When the wise men did not return to King Herod to report the baby Jesus' whereabouts as arranged in V 7-8, Herod had all male children under two years old in Bethlehem and surrounding areas killed. He was afraid this new-born King - Jesus - would eventually take his throne (CP V 1-3, 7-8, 11-13, 16). The death of these children fulfilled Jeremiah's prophecy in the Old Testament (CP Jer 31:15). Rachel was the second wife of Jacob, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin. She died giving birth to Benjamin and was buried in Ramah (CP Gen 35:1, 10, 16-19). In Jer 31:15 Rachel represents Israel weeping for the Israelites who were taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon (CP 2Chr 36:10-20 with Jer 26:1-6). Matthew saw Rachel's weeping in Jer 31:15 as having a prophetic application to the Jewish mothers weeping over their children slain by Herod.
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