…and Holy Innocents
…Herod the King, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his own sight,
All young children to slay.
– Lullay, Lullay , the Coventry Carol, sung here by Westminster Cathedral Choir
So to Herod, Herod the Great, ruler of Judea and the all -out baddie of the Christmas story. He may not feature largely ; I wonder if we tend to relegate him to role of pantomime villain, when the reality is far more nuanced. We may not even know definitively if his big scene, the slaughter of the innocents, is truth or myth. Either way, he’s rarely centre stage, yet that chill menace is there in the background. Brrr! The picture I found as I was searching for material for this post fairly gives me the willies.
I’ve realised I don’t actually know very much about Herod. But I’m partway through listening to Beyondering’s Advent podcast, Keeping Herod in Christmas and am looking forward to more insights into the arch-villain of the Nativity narratives. More immediately challenging is Matt and Lucas’s question: Who might the voices of Herod be today?