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Wednesday, January 3 2018
The Greek Empire: Alexander's March To India
"An he goat came from the west on the face of the whole Earth ... and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes ... And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king"
Alexander was the king of Macedonia who, by means of the ambitions of his father Philip, became the king of all of the Greek peoples (see The Greek Empire: Alexander Of Macedonia).
Whether Alexander was more ambitious than his father is debatable, but there is no doubt that Alexander far exceeded his father's territorial conquests. Philip made himself the king of all of Greece, while Alexander made himself the king of much of the known world, from Greece, down to Egypt (the city of Alexandria in Egypt is named after him; see the Fact Finder question below) and north Africa, across the tiny land of Israel, over Babylon and Persia, all the way to the borders of India.
Nothing was given to Alexander. He was, despite his relatively young age (he died of natural causes, or an assassination, in his early thirties - the topic of the next lesson in this series), one of the greatest military commanders of all time. Militarily, he truly was Alexander the "great."
Alexander lived in the time between the Old and New Testament records (see The Greek Empire: Between The Testaments). The Holy Bible nevertheless has much to say about Alexander the Great - he is identified in prophecy, long before he was even born, with amazing accuracy as the Greek king who defeated the Persian Empire.
The prophet Daniel was among those of Judah who were taken into exile in Babylon (see The Prophet Daniel: A Child Of The Exile). While there, Daniel witnessed the fall of the Babylonian Empire itself to the Persian Empire (see The Hand Writing On The Wall).
Daniel was further given to see the Greek Empire that would supersede the Persian Empire as the "leader" of the known world. There is no need to interpret the identity of the prophetic ram and the goat because the prophecy itself states who they represent: "the ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia and the rough goat is the king of Grecia" (see also The Medes And Chaldees Prophecies).
"8:1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar [see also The Prophet Daniel: The Hand Writing On The Wall] a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel [see The Prophet Daniel: A Child Of The Exile], after that which appeared unto me at the first. 8:2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.
Exactly has happened, the "he goat came from the west" (Greece is west of Persia) and conquered the empire of Persia. Thereafter, "the he goat waxed very great" but died at the peak of his power. Alexander the Great was that Greek king who died suddenly, in his thirties, without heirs. His empire was thereafter divided up by four of his generals (see A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids).
Two of those dynasties were directly involved in the subsequent history of Jerusalem; the Ptolemies in Egypt, whose eventual fall enabled the rise of the Roman Empire (see The Cleopatra Connection and The Roman Emperors: Augustus) and the Seleucids in Syria. It was a Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, who committed the first "abomination of desolation" - from which the people of Judah, after they took back and cleansed the Temple, originated Hanukkah (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Hanukkah and Israel In History and Prophecy: Hasmonean Judea).
"8:5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. 8:6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. 8:7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. 8:8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven." (Daniel 8:5-8 KJV)
More about those branches of the Greek Empire that succeeded Alexander the Great in the next lesson in this series.
Fact Finder: What major historic city in Egypt was named after Alexander the Great?
This Day In History, January 3
616: Aethelberht I, king of Kent 560-616, died. He issued the first code extant (i.e. a copy of which is still in existence) of Anglo-Saxon laws.
1322: Philip V of France died and was succeeded by his brother, Charles IV.
1496: Leonardo da Vinci tested his "flying machine" (see also Who Was The First To Fly?).
1521: Martin Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X for his opposing the Roman Catholic leadership of the time, not the core doctrines of the Church of Rome. Luther, and most "Protestant" churches ever since, have maintained most of Rome's false and erroneous anti-Biblical teachings (see also Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
1543: Portuguese explorer Juan Cabrillo died. He is regarded as "the conqueror of Central America" and "the discoverer of California."
1857: In France, Sebour, the Archbishop of Paris, was assassinated by a priest.
1919: The Soviet army seized Riga, the capital of Latvia, during the Baltic War of Liberation (1918-1920) in which Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania successfully defended their independence against attacks from both Russia and Germany.
1919: Emir Faisal I of Iraq signed an agreement with Jewish leader Chaim Weizmann for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in "Palestine" and an Arab nation in a large part of the Middle East. Both were later created by means of the British Mandate (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1924: Howard Carter, British Egyptologist, found the sarcophagus of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor.
1925: Benito Mussolini declared himself to be the dictator of Italy (see also Is Iniquity Liberal Or Conservative?).
1932: Martial law was declared in Honduras to stop a revolt by banana workers who had been fired by United Fruit Company.
1946: William Joyce, known as "Lord Haw Haw," who broadcast Nazi propaganda (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) to Britain during the Second World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), was hanged for treason in London.
1956: Fire damaged the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
1961: U.S. President Eisenhower broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba, two years after communist forces led by Fidel Castro overthrew the Mafia and CIA-supported puppet regime of Fulgencio Batista (after which the people of Cuba went from being ruled by a fascist dictator to being ruled by a communist dictator). Despite the political and economic embargo by the U.S., numerous efforts to overthrow and/or assassinate him, as well as being excommunicated by Pope John XXIII on January 3 1962 (exactly a year after Eisenhower broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba), Fidel Castro remained in power through the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. See also When Do Liberals Become Conservatives? and What Did A Father Of Democracy Predict About It?
1967: Jack Ruby (actual name Jacob Rubenstein; the son of Polish-immigrant Jewish parents, he grew up in Chicago where, as a boy, he ran errands for the gangster Al Capone), who shot Lee Harvey Oswald before he could be tried for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, died of cancer at age 56 while in prison.
1977: Apple Computer was incorporated.
1990: In Panama, "disobedient" President Manuel Noriega surrendered to U.S. invasion forces after spending 10 days under siege at the Vatican embassy.
2004: Flash Airlines Flight 604 crashed into the Red Sea. 148 people were killed, making it the deadliest aviation accident in Egyptian history.