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Timeline of New Testament Events

4 BC

Jesus' Birth

The magi have arrived in Jerusalem, asking about the newborn king of the Jews so that they might locate and worship him. Herod the king became aware of their arrival to the city and their questions. Being ever mindful of any threat to his power, Herod is deeply troubled by the magi’s questions. When Herod was troubled, everyone felt it. So all Jerusalem was troubled with him. Herod might have keenly felt the magi’s claim that there was a king other than him, because he was in fact only “half-Jew.” His father, Antipater, was an Edomite. Even if the magi’s claim was not true, if the expectant people under Herod’s rule put stock in the magi’s words and believed their claim that the King of the Jews was recently born, it could lead to an uprising, and the end of his reign and dynasty. The magi’s unexpected arrival and astonishing announcement that a Jewish King had been born was the talk of Jerusalem. No doubt many were hopeful that this might mean the coming of the Messiah. It did not take much political calculus for Herod to recognize that if he wanted to remain in power, he could not afford to allow these rumors to spread.

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