16 Then, seeing that he had been outwitted by the Magi, Herod was enraged, and he sent to Bethlehem and the vicinity and had killed all the boys who were two years old and under. This was according to the time which he had enquired from the magi.
17 Then was fulfilled the words spoken by Jeremiah the prophet saying;
Bethlehem = house of bread
Jeremiah = whom Jehovah has appointed
Some of the true characteristics of Herod now come to the forefront. If he had no qualms about killing members of his own family, it would be nothing to him to kill babies and little children whom he had nothing to do with. Tyrants often show varying diversities of character, sometimes acting for the immense benefit of their people, while at other times practicing extreme cruelty and inhumane ways towards certain sections of the populations.
Supposing his kingdom to be under threat from the child born King of the Jews, Herod goes into a rage and orders the death of all boys under two.
As always, Satanic attacks are designed to thwart the plans of God. Under such influences Herod had two choices.
1) To be the slave of Satan and do his bidding, which always results in failure. However, to the unbeliever satans’ plans appear more attractive and more likely to bring success.
2) Turn to God, resist the Devil and see him flee.
We do well to pray: ‘and do not allow us to be led into temptation’ – Luke 11.4.
Not only is the birth of Jesus prophesied in the Old Testament, God also spoke through the prophet Jeremiah to announce that the coming salvation of Israel would be accompanied by mourning.
The word of the Lord spoken through the prophets not only declares what will take place, but give those events the stamp of Divine authority.
It is good for us to be familiar with the words that God has said, so that we are not unaware of what God has spoken concerning the things that are yet to be, especially concerning the return of our Lord Jesus.
Many of the prophetic words of the Old Testament are fulfilled in the life and ministry of Jesus. Therefore, we can have confidence that the coming to earth of Jesus as Messiah was in the eternal plan of the Father, predestined before the foundations of the world.
Ephesians. 1:11: in whom we were also chosen beforehand according to the purpose of Him working all things according to the council of His will.