Eyewitness to Christmas: Wise Men Secret Meeting With King Herod

Last time, we discussed the Wise Men’s query about the newborn. King Herod receives word of their arrival and is nervous.

Matthew Henry says, “Herod was now an old man, and had reigned thirty-five years; this king was but newly born, and not likely to enterprise any thing considerable for many years; yet Herod is jealous of him. “

Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the scholars from the East. “  {Matthew 2:7}

Herod doesn’t meet them in public or with an entourage.  No, he meets them in secret.  Does he have them snuck into the palace or does he disguise himself to meet them?

“ He would not openly own his fears and jealousies; it would be his disgrace to let the wise men know them, and dangerous to let the people know them. “  {Mathew Henry Commentary}

“Pretending to be as devout as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when the birth-announcement star appeared. “ {Matthew 2:7}

Herod pretends to be something he’s not.  We know he can be a cruel man from history. Matthew tells us he’s not above pretending, acting or treachery to get what he wants. His goal is to discover where the star appeared and where this child can be found.

“All this might look suspicious, if he had not covered it with a show of religion: that I may come and worship him also.” {Mathew Henry Commentary}

Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem, and said, “Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I’ll join you at once in your worship.” {Matthew 2:8}

Herod commands them to go to Bethlehem and leave no stone unturned. He wants to know where the child is as soon as they find them.  He claims he wants to come and worship the child with them. However, we know Herod’s character and the violence he is capable of.  Worshipping the child is the last thing on his mind.

“See how strangely he was befooled and infatuated in this, that he trusted it with the wise men, and did not choose some other managers, that would have been true to his interests. It was but seven miles from Jerusalem; how easily might he have sent spies to watch the wise men, who might have been as soon there to destroy the child as they to worship him!”  {Mathew Henry Commentary}

“Instructed by the king, they set off.” {Matthew 2:9}

The wise men set off with a destination in mind. They are on their way to find the Christ child.

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