Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Herod the Great

This morning my prayer group met at our house because I had DVR'd a show on the National Geographic Channel about the discover of Herod the Great's tomb.  The show visited several of his engineering marvels (Masada, Caesarea, the Temple in Jerusalem), but centered on Herodium -- where he built a fortress palace, as well as his burial site.

I found these some of the most fascinating places in our trip to Israel.  Herod was a paranoid individual -- always afraid that someone was out to kill him.  So he had his wife and two sons killed, as well as countless others he considered to be threats.  He is perhaps best known for the murder of the babies when he heard that a king had been born in Bethlehem (probably about 30 male children would have been killed).

One fact I find interesting is Herod feared there would be no one to mourn  his death.  So as he lay on his death bed, he had 1,000 people arrested in Nazareth, and gave the order that they be killed upon word of his death.  That way, he felt there would be mourning.  Fortunately the order was not carried out.

For all his lunacy, Herod was an engineering genius.  He still baffles experts today as to how he did what he did.         


Anonymous said...

He was an impressive builder. I would really like to see Masada. Commenting on his lunacy, his kids picked up right where he left off.

Josh Ross said...

Very interesting.
I hope that the meeting this morning went well.