Infanticide at Bethlehem
Matthew 2:18 NASB
A voice was heard in Ramah,
Weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children;
And she refused to be comforted,
Because they were no more.”
Rachel’s tomb (Genesis 35:19-20) had long been one of the holy places in the land, and it was well known to the inhabitants of Bethlehem because it was near the city (Genesis 35:16; 48:7).
In Jeremiah 31:15, Jeremiah sees in the spirit Rachel, the ancestress of Israel, weeping and lamenting over her children, who have been taken captive.
The lamentations and weeping were heard as far as Ramah on the border between Israel and Judah.
The destruction of the nation of Israel by foreign princes since their captivity culminated in Herod’s murder of the innocent children of Bethlehem.
The infanticide at Bethlehem was the last event of this kind before the revelation of the Messiah (Matthew 3:13ff.) and therefore particularly a fulfillment of Jeremiah 31:15 (cf. Jeremiah 31:16ff.).
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