of the people and asked them, ‘Where will the Messiah be born?
“In Beit-Lechem [Bethlehem] of Y’hudah [Judah],” they replied, “because the prophet wrote,
” And you, Beit-Lechem [Bethlehem] in the land of Y’hudah,
are by no means the least among the rulers of Y’hudah;
for from you will come a Ruler
who will shepherd my people Isra’el.” [Micah 5:2]
Herod summoned the Magi to meet with him privately and asked them exactly when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Beit-Lechem with these instructions: “Search carefully for the child; and when you find him, let me know, so that I too may go and worship him.”
After they had listened to the king, they went away; and the star which they had seen in the east went in front of them until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. Upon entering the house, they saw the child with his mother Miryam [Mary]; and they prostrated themselves and worshipped him. Then they opened their bags and presented him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But they had been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, so they took another route back to their own country.
After they had gone, an angel of Adonai [the Lord God] appeared to Yosef [Joseph] in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and escape to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you to leave. For Herod is going to look for the child in order to kill him.'” So he got up, took the child and his mother, and left during the night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod died. This happened in order to fulfill what Adonai had said through the prophet,
“Out of Egypt I called my son.” [Hosea 11:1]
Meanwhile, when Herod realized that the Magi had tricked him, he was furious and gave orders to kill all the boys in and around Beit-Lechem who were two years old or less, calculating from the time the Magi had told him. In this way were fulfilled the words spoken through the prophet Yirmeyahu [Jeremiah],
“A voice was heard in Ramah,
sobbing and lamenting loudly.
It was Rachel sobbing for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no longer alive.“ [Jeremiah 31:15]
After Herod’s death, an angel of Adonai appeared in a dream to Yosef [Joseph] in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go to Eretz-Yisra’el [the land of Israel], for those who wanted to kill the child are dead.” So he got up, took the child and his mother, and went back to Eretz-Yisra’el . However, when he heard that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Y’hudah [Judah], he was afraid to go there. Warned in a dream, he withdrew to the Galil [Galilee] and settled in a town called Natzeret [Nazareth], so that what had been spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he will be called a Natzrati [Nazarene]. (There is no record of this prophecy in the Bible.) — Matthew 2:1-23, CJB
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: People often wonder, “Why did God allow Herod to kill those little boys?” Perhaps the answer is that God very rarely intervenes to change human history. But from the very beginning He was able to see into the future and know the atrocities that man would impose upon his fellow man over the course of time.
That’s why PROPHECY CONNECTIONS in Scripture are so important. Prophecies foretelling the future of humankind are scattered throughout Scripture as permanent “sign posts” that prove the Lord God has had a plan from the very beginning to provide His most treasured creation with a way out of Satan’s sin-filled environment on planet Earth. And notice that He not only has spoken to us through the descendants of Abraham. Adonai can use anyone He chooses to get His message across — even kings from the faraway east!
Researcher and author, L.A. Marzulli, suggests that going on around us is a “cosmic chess match” between the God of heaven and the lord of this world, Satan. For every “thrust” made by Satan to try and destroy the chances for a promised Messiah to save the world from sin, Adonai “counter-thrusts” to defeat the fallen one’s efforts. The apostle John wrote:
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8, NIV).
In this case, God knew what evil Herod planned to do to the baby boys, so He removed His Son from the equation by commanding Joseph to take Jesus far away to Egypt until the time was right to return Him to the town where He would grow up and begin His ministry.
So what happened to the souls of the innocent children who were slaughtered? I believe our loving God took them to be with Him where He is. Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled…. I am going to prepare a place for you … that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3, New International Version)
Do you believe it?