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     The talk of a new king concerned Herod.  Being a foreigner in the land of Israel, he knew he was hated by the people he ruled.  His only security was the Romans.  A new prince born in the kingdom would have a stronger claim to the throne.

     Herod suspected that the priests were plotting with the strangers to stir up the people and throw him off the throne by force.  He said nothing of his suspicious, though.  Instead he called the chief priests and scribes to the palace and questioned them about the prophecies in the Scriptures.  He wanted to know what was said about where this Messiah would be born.

     The Jewish teachers and leaders were offended at being questioned by their foreign king ~ especially because of the heathen strangers.  But their lack of interest about finding answers to his questions made Herod angry.  He thought they were trying to hide something from him.  With threats of violence, he forced them to search their prophecies to find answers.

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