Something I’d never noticed about Herod’s evil intent

It amazes me how I can read something for years and never notice it. This morning, I was reading Taylor Marshall’s The Crucified Rabbi, and noticed something new (to me) in the prophecy Herod’s advisers quoted.

But you, Bethlehem Ephratha, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come one for me who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times (Micah 5:2).

I had only considered the first portion of the prophecy, the portion explicitly quoted in Matthew; I focused upon Herod’s wickedness in the massacre of the Innocents in response to a perceived threat to his rule. Marshall points out What I missed here: this prophecy is a rare Old Testament witness to the pre-existence of the Messiah. This prophecy is notably explicit, and it seems unlikely, then, that Herod’s advisers would have failed to mention the context. This is substantiated by Herod’s false promise to also go and worship when the Magi found the child. Herod “the Great” had attempted to portray himself as open-minded and religiously tolerant, but himself a faithful adherent to Judaism and a patron of the temple-worship system. He would not lightly make an offer to go and worship, even in secret.

Herod almost desired to murder not just a prophesied threat to his rule, but Messiah, and not just one of many “anointed ones”, but the one who existed with God from “ancient times.” Herod almost certainly had as his ambition the very murder of God.

One thought on “Something I’d never noticed about Herod’s evil intent

  1. e Post author

    I didn’t even go into the fact here that many texts are more explicit than Marshall’s translation’s “from ancient times” because of all the arguments about translations and the fact that I’m not qualified to make any real observations here, but most translations and translators would be more explicit than simply “from ancient times” and specify “from eternity.” It is a moot point, really, since being “from ancient times” is more than sufficient to establish that this ruler is no mere mortal man.

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