Eyewitness Bible Series is pleased to present the Christmas Series. This series is a collection of ten new episodes designed to be watched on the three Sundays prior to Christmas week, plus the seven days of Christmas week, ending on Christmas day.
The Third Sunday Before Christmas Week: Episode One is narrated by the prophet, Isaiah. He explains how the prophets of the Old Testament foretold the coming of mankind’s savior, Jesus, long before he was born.
The Second Sunday Before Christmas Week: Episode Two is narrated by a Magi, a wise man from the East. He explains why the wise men of Babylon have been looking for a new king of the Jews for the previous several hundred years.
The Seventh Day before Christmas: Episode Three is narrated by Elizabeth, a close relative of Mary. Elizabeth miraculously conceived of John the Baptist, so she was completely prepared for Mary to have a miraculous birth, too.
Herod the Great is one of the most fascinating characters in the Bible, partially because his story plays out against the backdrop of world events. In 63 BC, the expanding reach of Rome was displayed when Pompey the Great captured Jerusalem. A war of rebellion by the Israelites loomed, so in stepped the peacekeepers, including Herod the Great. He was appointed governor of Galilee in 47 BC, and helped keep war at bay while still collecting taxes.
Herod was a friend of Mark Antony, but successfully changed sides to Octavian, who would become Emperor Augustus. In 40 BC, Herod was appointed King of Judea, and ruled as a client king. He would keep that title until his death in about 4 BC.
Herod was known as Herod the Great because of his astounding building projects including the renovation of the Temple and Temple Mount, the creation of the deep-water port Caesarea Maritima, and elaborate palaces at Masada and Herodium.
Herod was known for his brutality and his extreme loyalty to Rome. He died in Jericho, but was buried at his fortress south of Jerusalem, Herodium. Due to a putrefying illness known as “Herod’s Evil,” he lived his final years in a pain so extreme that he attempted suicide. According to the historian, Josephus, Herod was so concerned nobody would mourn his death that he commanded a large group of distinguished Jews be killed at his death so there would be large public displays of grief. This command was, fortunately, not carried out.