An Israeli university has announced the discovery of the grave and tomb of Herod the Great, the Roman empire’s “king of the Jews”, in ancient Judea.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem said in a brief statement the discovery was made at Herodium, where Herod’s hilltop fortress palace once stood, some 12 kilometres from the holy city where he had rebuilt and expanded the Jewish Temple.
The university said it would give further details at a news conference later today.
The Gospel of Matthew says Herod ordered the ‘Massacre of the Innocents’, the killing of all young male children in Jesus’s birthplace of Bethlehem, out of fear he would lose his throne to a new “king of the Jews”, whose birth had been related to him by the Magi.
According to Matthew, Joseph and Mary fled with baby Jesus to Egypt to escape the slaughter.
The Roman Senate appointed Herod “king of the Jews” in approximately 40 BC.
According to the ancient Jewish historian Falavius Josephus, Herod died in 4 BC.
Israel’s Haaretz newspaper says on its website that Herod’s tomb was discovered by Hebrew University professor Ehud Netzer, who has conducted archaeological digs at Herodium since 1972.
Mike Aqualina posts on the story in part:
It will be interesting to see if, in a few years, Herod’s decorations can make the grand tour, as did those of Caiphas and Pilate last year. I wonder if he ever dreamed he could spend 2011 in Cleveland.
I think Herod’s the Great bones would be sort of an anti-relic. Though if they do go on tour here in the States I guess these would be relics appropriate for Rudy Giulianii, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and the rest of the Culture of Death Catholics. Though in comparison to them Herod was quite an amateur with his slaughter of the innocents. Considering the number of innocents killed in abortion clinics each day COD enables makes Herod efforts miniscule.