Was all Jerusalem disturbed at Jesus’ birth?

Third in a series of short answers to questions about the New Testament

Consider Matt. 2:3-4: When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. So he assembled all the chief priests and  scribes of the people and asked them where the  Messiah would be born.

Was everyone in Jerusalem “deeply disturbed” at the news of Jesus’ birth? Matthew uses hyperbole here, as he and other New Testament writers frequently do. His words, however, indicate the impact of Messiah’s coming on the Roman and Jewish leaders, who feared He would upset the status quo. Matthew Henry comments: “[I]t seems, all Jerusalem, except the few there that waited for the consolation of Israel, were troubled with Herod, and were apprehensive of I know not what ill consequences of the birth of this new king, that it would involve them in war, or restrain their lusts; they, for their parts, desired no king but Herod; no, not the Messiah himself.”

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