The Slaughter of the Children

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. – Matthew 2:16-18

We often read in Scripture how the wicked mock the followers of Christ. In this case, the wise men are obedient to God and Herod thinks they are mocking him!

This horrible event was prophesied by Jeremiah several hundred years prior.

Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. – Jeremiah 31:15

This mass murder was one of the darkest events ever recorded in human history. And lest anyone think God allowed this to happen so that He could bring a greater good from it, consider this. Within a year of this slaughter, Herod dies of what was apparently a chronic kidney disease that turned into gangrene in his entire lower bowel. He had necrosis (dying tissue disease) of the internal organs and muscles. He literally died in excreting pain from this inside out! God was not pleased with this sin, and He had no intention of “using it” to a greater good. Herod’s horrible death shows the judgment of God against this sin!

So what became of these poor children whose lives were cut so short?

Jeremiah tell us.

Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border. – Jeremiah 31:16-17

God assures them, and us, that every single one of these murdered little children went immediately to glory. They could not come back to the physical land of Israel (own border) because they were dead, but they will stand in the resurrection in the new Jerusalem for all eternity!

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