Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Holy Innocents


Matthew 2:16-18:
Herod perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry; and sending killed all the men children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying: A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation and great mourning; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

Marks Harods act of infacide carried out in a jealous rage on the male children of Bethleham under 2 years old, because he was threatened by the coming of the Christ Child, the new King foretold by the prophets.

This cruel deed of Herod's is not mentioned by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, although he relates quite a number of atrocities committed by the king during the last years of his reign. Macrobius relates that when Augustus heard that amongst the boys of two years and under Herod's own son also had been massacred, he said: "It is better to be Herod's hog , than his son ," alluding to the Jewish law of not eating, and consequently not killing, swine.

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