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by Wayne Blank
Alexander was the son of King Philip II of Macedon. In 336 B.C., at age 20, he assumed command of the Greek army. After putting down a rebellion in Greece, he began an eastward military campaign that quickly made him the ruler of the earth from Greece to India (see map below), where, according to some accounts, he sat down and wept because he had "run out of world to conquer." He died suddenly at age 33, from an unknown illness.
Israel (see Division Of The Land), including Jerusalem, was also within the territory taken by Alexander, but he did not fight the Israelites to get it. By Alexander's time, the Israelites had been long-ago conquered by the Assyrians and the Babylonians, and then the Persians who were defeated by Alexander's Greeks.
After Alexander's death, his empire was taken over by four of his generals. Syria went to Seluecus and Egypt to Ptolomy (see The Ptolemies and The Seleucids). The land of Israel, situated between them, was first held by Syria, and then by Egypt from 301 B.C., and then back to Syria when Antiochus the Great took it in 198 B.C.
Amazingly, an account of Alexander's conquests, premature death, and succession by four of his generals was recorded in The Bible - over 2 centuries before they happened! The prophecy (see also our Prophecy section), written over 200 years before Alexander was even born, is found in all of Daniel chapter 8. An excerpt of Daniel's vision of "the ram and the goat":
"Then the he-goat magnified himself exceedingly; but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven." (Daniel 8:8 RSV)
Fact Finder: Does the book of Daniel plainly describe a future resurrection of the dead?