Surely this was one of the most brutal massacres of the Bible, if not in raw numbers, in terms of its victims. Only the most corrupted form of evil could lead a state to summarily execute innocent children. Why did the people not resist?
Perhaps because resistance was impossible. The Roman governor could do all within his power to keep a region under rule. Likely no political appeal was availably to the Bethlehemites. Certainly they could not withstand the power of Rome’s military superiority. Perhaps resistance would have increased the pain, with additional deaths as Herod’s way of suppressing dissent. Losing the infants was terrible enough-it would have been even worse exposing other children and adults to the slaughter.
Altogether, this incident explains the hatred of most Jewish people toward Rome. Though the Jewish leadership, who shared in Rome’s privileges, was willing to work with the occupying nation, the average person was eager to find a political solution, longing for a Messiah to deliver them from Rome’s grasp.
MATTHEW 2:16 – 16. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.