Glimpses of Israel - Bethlehem, the Birthplace of The King

When the wise men from the East arrived in Jerusalem it was not whom or what they were seeking, but, "Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him." (Matthew 2:2) At the time, Herod was the appointed Roman ruler.

In fear of being overthrown, King Herod was cruel and oppressive. Likewise, aware of Herod's suspicions, the Jewish leaders refrained from any activities that could be misunderstood to be an attempt to dethrone him. Any action or event that would invoke harsh reprisals, or that could inadvertently attract the wrath of Herod were to be avoided at all costs.

Now when news of a rival came – the King of Jews no less – Herod was livid. He knew the Messiah had to come, but did He have to come now, during his reign! Messiah or not, Herod would not stand idly by; he planned to kill the infant King.

Without revealing his evil plan, Herod assembled the only people who knew the birthplace of the Messiah, the Hope of Israel. "And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born." (Matthew 2:4)

Unaware of his plan, the chief priests and scribes thought Herod's inquiry was genuine. With one voice, they answered him by quoting the Prophets, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the one to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting." (Micah 5:2)

It was confirmed, Bethlehem is the birthplace of King Messiah. With gladness and great joy, the wise men from the East journeyed to Bethlehem, where they worshipped the King with gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:9-11)