The Timeline of Saint Matthew’s Writings 2 Entries 1 – 3
King Herod almost flung his iPad. He scanned his Facebook timeline and hissed. Again. His brilliant last post had only one like. It greatly disturbed Herod that his subjects did not like his posts. After close to three decades on the throne, he expected his stream of words on leadership to be eagerly lapped up. Instead, they ridiculed him on Facebook and that blasted Twitter.
His subjects did not like him and they let him know. Everyday.
Done with Facebook, Herod opened his Twitter app. He had a message. He ignored it. He scrolled through the tweets of his Commanders to see what they had been doing. Drinking. Fornicating. Lynching. Nothing new. He needed something exciting to happen. A new land to be conquered, a new defiant to be dealt with, a new would-be king to be hunted down.
Finally he opened the message. It was from the Magi from the East. Herod froze as he read.
To: King Herod
Message: Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth
Herod read the message again. And again. The Magi were not loose mouths who seek fame from starting cold fires. Fear massaged his heart as he shakily opened up the Magi twitter homepage. The tweets punched him hard.
Magi: S/O to the #newbornking of the Jews, the #messiah whom the prophets of old spoke of #followthestar #prophecy
Citizen1: What? @Magi, I know you don’t joke, so, what is this #messiah #prophecy all about?
Citizen2: Hell yeah! That @herodthegreat dude is outta here. But I doubt if he’d leave without a fight. Heads will roll it seems #messiah
Citizen3: No! Something terrible will happen. I’m scared
Citizen4: @Magi, what is this? Please keep you nonsense to yourself. Don’t spoil our market. Foolish wise people.
Citizen5: Wow. Na to get Egypt visa oo ‘cos if this is true then there is trouble already. @Citizen2, let’s get out of this joint sharply
Citizen7: @herodthegreat please don’t mind @Magi. Na wash
Citizen8: Guys relax. @herodthegreat won’t allow a so called messiah to come and upsurge him. Chill. Stop being scared cats.
Citizen9: Shit. Just when I got married
Citizen10: @Citizen8, thunder fire you. Go and die
Livid, Herod screamed for his inner caucus to arraign.
The Timeline of Saint Matthew’s Writings 2 Entries 4 – 8
Everybody sat still in the board room. Herod paced the Royal Conference Room and then suddenly removed his cigar from his mouth, threw it on the floor and stomped it, smearing the rug with ashen soot. The Persian rug. If the Council Members had been stiff, now they were as taut as talking drums.
“I know you already know,” Herod started “of the presumed existence of this so called king of the Jews” He spat. Again on the Persian. “I did a bit of research since none of you nincompoops deemed it necessary to bring this to my attention afore now and I saw that he will be called Christ.”
Herod paused for effect and when he got none he raged “Are you shitting me? Christ? Anointed? Really?” Herod resumed pacing like a caged lion. Then in a fit he picked up his 50lbs executive chair and slammed it on the floor, shattering the rollers and denting the rug. The Persian rug was doomed. “Now,” he said icily “before I melt you all in boiling oil, someone tell me where this ‘Christ’ will be born?”
Nobody moved. Nobody itched. Nobody breathed.
“I am the messiah here. I gave you your life when I allowed you work in the palace, for the Great King, and I can very much take it if the sun is smiling down on me at an angle I find offensive.” Herod was visibly shaking. “So if somebody doesn’t start talking by the count of 10, I will start offing you lots one by one starting from the person with the biggest nose. One. Two. Eight. Nine.”
Everybody’s hands shot up. Nobody needed to know whose nose was the biggest. Herod did not bother picking a speaker. He merely shifted his gaze to his chair, willing it to get up.
“O great king” an elderly scribe said “there is an ancient prophecy of the times of Prophet Micah. He declared then that Bethlehem Ephratah be not perturbed as to the sights that it be the least of the tribes of Judah. He declared that they should rest easy for they shall produce He who shall rule.”
“You old goat. Rule where?”
“Israel, O great king”
“Who did this prophet represent?”
There was a slight pause, and then a small voice said “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”
The silence descended like rain. Herod staggered and leaned on the large polished oak wood table. Prophecy. A prophecy was only as good as the one who gave it. That’s why he knew he couldn’t fight…Herod shook his head driving away all pessimistic thoughts.
He dismissed his Council in disgust. His hand absentmindedly scratched his beard as he formed his plan. Quickly, he called the Magi.
“Hello O great king. After we didn’t get a reply to our DM, we assumed you were preoccupied with other important engagements”
“Don’t talk rubbish dear Magi. Nothing is as important as awareness of the coming messiah” Herod replied flatly.
“You are wise, O great king.”
“So where do the stars point?”
“We currently are following the star O great king. We do not yet know where it leads to. Sometimes a destination is only as lofty as the journey.”
“True” Herod allowed some seconds to pass by. Then he said “Do this one thing for an aged king. Go and search diligently for this child, and when you have found him, bring me word that I myself, the great king Herod, might sojourn and come worship him.”
