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This story never held much attraction for me until I saw it recreated a number of years ago on a television mini-series entitled, “Jesus of Nazareth.” The whole series, I thought, was a particularly authentic portrayal of the life of Jesus, but seeing the account of the slaughter of the innocents acted out on the screen was especially gripping and moving. The worried look on the face of Herod when he thought his rule as king would soon be over. His ordering of the massacre in a desperate attempt to secure his position. The calmness of life in a small Judean village, the rumble of hoofbeats from the approaching soldiers, the screams of mothers running for cover with their children, the soldiers spearing and stabbing infants as they carried out their orders, mothers left weeping in the streets, unable to understand why this happened, but very much aware of the grief and pain they were feeling. It was one of the scenes that stands branded upon my memory, made much more real and vivid than those few words Matthew uses to relate the event.

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