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Alexander's Empire

Alexander the Great (a photograph of a statue of him is shown below) lived only about 33 years, from 356 to 323 B.C., but during that time he became one of the most successful military commanders in human history. Alexander's tactical genius, front-line bravery, and paradoxically, his often short-tempered recklessness (his troops had to rescue the young king a number of times after he had charged too far ahead of them in battle), enabled him to rapidly overrun a vast region that had been occupied by earlier empires - Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian.

Alexander the Great 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.

The land of Israel 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 conquered by the Assyrians (see The Galilee Captivity) and the Babylonians (see Why Babylon?), and then the Persians who were defeated by Alexander's Greeks.

Alexander's influence had long-lasting effects. The Greek culture and language pervaded the region for centuries afterward. The New Testament was written in Greek.

The Greek Empire

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.

Fact Finder: Where is Alexander's empire described in Bible prophecy?
See Nebuchadnezzar's Dream


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