Eyewitness to Christmas: Herod Meets the Wise Men

The Magi are waiting to meet Herod, while he consuls the chief priest and teachers regarding the prophecy of the Messiah.

“ Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.”  {Matthew 2:7}

Herod called for the Magi, but instead of meeting them in his court in front of everyone, he meets them in secret. He put on his most cajoling nature to injurie exactly when the star appeared.

“Though Herod sought Christ from improper motives, yet he used the best methods. He asked aid of those versed in the Scriptures, and also of those proficient in science] exactly what time the star appeared. [That he might ascertain, if possible, exactly on what night Christ had been born.”  {The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels}

So what else did he tell the Magi?

“He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”  {Matthew 2:8}

He asked them to find the child and let him know where the child could be found.

“Duplicity was a well-known characteristic of Herod… In this case Herod concealed fraud beneath an appearance of piety. It is as hard for the ambitious to avoid hypocrisy as it is for the rich to shun avarice.”  {The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels}

Herod told the Magi he would go and worship the child when they let him know where he could be found.

“The crafty and cruel king had gained one point: he now knew where the Christ was to be born. He therefore asks another question of the wise men, by which he hopes to ascertain the age of the royal child…Herod commanded them to search out the young child and bring him word, but lied as to his object, which was murder instead of worship.”   {Johnson’s Notes on the New Testament}

 And he sent them to Bethlehem.” {Matthew 2:8}

King Herod sent them to Bethlehem and waited for their return.

“the magi, no doubt, intended to return to Herod, and would have done so but for the dream, but when they failed to return, they seemed to Herod to have taken pleasure in deceiving him, and the very honesty of their conduct passed for the lowest depth of cunning.”  {The Fourfold Gospel: or A Harmony of the Four Gospels}

King Herod grows nervous as he waits for the Magi to return. However, there is one who knows all and he outsmarts Herod.

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