Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 19 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Branwalator of Jersey
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Which Herod wanted to kill the newborn Jesus?

King Herod the Great

Public Domain

Philip Kosloski - published on 12/26/19

The New Testament can be confusing at times, as there were at least 6 different Herods!

The name Herod is one that is commonly associated with the “slaughter of innocents” that occurs during the first few years of Jesus’ earthly life. However, Herod is mentioned again later in the Gospels as well as in the New Testament letters.

These Herods are not the same, as it was a name taken by at least 6 different rulers of Judea.

The first Herod during Jesus’ life is believed by scholars to refer to “Herod the Great,” who ruled from 37-4 B.C. Most historians date Jesus’ birth between 6 and 4 B.C. to coincide with this Herod’s reign.

It is this Herod who ordered the “slaughter of innocents” mentioned in Matthew 2:16, which was the primary reason why St. Joseph was warned by an angel to take his family into exile, fleeing to Egypt.


MASSACRE OF THE INNOCENTS

Read more:
How many Holy Innocents were killed by King Herod?

After this particular Herod died, a new “Herod” came to rule during Jesus’ childhood, known by historians as Herod Archelaus. It was during his rule that St. Joseph was allowed to return to Israel, but this Herod wasn’t much better and Joseph was warned again to avoid the region of Judea.

But when he heard that Archelaus reigned over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. (Matthew 2:22)

Later on there are many other Herods mentioned in the Gospels and the New Testament. If you would like to better understand these “Herods,” the Biblical Archeological Society has a very instructive Herodian Family Tree that helps identify which Herod did what in the Bible.




Read more:
Herod the Great’s greatest buildings


King Herod the Great

Read more:
King Herod’s footprints show his political cunning

Tags:
BibleChristmas
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
2
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
3
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
Reasons Catholics should read the Bible
4
SAINT RITA CASCIA
Bret Thoman, OFS
Traces of miracles remain at the birthplace of St. Rita of Cascia
5
POPE JOHN PAUL II
Philip Kosloski
St. John Paul II's formula for defeating evil in the world
6
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
'An American Blessed': A documentary to thank God in 2021
7
FORGIVING COUPLE
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.