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Thursday, January 4 2018
The Greek Empire: Alexander's Horns To The Four Winds
"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"
Alexander the Great of ancient Macedonia (see The Greek Empire: Alexander Of Macedonia) was one of the most successful imperialistic kings all time. At its peak, Alexander's domain extended from Greece, to northern Africa, right across the Middle East to the borders of India (see The Greek Empire: Alexander's March To India).
The Holy Bible described Alexander in amazing detail - before he was even born. The Scriptures describe his military success, his death at a relatively young age with no heirs, and the division of his empire into four major sections - each an becoming an empire in itself.
"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 cholera 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)
With the "world" from Greece to India under his rule, Alexander died in Babylon, in the conquered palace of King Nebuchadnezzar II (see the Fact Finder question below), after a brief illness. Historians, ancient and modern, disagree about the cause. Some believe that it was of natural causes (a fever from some infectious disease, such as malaria and typhoid). Others believe that was an assassination (from poisoned wine). Alexander was 32 years old.
Alexander's body was carried in a great funeral parade from Babylon. The original destination was his native land in Macedonia, but one of his successors who would later rule Egypt, Ptolemy, had the procession diverted to Egypt and placed in a tomb in the city that was then named after him - Alexandria (see also Hometowns: Alexandria).
Exactly as prophesied in the Holy Bible before Alexander was even born, history records that his empire was divided into four major sections - in all four directions from Jerusalem - by four of Alexander's generals. They in turn created their own royal dynasties and empires within those divisions.
Two of those successors have further involvement in Bible history and prophecy - the Seleucid Dynasty in Syria, that brought about the "abomination of desolation" in Jerusalem, and the Ptolemaic Dynasty in Egypt and its famous Cleopatra whose defeat by the Roman general Octavian resulted in the beginning of the Roman Empire at the time of the Messiah's first coming (see The Roman Emperors: Augustus).
More about the Seleucids and the Ptolomies in coming lessons of this series about the Greek Empire.
Fact Finder: What prophecy was given to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon that revealed the Empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome?
This Day In History, January 4
41: The Roman Emperor Caligula was assassinated by Roman politicians and "ambitious" military commanders (see The Roman Emperors: Caligula).
771: Upon the death of his brother Carloman, Charlemagne became the sole ruler of the Frankish Empire - that grew into the so-called "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1493: Christopher Columbus set sail from "America" (all 4 voyages of Columbus actually did not go beyond the islands of the Caribbean Sea) to return to Spain on his first voyage of discovery (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1642: King Charles I of England ordered the arrest of members of Parliament, triggering England's civil war.
1643: Isaac Newton was born. The English physicist and mathematician is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time. His book Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica ("Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy"), which was first published in 1687, laid the foundation for much of modern physics.
Newton also made great contributions to optics (the Newtonian telescope, an excellent design that is still in use today, is named after him; the author's Newtonian telescope is shown in the photograph) and shares credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the invention of the infinitesimal calculus.
1861: The Confederate States of America were formed, first consisting of South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana - in effect, a rebellion against the states that had rebelled against Britain.
1863: During the U.S. Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln ordered General Ulysses Grant to revoke Grant's infamous "General Order Number 11" that expelled all Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky.
1912: The moon made its closest approach to the earth in the 20th century, 438,249 km. / 272,315 miles (see also What Is Unique About Earth's Sun And Moon?).
1944: The British Fifth Army launched an attack upon Monte Cassino, Italy. On the same day, Soviet troops crossed the former Polish border.
1948: Burma withdrew from the British Commonwealth and became independent after more than 100 years of British rule.
1951: During the Korean War, Chinese and North Korean troops captured Seoul, South Korea from United Nations forces (see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).
1974: Richard Nixon refused to deliver evidence subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.
1990: Panamanian President Manuel Noriega surrendered to U.S. invasion forces after taking refuge in the Vatican Embassy. Noriega's diplomatic status (he was a President of a sovereign nation) and prisoner of war rights (Noriega was a military officer in the Panamanian army), according to longstanding laws of civilized nations (including the Geneva Convention), were ignored; he was taken and imprisoned in jails for U.S. common criminals.