Thursday, August 20, 2015

Alexander the Great in the Old Testament

Reading the Old Testament book 1 Maccabees, one comes across a great historical figure from the Hellenic world, i.e. Alexander the Great. Here we see him from a different perspective, where he is referred to as proud and arrogant. Nevertheless, even the Bible gives an answer to the current dispute over where Alexander the Great was from and what he represented; was he a Greek or from FYROM? The Bible answers, stating: Alexander enlarged the Greek Empire… We find Alexander the Great in the following biblical passages:

1 Maccabees 1
‘Alexander the Great
1 This history begins when Alexander the Great, son of Philip of Macedonia, marched from Macedonia and attacked Darius, king of Persia and Media. Alexander enlarged the Greek Empire by defeating Darius and seizing his throne. 2 He fought many battles, captured fortified cities, and put the kings of the region to death. 3 As he advanced to the ends of the earth, he plundered many nations; and when he had conquered the world, he became proud and arrogant. 4 By building up a strong army, he dominated whole nations and their rulers, and forced everyone to pay him taxes. 5-7 When Alexander had been emperor for twelve years, he fell ill and realized that he was about to die. He called together his generals, noblemen who had been brought up with him since his early childhood, and he divided his empire, giving a part to each of them. 8 After his death, the generals took control, 9 and each had himself crowned king of his own territory. The descendants of these kings ruled for many generations and brought a great deal of misery on the world.’
1 Maccabees 6
‘The Death of Antiochus the Fourth

6 As King Antiochus the Fourth was passing through Mesopotamia, he heard of a city in Persia, named Elymais, which was famous for its riches in silver and gold. 2 The temple was very rich, containing gold shields, armor, and weapons left there by Alexander, son of King Philip of Macedonia, who was the first to rule the Greek Empire.’

1 comment:

  1. A blog run by my friend M.J. Mann and devoted to Alexander also touched on this subject a while ago in his post Finding Alexander: In the Old Testament. That post has the additional interest, although it is only briefly mentioned at the end and followed up on a bit in a comment below the post, of mentioning that Alexander may have made a less obvious appearance in Daniel.

    Good post, as always, my friend.