Friday, 24 October 2014
The Mind Behind the Gospels,
Herbert Basser, Academic Studies Press, 2009, page 51
Commenting on Matthew 2:2-3, decribing the arrival of the Magi in Jerusalem to look for the Messiah who was born "king of the Jews", Basser shows how distrss and tension spread.
The Jews of Jerusalem were in distress because the times were indecisive. The Jews knew something ominous was afoot but they did know what. A king in distress meant trouble. Herod was in distress because he did not know if his plan to find Jesus would succeed. The Jews were made nervous because of Herod's obvious displeasure; though they could not account for it, they nevertheless intuited that something terrible was about to come of it ... Did Herod issue orange alerts, or close off entry into Jerusalem, or show his anger in ruthless ways as was his habit? The narrator tells us only that he was distressed because he had just been informed that a rival to his throne has just been born and because the Jews of Jerusalem sensed his distress, they were distressed too.