Our Borderland: Israel in the Time of Jesus exhibit bridges the gap between the Old and New Testaments and unpacks the world that Jesus was born into, providing helpful context for the people and events of Jesus’ lifetime.
One of the rulers you will meet in this exhibit is Herod the Great. Learn more about him and his reign below.
Herod was an Idumaean (or Edomite), the son of a high official in the Hasmonean government whose family had converted to Judaism. During the dynamic strife that divided the Hasmonean family, Herod was driven from Judea by a usurper. Declared “King of the Jews” by the Roman Senate, he regained control of Jerusalem with the aid of a Roman army and eventually eliminated the Hasmonean family through execution and murder.
Learn more about Herod and his reign in this video:
At the end of his reign, Herod’s fear led to the murder of all male infants in the district of Bethlehem after magi asked about the birth of a competing “King of the Jews.” When Herod contracted a horrific disease and died in Jericho, few mourned his death.
If you want to experience what this time in history might have been like, join us for our Easter Living History Experience April 7–8, 2023, all day at the Creation Museum. Staff and volunteers in accurately recreated costumes will give details on the historical background of Easter and Passover, with breadmaking, a money changer’s area (which has been expanded from last year to include a display on wages and currency exchange), and an expanded soldiers’ display, with the addition of details on Roman justice and punishment—including touching on flogging and crucifixion. One of our exhibit researchers, Levi Sherman, will even be presenting in Legacy Hall both days on the “Roman” garrison of Judaea and the soldiers of the New Testament.