His reach is infinite. His power is unplumbed. Yet he sends idiots to my kingdom. He has maneuvered sheep in the Senate. He has appeased dogs with his games. Yet, has he conquered the sea itself? Has he pushed it back to reveal a masterpiece, a miracle, a monument? No. But, I will give Caesarea to Caesar. Has he raised water to the highest desert and gazed over his land from another wonder built from my mind? An entire palace, fully gardened, raised from the sand. I am a genius. I am to be praised. I am to be honored. A great man and seen to be great. My Temple. My Temple will be wondrous, then they will love me because I will give them what Solomon could not.
My wife. My children. They plot. They sneak. They hate. I hear their voices behind the walls. They think that I am old, senile, sick and dessicated. I see their thoughts. I know their wills. I am great and seen to be great. They will die soon enough. There will be death and wailing at my death. A city full of mourners. Soon enough.
And now, gods spare me, another king! As if Rome were not onerous enough. As if the Macabees were not martyrs enough. As if the moronic zealots, the pathetic Pharisees, the preening priests were not enough. Now some sleek, blathering astronomers from some ridiculous, pathetic, gentile religion tell me that there is a king in Bethlehem. But, they do not know with whom they speak. I am great and seen to be great. I hear their minds. A small child in Bethlehem. This is not complicated. I make sure that the commander has it certain in his mind that if even one small child remains alive in Bethlehem, that would assuredly not be the case in his own household. Slay them. Each small child. Tomorrow.
A child king? Bethlehem? It is a passing trifle. I am great and seen to be great.