Is Alexander the Great mentioned in the Bible?

Though Alexander the Great is not mentioned specifically in the Bible, Daniel and Zechariah both prophesied about the rise of the Macedonian Empire out of Greece. Daniel's prophecies are so direct that some scholars have tried to move his historical lifetime closer to Alexander's to explain their accuracy.

Daniel wrote in the sixth century BC, hundreds of years before Alexander lived. Zechariah wrote between 520 and 470 BC. Alexander was born more than 100 years later, in 356 BC.

Alexander lived only 32 years, but in that time he led armies throughout the known world—from his home in Macedon (Greece), through Persia, Asia Minor, Egypt, and throughout the Mediterranean Sea region. He had no heirs, but his legacy lived on through the establishment of Hellenism—the Greek culture. Greek became the official language in all his conquered areas and Greek culture was required or encouraged in those areas and surrounding regions. For 300 years the Greek influence reigned. In 63 BC the Romans conquered Jerusalem.

Daniel and Zechariah's Prophesies:

Now, back to Daniel's prophesy. In Daniel 2, Daniel interprets King Nebuchadnezzar's dream, saying there would be four empires to rule the known world. History records the Babylonian (King Nebuchadnezzar's current rule), Medo-Persian, Greek, then Roman empires.

The Medo-Persian empire overtook the Babylonian empire in 539 BC. Daniel received a vision of the Medo-Persian empire's destruction. God names the Med0-Persian and Greek empires in Daniel 8:20–21 and 10:20—11:4. In Chapter 8 a ram with two horns represents the Medes and Persians. The Greeks are represented by the goat with one horn (one king, Alexander) which came from the west. The goat kills the two-horned ram, but its single horn is broken off at his greatest time. Alexander, of course, died young at the height of his power. The goat's horn is replaced with four horns. Daniel prophesies that the great king's kingdom would be broken into four parts (also Daniel 11:4). This is precisely what happened to Alexander's kingdom.

God used Daniel to tell the future about Alexander the Great. He also told Daniel that the Israelites would return to the Promised Land, which happened during the time of Nehemiah and Ezra.

Zechariah tells, in Chapter 9 and beyond, the path Alexander would take through Syria. He prophesies that Alexander would not harm Jerusalem and history tells us that Alexander recalled a dream as he marched to Jerusalem. He stopped his army and went with the priests to the temple to offer gifts. He treated the Jews with kindness.

While Alexander the Great is not mentioned in the Bible, it is clear that God gave visions of the future to His prophets that included the influence of Alexander the Great. Earthly kingdoms come to power and are overtaken, but it is God who holds the future in His hands and His Word stands.


Related Truth:

Antiochus Epiphanes – Who was he?

Philo of Alexandria – Who was he?

Flavius Josephus – Who was he?

Can we trust biblical prophecy? Does biblical prophecy really predict the future?

What is the diaspora?


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