by Roger Thomas

A King Is Born: Herod's Story
Roger Thomas
Matthew 2:1-16

Setting: This is King Herod's view of the Christmas events. By all estimates, Herod was a shrewd and cunning politician who ruled his country for thirty-six years with intimidation and fear. He was also a very insecure king. Herod reigned at the pleasure of the Roman Empire that had occupied Israel over fifty years earlier. Our scene is imaginary. The facts are true.

The place: Herod's palace. The time: sometime after Jesus' birth. The occasion: reports have recently spread through the streets of Jerusalem of unbelievable atrocities committed by Herod's personal guard in Bethlehem, a small village south of the city. These reports precipitated a series of near riots in the temple area. The disturbances were easily quelled by the palace guard, but the last confrontation happened just as a delegation commissioned by the Roman senate had arrived to review the king's plans for a new Roman city to be built in Galilee. The Roman Senate has asked the delegation to meet with the king in order to clarify the current political conditions. You are a part of the delegation. The King is about to enter.

Attendant: Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the royal court. In keeping with the request of your superiors and in the spirit of peace and goodwill that has always marked his land, the king has agreed to answer your questions regarding recent events in the villages of Ramah. As is the custom of the court, the king will respond only to the written questions you have submitted in advance.

ALL RISE! I present his royal highness, the Governor of Galilee; Ruler of Coelesyria, Tetrarch of Judea; and by the proclamation of the Honorable Senate of Rome and decree of Emperor Octavius and the consent of Caesar Augustus, the successor to the throne of David-Herod the Great! King of the Jews!!

Herod: Thank you. You may be seated. Please extend my warmest regards to the Honorable Senate of Rome and well as to my good f ...

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