Alexander the Great in the Bible

The period of Alexander the Great occurred “between the testaments,” that is, during the historical period between the Old Testament book writings and the New Testament book writings in the Bible. When we leave off the Old Testament, the Medo-Persian Empire is in charge of the world, having conquered it from Babylon (the first world empire). When we pick things up again in the New Testament a few hundred years later, the Roman Empire has taken over the world and is in control of the Palestine area. In between these kingdoms came the Grecian empire under Alexander the Great. It was a time of empires; King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had apparently made conquering the world fashionable.  

There is no historical account of the Grecian Empire recorded in the pages of scripture. However, there is a remarkably accurate prophecy given in the book of Daniel about Alexander the Great and his conquering empire. In fact, Daniel accurately foretold prophesies about all four world-conquering empires, plus one that is yet to come.

There is one other prophecy in the Bible that was fulfilled by the Grecian empire, and that is found in Ezekiel 26:12-14. Ezekiel chapters 26 through 28 are about the coming destruction of the coastal nation of Tyre, most of it specifically pertaining to the Babylonian conquest which occurred under Nebuchadnezzar.

Once a thriving center of world trade, God said that Tyre would become desolate as a result of His coming judgment, and be a place where fishermen would dry their nets on the rocks – which is exactly what it is today! Starting in verse 7 of chapter 26 Ezekiel writes about Nebuchadnezzar and what “he” will do. However, Nebuchadnezzar was unable to conquer the island fortress off the coast and thus only destroyed the coastal city. It was rebuilt afterwards. It was Alexander the Great who finally razed it all to the ground. He quite brilliantly built a causeway out to the island fortress by using the rubble from the destroyed coastal city. This is why in verse 12 of Ezekiel 26 it suddenly switches from referring to “he” to referring to “they.”  It was the Greeks under Alexander the Great who permanently vanquished the nation of Tyre, including the island fortress, fulfilling the prophecy. National Geographic did a special about this a few years ago and coincidentally included a picture of modern-day fishermen drying their nets on the rocks!

The Daniel prophecies about Alexander the Great are no less remarkable. The first of these is found in chapter 2 of Daniel, when the prophet is called before Nebuchadnezzar to interpret his dream of a great statue with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet made of a mixture of iron and clay. The interpretation was of all the world empires that were to be, the first being Babylon which was already in place. They would be followed by the Medo-Persian empire who were the chest and arms of silver, then the Grecian empire (under Alexander the Great) who were the belly and thighs of brass, then the Roman empire who were the legs of iron, and then the final empire which is yet to come who are the feet of iron and clay (which will likely be a weaker reforming of some sort of resemblance of the Roman Empire, probably a ten-member European Union). In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream a rock came and struck the feet of the statue, which destroyed it entirely, and then the rock grew into a mountain.

All of that came to pass, except of course for the last world empire of iron and clay which will be struck by the rock. The rock is Jesus Christ who will destroy the last world empire at his second coming, and then set up his own kingdom upon the earth. The era in which we live is a parenthetical one, inserted between the Roman Empire and the last world empire. World empires are on hold while the church is here manifesting the Holy Spirit upon the earth. After we are raptured, the Anti-Christ will emerge on the scene and be the “big toe” of the last world empire. I find it very interesting that the Grecian empire was represented by a belly and thighs of brass on the statue, when the Greeks were known to be workers of brass and used it extensively in their shields and armor.

In chapter 8 of Daniel there is another prophecy of Alexander the Great, this one specific about the man himself and not just about his kingdom and conquering’s.  Daniel has his own dream in this chapter, where a strong ram with two horns is killed and trampled by a goat with one horn, whose horn then split open and formed four horns. The angel Gabriel shows up to explain the dream, and in Daniel 8:20-22 the part about Alexander the Great is given. He is the goat, who conquers the world away from the Medes and Persians, who are the two-horned ram. Here again it is very interesting that the Greeks under Alexander used an image of a goat as a national symbol. But the really amazing thing is that Alexander died at the end of his world conquest and four of his generals rose up in his place to divide up the world between them. Just as the Bible said they would.

These prophecies in Ezekiel and Daniel are so uncannily accurate that in order to deny the truth of scripture you would have to call the books fakes, and say they were written after the events of the prophecies, not before. And of course, that is exactly what Bible critics do, regardless of the fact that these books have more or less been proven to be from the time periods that they claim to be written in. That doesn’t matter to non-believers. God could stand before them and say, “Here I am” and they would find a way not to believe. Non-belief is never satisfied.

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