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Then HEROD, having called the wisemen secretly,

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inquired with exactness and firmness

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as to the time of the star’s appearance.


After THE SELF-PROCLAIMED HERO had called the wise men secretly to come to him, he interrogated them to determine the time of the star’s appearance.


1: “called the wise men secretly”

The city was already stirred up and Herod did not want bigger problems than he already had. So he had a message sent to them in as secret a way as was possible for them to come to him.


This verb means to inquire of someone with exactness and strictness, striving to deduce the most accurate information possible. It fits perfectly with our word “interrogate.” The concept of exactness is in the verb and relates to the type of action taken, not specifically the result, for there is no guarantee of getting the information one wants. In this case the time of the appearing of the star was the information he was after. We can picture Herod wanting information about the star, and the wise men wanting to go into all the history and all the details of their astrological research, but Herod was focused on one thing only—when it had appeared. This tells us he already had planned to kill the babies of Bethlehem, the only piece missing from his plan was the upper age limit at which he would tell his soldiers to stop the killing.