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Innocents, Massacre or Slaughter of the

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The slaughter of all male children of two years of age or younger in Bethlehem after the birth of Jesus. Herod the Great ordered the massacre to kill the infant who was prophesied to become king of the Jews (see also Jews). Jesus escaped death because his family fled to Egypt.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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