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     Back in Jerusalem, King Herod waited impatiently for the wise men to return.  When they did not, he became suspicious.  It seemed to him that the priests and rabbis who had tried to avoid telling him where the Messiah was to be born had figured out his plans and warned the wise men away.  The longer he waited, the angrier he became.  Finally, he decided that if he could not trick them, he could always use force. 

He could make an example of this baby king and teach the Jews what they could expect if they tried to force him off the throne.

     In a jealous rage, Herod sent soldiers to Bethlehem with orders to kill all children two years of age and under.  The horror and heartbreak in the city of David was the sad fulfillment of prophecy.  ” ‘A voice was heard in Ramah of painful crying and deep sadness:  Rachel crying for her children.  She refused to be comforted, because her children are dead’ ” [Matthew 2:18].

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