When Herod realized that the wise men were not returning to him, he became so angry that he gave an order to kill all of the male children in the area of Bethlehem who were two years old and under. The killing of these children fulfilled a prophecy that had been made by Jeremiah many years earlier.
After the death of Herod, an angel came to Joseph in a dream and informed him that it was safe to return to Israel. Upon returning to Israel, Joseph learned that Herod’s son, Archelaus was king in Judea. He was afraid of Archelaus and after God had warned him again, he went into Galilee to Nazareth. This also fulfilled a prophecy that, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
The story is told that Herod was so wicked that he left an order for leading citizens to be executed at his death so there would be mourning instead of celebrating when he died.