The Macedonian-Greco Empire lasted from around 331 BC to 31 BC, which is where this occurs on the Old Testament Timeline with World History. The Bible prophet Daniel foretold the rise of this empire. Daniel was a high ranking Jewish official in Babylon who served King Nebuchadnezzar. One day Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a huge statue with a gold head, arms and chest of silver, belly and thighs of brass and legs of iron. God told Daniel how to interpret the dream, and he revealed to Nebuchadnezzar that the statue represented four kingdoms. God eventually revealed to Daniel that the statue’s brass belly and thighs represented the Macedonian-Greco Empire.
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The Macedonian-Greco Empire was started by King Phillip II and reached its glory during the reign of his son Alexander the Great. Macedonia lies inside of northeastern Greece and when Phillip II ascended the throne he began an expansion campaign. King Phillip II was a military genius, and he created the phalanx regimen. After King Phillip II was assassinated his son Alexander III or Alexander the Great became king. Once King Alexander III took over the throne he continued his father’s plans for conquering the world. King Phillip had successfully subdued most of Greece and few regions outside of this territory. King Alexander III went one step further conquered the world.
King Alexander III defeated many kingdoms and empires such as Persia, Babylon and Egypt. The Jewish people were still under the rule of the Persian Empire around 331 B.C. and when they heard of Alexander the Great they automatically relinquished control of their lands to his power. The Jewish people knew they wouldn’t stand a chance in a battle against Alexander the Great. More importantly the Jewish people realized that Alexander the Great was leading the nation that was spoken about in Daniel’s prophecy. Once Judah was placed under Greco-Macedonian rule, the province was governed by a series of Greek rulers.
King Alexander III was the Macedonian that ruled Jerusalem in 323 B.C. and after he died one of his top generals named Laomedon of Mytilene took control of the province of Judah. This occurred around 323 B.C. A few years later in 320 B.C. Ptolemy I Soter took control of Jerusalem. By 315 B.C., the Antigonid Dynasty manages to gain power in Jerusalem.
In 301 B.C. Ptolemy, 1 Soter recaptures Jerusalem. The Greco-Macedonian Seleucid Empire comes to rule Jerusalem by 200 B.C. The next ruler was Antiochus IV Epiphanes, and he tried to wipe out the Jewish religion. This happened around 175 B.C. and lasted until 160 B.C. The Seleucid Empire was the last group of Greek rulers who governed the area for many years until 87 B.C. when Rome had begun to conquer the known world.
Life for the people living under the Greeks was not hard or out of the ordinary. The province was forced to pay tribute, but the people lived pretty much the same as they did before the arrival of the Greeks. It wasn’t until the time of Antiochus that the people really began to suffer. The rulers of the Seleucid Empire didn’t care for God, and they wanted to eliminate Jewish religion.
The people of Judah rose up to fight against this tyranny, and they managed to keep their religion from being eliminated, but they were not able to rebel forever. The Seleucid Empire had become weak before they had the ability to eliminate the Jewish people. Once this happened, the Romans stepped in and took over Judah.
Daniel 2 Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar dream and before he does God tells him the meaning of the dream. Daniel realizes that the statue that Nebuchadnezzar saw in the dream represented four kingdoms, and the Greeks would be one of them.