“You will live long O great king for your humility astounds us Magi. We will do as instructed”
The Timeline of Matthew Writings 2 Entries 2 – 16
King Herod drummed his fingers on the dinner table. His roast lamb and crystal purple wine lay untouched. His eating habits had declined ever since news of the Christ. It is only a baby, he kept muttering to himself. He daily prowled Facebook and Twitter for updates. He lived for only one thing now. Word from the Magi.
He knew the Magi were wise. He just didn’t think they would dodge him. They couldn’t know he planned on killing the Christ, for he had told no one – not even his Council. He wondered if some superior power had gone ahead to warn them. God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
With each passing day, this prophesied King grew stronger. Herod wondered how he would try takeover the throne. Would he be an excellent fighter that will lead the troops to battle against Herod? No, the prophecy said something about the government on his shoulders. OK, so political savvy will be his forte? The more he thought about it, the more Herod realized he had to do something. Anything.
He picked his iPad and searched for any message from Magi for the umpteenth time. There was none. He looked at the date of the last message from the Magi. Two years ago. He hated those damn Magi. Two years. That little mole was roughly two years of age. If Herod did not act now, soon the baby would be five, then twenty. No way.
Herod called in his commanders.
When they had filed in, he surveyed them. What he was about to ask was dire. Hesitation would be severely punished.
“Who do you work for?” Herod growled
“The great king Herod O great king” they chorused
“What instructions do you follow?”
“The last instructions O great king” they chorused
“What was your last instruction?”
“To watch over the city and ensure no one thinks, acts, or talks of revolts O great king” they chorused
“How successful have you been?”
“We have had a 100% success rate O great king”
“Who do you live to please?”
“The great king Herod O great king” they chorused
“Who do you work for?”
“The great king Herod, O great king” they chorused. If they were perplexed by now, they did their best not to show it.
“Now I give you your new order. Go into Bethlehem and slay all children that are two years and younger.”
There was a chorus of silence.
“Is there a problem?” Herod said in a soft bored voice.
“No O great king” they chorused.
“Good, now get going”
The men scuttled along in as orderly a manner that they could muster. Herod sat back and relaxed. His knew his plan would work.
The Timeline of Matthew Writings 2 Entries 17 – 18
King Herod peered at his iPad. Historians would write about this victory. He opened up his Twitter app and immediately beamed.
Citizen1: No! This is wrong! No!
Citizen2: I knew this would happen. Them @Magi now gone and pissed off @herodthegreat
Citizen3: May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob visit @herodthegreat and destroy his household!
Citizen4: check out this link to see images of the slaughter. Be advised that pictures are gory http://seeterribleslaughterpictures.com
Citizen5: @herodthegreat you will die a horrible death you wretched imbecile.
Citizen6: Ah! @herodthegreat why? My mother’s twins were just slaughtered. Right before her eyes! Why! Why!
Citizen7: Wow! Thank goodness I travelled to Egypt. Omo na to remain here oo. Bastard @herodthegreat your seat is beside devil in hell
Citizen8: But you know logically, if you put yourself in @herodthegreat shoes, this was the only action he could take. Serious guys. Stop hating #longlivetheking
Citizen9: @Citizen8 may you die of flees, bees and boils. A horrible slow death. You are a terrible person. Foolish somebody. Your own no go better.
Citizen10: In order news, the @Magi that instigated this has gone into oblivion.
“O great king”
Herod glanced up and saw one of the scribes standing at the entrance of the room. His eyes returned to the tweets. There were more lamentation, more pictures of slaughtered children and women. He smiled broadly and kept reading until he saw a tweet that made him pause.
So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper the thing whereto I sent it.
“O great king” the Council Member said again
“Yes?” Herod snapped
“I thought you might want to know” he began after bowing “of the originality of your genius strategy”
“Huh? The originality? What does that mean?”
“I thought you might want to know if your strategy was original or not”
“You are losing me. If my strategy was original or not? Of course it was, I thought of it myself.”
“O great king, do not lose patience with me please. I merely seek to enlighten you.”
It shall not return unto me void
“Speak” Herod said a little too loudly
“O great king, your original strategy was not very original. The outcome was already predicted”
“The lamentation of mothers over their dead children”
“Yes O great king. Predicted in the Book of Histories and Ancient Prophecies.”
But it shall accomplish that which I please
Herod felt a dagger of epiphany pierce through his heart. How could he not have known? One simply did not do battle against the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He flicked his wrist, signaling that the conversation was over. Herod took a fresh cigar from his drawer, lit it and puffed. Through the smoke, he saw the end. He was resigned. It would happen, this new King, this Christ, would take over.
Herod the Great knew this Christ King would be as greater than he.
What is your opinion of this retell of the Christmas story? Is this story worth winning the RETELLING THE CHRISTMAS TALE contest? Let us know in a comment below. (PLENTY GIVEAWAYS FOR 3 LUCKY PEOPLE THAT POSTS COMMENTS)