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Alexander the Great and Jerusalem

Alexander the Great was a mighty Macedonian conqueror that visited Jerusalem around 332 BC. which is where this event occurs on the Bible Timeline with World History. When he arrived in the famed city of Jerusalem he was greeted by the Jewish people with respect and awe. The Jewish leaders knew that Alexander of Macedonia had God on his side. King Alexander did not believe in the Lord, but the Jewish people informed him that his kingdom was spoken about in prophecy by Daniel.

Daniel was a high governor in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon around 600 B.C. One night the king had a dream about a statue and only Daniel could tell him the meaning. One part of the statue represented the Greek empire and its mighty conquest under King Alexander. Later in the book of Daniel this prophet had a vision about a leopard with wings and God revealed to him that this was the coming Greek Empire that would descend on the world.

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Before Alexander the Great visited Jerusalem, he had already defeated the mighty empire of Persia in battle. At the time that Persia was defeated by the Greeks, Judah was considered a small and unimportant part of the Persian Empire. So when Alexander conquered the Persians he also took the territories that they controlled.

By the time King Alexander made it to Jerusalem, the people already knew that he was not to be fought against because he had to fulfill God’s prophecy. History or legend claims that when he visited the city of Jerusalem that the Jewish teachers revealed to him the prophecies that were written about his kingdom. They explained to him about Daniel’s dreams and visions pertaining to the rise of a third kingdom that would quickly conquer the world. The Greeks were the third mighty kingdom that would dominate the ancient world.

Alexander_The_Great
Statue of Alexander The Great

Alexander the Great wasn’t as impressed with the Judeans as they were with him. Though he visited their temple and listened to their prophecies he wasn’t awed by the people or culture. Keep in mind that Alexander had a great deal of respect for the peoples he conquered and he also was enthused about the prophecy that he heard from the Jewish people. Other than that Jerusalem didn’t appeal to Alexander the Great or his Greek forces.

He allowed the laws that were established by the Persians to remain in place and he gave the Jews some special privileges such as not paying tribute every seven years. Most of the story of King Alexander’s visit to Jerusalem has been recorded by the ancient Jewish historian Josephus. Though Josephus was a reliable source of information some consider his claims to be far fetched, especially in the case of Alexander the Great. Alexander didn’t stay long in Jerusalem because he was leading his forces to Egypt and once history shows that he had limited interest in conquering Jerusalem.

References:
Daniel 2 Daniel interprets King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and realizes that the Greeks are going to become a major world power.
Daniel 7 Daniel has a vision about four strange beasts and one of them was like a leopard with wings. This particular beast represented Greek Empire.
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3 thoughts on “Alexander the Great and Jerusalem

  1. This timeline looks very interesting. I am considering ordering one for my Sunday School class.

  2. Hey,
    What happen to Alexander dream that he shared with his generals?

    Alexander the great was very interested in what seen and heard..

    1. That God will help Alexander conquer all of Persia.

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