Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth…
The great desirableness of reading Scripture and nature alike, observant of the facts of each, refusing to disguise the facts of either, attentively following them as far as may be possible, and, if this be not far enough to conduct to the vindication of the facts themselves, reverently storing them, as the things that await explanation. Therefore -
I. THE ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT THE PRESENT SAVING FROM DANGER OF THIS ONE LIFE, THE LIFE OF JESUS, WAS, IN LITERAL TRUTH, THE INVOLVING IN DESTRUCTION A LARGE NUMBER OF OTHER LIVES INNOCENT AS THE LIGHT, AND THE CAUSING OF INFINITE GRIEF AND WAILING TO MANY, MANY MOTHERS.
II. ALLOW FULLY THE FACT THAT GOD KNEW THIS, FOREKNEW IT, AND PERMITTED IT.
III. RECALL THE FACT THAT THE ACT OF GOD IN THIS MATTER CAME FIRST; THAT IT WAS IN ITSELF A RIGHT ACT, NAY, WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES PRESENT; WHILE HEROD'S PASSION AND MOST CRIMINAL DEED CAME AFTERWARD, SECOND IN THE SERIES, AND WERE INTRINSICALLY AND IN EVERY WAY UNJUSTIFIABLE.
IV. SHOW THAT ALL WHICH IS HERE RECORDED AS TAKING PLACE AMOUNTS TO A VERY VIVID DEED-PAINTING OF VERY, VERY MUCH WITH WHICH WE ALL ARE BUT TOO FAMILIAR IN HUMAN LIFE. BY THOSE WHO CANNOT FORESEE, FOREKNOW, THE RIGHT AND THE GOOD ARE TO BE DONE, MUST AND SHALL BE DONE; AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CONSEQUENCES RESTS ELSEWHERE, WHEREVER THAT ELSEWHERE MAY BE.
V. POINT OUT THE SLIGHT CLUE THAT THIS PASSAGE AFFORDS TO THE PROBABILITY OF A COMING VINDICATION OF THE BITTEREST VICARIOUS SUFFERING, THAT SHOULD SATISFY ALL, AND BE ACQUIESCED IN NOT LEAST BY THE SUFFERERS THEMSELVES. - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
WEB: Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and sent out, and killed all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all the surrounding countryside, from two years old and under, according to the exact time which he had learned from the wise men.