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NEW LIGHT ON THE BIBLE

"THE TOMB OF KING HEROD HAS BEEN FOUND"
Astonishing Archaeological Find Supports Recorded Bible History

Herod - Responsible For the "Slaughter of the Innocents"
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Gerry M. Kaye

An Israeli archaeologist has found the tomb of King Herod, the legendary builder of ancient Jerusalem
and the Holy Land, at a hilltop compound south of the city, the Hebrew University announced.

An Orthodox Jewish man looks at part of the dig at the base of what Israeli archaeologists
say is the site of King Herod's tomb, at the mountain fortress of Herodium,
near the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
                                                                                                         (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)

HERODION, WEST BANK  - The palace of King Herod nestled within the
hilltop fortress of Herodion near the West Bank town of Bethlehem.
                                                                                                            - Photo provided by the Israeli Govt. Press Office

June 3, 2007
The tomb of the infamous King Herod has been found. Herod was not only the legendary builder of ancient Jerusalem and the Holy Land, but also, he was responsible for the Slaughter of the Innocents soon after Jesus was born.

Following a press conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israeli Professor of Archaeology Ehud Netzer said that the tomb of King Herod, famed for expanding the Jewish second temple during his reign in the first century BC, had been discovered in the Israeli occupied West Bank, some 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) south of Jerusalem.

.
"This is significant because of Herod's importance to Christianity and Judaism
and the number of buildings he left behind," - Archaeologist Ehud Netzer

Pillars are seen at the site of the mountain fortress of Herodium, where Israeli archaeologists
say they have found King Herod's tomb near the West Bank town of Hebron, Tuesday, May 8, 2007.
                                                                                                                                                           (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

The tomb, which was discovered after a 35 year search by Ehud Netzer, archaeologist from Hebrew University, is located at a site called Herodium where Herod built two palaces. This flattened hilltop in the Judean Desert is clearly visible from southern Jerusalem.

London's Guardian reports that it has long been assumed by historians and archaeologists that Herod was buried there, but numerous excavations on and around the site had failed to find the tomb that was described by 1st century historian Josephus Flavius. Netzer found it in a previously unexplored area that was located between the two palaces that Herod built on this site.

Herod became the ruler of the Holy Land under the Romans in 37 B.C., and the wall he built around the Old City of Jerusalem still stands today. Herodium was eventually conquered and destroyed by Roman troops in A.D. 71, a year after they destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

The New Testament accuses Herod of the Slaughter of the Innocents. The Gospel According to Matthew recounts the story: Upon learning of the birth of Jesus, King Herod told three wise men to go find the baby so he, too, could worship the newborn king. The wise men, who realized that Herod had evil intentions and wanted to kill Jesus, warned Joseph to flee with his family. When Herod found out that he had been tricked, he ordered what has come to be known as the Slaughter of the Innocents. All boys under the age of two were killed in order to protect Herod from the new king.

Netzer followed a series of clues to locate Herod's mausoleum. He thinks the king originally intended to be buried on his estate, but later changed his mind. Netzer found a wide staircase that ascended the mountain and led to the remains of the mausoleum, which includes a podium and broken remains of the main structure. The sarcophagus or coffin was deliberately destroyed, probably by Jews who rebelled against Rome in 66 A.D. Hundreds of pieces of stone decorated with rosettes that once made up the sarcophagus were scattered around the site. There were no signs of bones. "This is significant because of Herod's importance to Christianity and Judaism and the number of buildings he left behind," Netzer told The Guardian.

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THE TOMB OF KING HEROD HAS BEEN FOUND
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