3When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
3 Verse 3. When Herod-heard these things, he was troubled]
Herod's consternation was probably occasioned by the agreement of
the account of the magi, with an opinion predominant throughout
the east, and particularly in Judea, that some great personage
would soon make his appearance, for the deliverance of Israel from
their enemies; and would take upon himself universal empire.
SUETONIUS and TACITUS, two Roman historians, mention this. Their
words are very remarkable:-
\@Percrebuerat Oriente toto, vetus et constans opinio, esse in
fatis, ut eo tempore Judaea profecti rerum potirentur. Id de
imperatare Romano, quantum eventu postea predictum patuit, Judaei
ad se trahentes, rebellarunt\@. SUETON. VESP. "An ancient and
settled persuasion prevailed throughout the east, that the fates
had decreed some to proceed from Judea, who should attain
universal empire. This persuasion, which the event proved to
respect the Roman emperor, the Jews applied to themselves, and
The words of Tacitus are nearly similar:-
\@Pluribus persuasio inerat, antiquis sacerdotum literis
contineri, eo ipso tempore fore, ut valesceret Oriens, profectique
Judaea rerum potirentur. Quae ambages Vespasianum ac Titum
"Many were persuaded, that it was contained in the ancient books
of their priests, that at that very time the east should prevail:
and that some should proceed from Judea and possess the dominion.
It was Vespasian and Titus that these ambiguous prophecies
predicted." Histor. v.