Fortress palace of Herod the Great
Herod the Great was proclaimed King of Judea by the Roman Senate in 39 BC. However, he came to power only two years later at the end of a bloody war in which his Roman forces massacred women, children and the aged, and nearly destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple. This stamp of cruelty, the hallmark of Herod’s reign, gives authenticity to Matthew’s account of the Slaughter of the Innocent Children of Bethlehem, even though it is not mentioned in any other historical source.
Paranoid, afraid of attack from both without and from within, Herod built a series of fortified palaces. In 20 BC he began work on Herodion, a twelve and a half acre fortress that overlooks the Judean Desert on one side and Bethlehem on the other.
When Herod died after a 35 year reign, an angel again appeared to Joseph telling him it was safe to return to Israel, Matthew 2:19-21. The Herod mentioned later in the Scriptures is his second son Herod Antipas, who became ruler of the Galilee, including Nazareth.
This page is part of the book The Holy Land of JesusShare this page with your friends
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