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Alexandria was the capital city of Egypt from about 330 BC., taking its name from the Greek king Alexander the Great (see Ancient Empires - Greece). It became one of the greatest of ancient cities, at least partly due to its placement in Bible History - Nineveh (see Ancient Empires - Assyria) and Babylon (see Ancient Empires - Babylon) had fallen, and Rome (see Ancient Empires - Rome) was yet to rise (see also Daniel's Statue). It became a center of power of the The Ptolemies.


Located on The Mediterranean Sea on the western side of The Nile Delta, Alexandria was built to serve as the major Egyptian seaport. Its great lighthouse, which was equivalent in height to a 40 story building, reportedly could seen for about 35 miles / 57 kilometers out to sea, and was counted among the so-called "seven wonders" of the world.

Alexandria was a great center of ancient knowledge and learning. The famous Alexandrian Library had perhaps 700,000 volumes, which were lost after the city was burned by Arab forces in 642 AD.

Alexandria is not mentioned in the Old Testament, since it did not exist during that time. It did however become the home of many thousands of Jews, and later, Christians (most of the first Christians were Jews, who never stopped regarding themselves as Jews - they simply recognized the long-awaited Messiah, while other Jews didn't). The city does receive mention in the New Testament:

"And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake." (Acts 6:8-10 KJV)

"And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the Spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John [see also The Origin of Baptism]." (Acts 18:24-25 KJV)

"And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary. And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia. And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein." (Acts 27:4-6 KJV) (see Paul's Journey To Rome)

Fact Finder: What famous ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament was produced in Alexandria?
See The Septuagint

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