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HEROD THE GREAT / हेरोद महान



HEROD THE GREAT WAS THE ROMAN- APPOINTED KING OF JUDEA(37-4 BC) AT THE TIME OF JESUS' BIRTH (MATHEW 2:1: LUKE 1:5). HE WAS STRONG MILITARY LEADER, A BRILLIANT POLITICIAN, AND A CRUEL TYRANT, BORN INTO AN IDUMEAN (EDOMITE) FAMILY WITH LINKS TO THE ROMANS,HE ROSE TO POWER BY GAINING ROMAN FAVOR AND RETAINED IT BY CRUELLY SUPPRESSING HIS OPPONENT. HEROD WAS KNOWN FOR HIS LARGE BUILDING PROJECTS, ESPECIALLY HIS MAGNIFICENT RECONSTRUCTION OF THE JEWISH TEMPLE IN JERUSALEM, BEGUN 20~19 BC. HEROD EARNED THE TITLE "THE GREAT" BECAUSE OF IS REPUTATION AS A GREAT BUILDER. HE WAS THE ONE WHO BUILT CAESAREA AND MADE IT THE ROMAN HEADQUARTERS IN PALESTINE.

HEROD THE GREAT WAS ALSO KNOWN FOR HIS FAMILY TROUBLES AND HIS BRUTAL TREATMENT OF THOSE WHO OPPOSED HIM OR WHOM HE CONSIDERED THREATS. HE MURDERED TWO OF HIS WIVES AND THREE OF HIS OWN SONS WHEN HE SUSPECTED THEM OF PLOTTING AGAINST HIM. CAESAR AUGUSTUS ONCE SAID THAT HE WOULD RATHER BE HEROD'S SWINE THAT HIS SON (A PLAY ON WORDS IN GREEK SINCE THE TWO WORDS SOUND ALIKE-HUS, HUIOS). WHEN JESUS WAS BORN TOWARD THE END OF HEROD'S REIGN AND HEROD HEARD HIM REFERRED TO AS A FUTURE "KING".HEROD ATTEMPTED TO HAVE HIM KILLED ALSO. UNABLE TO LOCATE THE BOY, HEROD THEN ORDERED THE MASSACRE OF ALL THE BOYS LESS THEN TWO YEARS OLD IN THE BETHLEHEM AREA (MATHEW 2:1-20)-AN ACT OF HIS RUTHLESSNESS AND PARANOIA.

THOUGH HEROD GAINED THE TITLE "KING OF THE JEWS", THE JEWISH PEOPLE NEVER ACCEPTED HIM AS A LEGITIMATE KING BECAUSE HE WAS NOT FROM THE LINE OF DAVID AND BECAUSE HE WAS AN EDOMITE (A DESCENDANT OF ESAU) RATHER THAN A JEW.HIS GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT WAS THE REBUILDING AND BEAUTIFICATION OF THE JERUSALEM TEMPLE, MAKING IT ONE OF THE MOST MAGNIFICENT BUILDINGS IN THE ANCIENT WORLD.

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