The history of the world leaders at the time of Jesus’ birth puts soap operas to shame. Before Herod, two Maccabean brothers were at absolute war with each other as to who would rule Israel and one of them invited Rome into the fight. That is what brought Rome to Israel. They were asked.
Herod from Idumea and son of an ally of one of the brothers married Mariamne the granddaughter of both of the warring brothers. But then one of the warring brothers teamed up with the Parthians who kicked out his brother, the Romans and Herod.
Herod went to Egypt where he teamed up with Anthony and Cleopatra. Anthony then convinced Rome to make Herod king and take back the land. Cleopatra had just wanted Herod to be her general and then she had it out for him. She instigated his neighbor to attack him, hoping he’d be killed.
Herod killed Mariamne’s grandfather because he had a better right to be king then he did. Mariamne now hated Herod but Herod’s mother and sister couldn’t convince him of it. So they told him that she had a nude painting made of herself and sent it to Anthony. Herod flew into a jealous rage and killed her, but then went insane mourning her. A free-for-all ensued amongst his children by his four wives as to who would be his successor. Herod ended up killing some of them too.
After Julius Caesar was killed and there is a major power struggle to find his successor with Anthony and Cleopatra on one side and Caesar’s nephew on the other. Herod’s old alliance with Anthony had soured. So, Herod went to the Julius’s nephew and told him that Anthony used to be a great guy but Cleopatra had ruined him. He was throwing in with him. The nephew became Caesar Augustus and he wanted to make sure Herod’s territory was actually loyal. So he called for a census where people had to pledge their loyalty to him.
All of this chaos, backstabbing, murder and intrigue led to a census that took the Holy Family from Nazareth to Bethlehem where the prophets foretold the Messiah would be born. The powers that be think they rule the world and they do what they will, but God uses all of their plotting and planning to bring about His own plan.
At His passion, the power struggles between the Jewish leaders who are jealous of Jesus and the Roman curator who only wanted to keep the peace brought about the death of Jesus exactly as was prophesied.
Remember this when the world seems to be going insane and out of control. God’s will shall be done. Rome sent Jesus to His place of birth and to His place of death.
#Herod #Census #trcot #tcot
Most historical information is from The War of the Jews by Flavius Josephus