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Why can’t we find Herod’s killing of babies in history books?

When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Matthew 2:16

We expect such horrendous acts to appear in the headlines of a country’s history, but that’s not always true. While it’s true that Herod’s slaughter of the innocent babies in Bethlehem does not appear in any historical record, it does not mean it did not happen.

The kings controlled what was recorded and what was not. Herod would never want that information entered into the record.

Also, Bethlehem was a very small town and insignificant. If this had happened in Jerusalem, maybe it would be a different story.

Because Bethlehem was a small town, the number of young boys between 0-2 years old was quite small, say around a couple dozen to at the most 50. Certainly not in the hundreds or thousands. That would be a bigger headline.

Finally, these types of outbursts were not uncommon by Herod. He had his wife and brother in law killed and put his sons on trial, fearing they were trying to kill him. Herod was paranoid and unstable.

As horrible as the slaughter of the innocents was, it could easily slip through history books undetected, except in this Biblical passage.