1. The Great, the famous son and successor of Philip, king of Macedon. He is alluded to in Da 7:6; 8:4-7, under the figures of a leopard with four wings, and a one-horned he-goat, representing the swiftness of his conquests and his great strength. He was appointed by God to destroy the Persian Empire and substitute the Grecian. In the statue seen by Nebuchadnezzar in his dream, Da 2:39, the belly of brass was the emblem of Alexander. He succeeded his father B. C. 336, and within twelve years overran Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, founded Alexandria, conquered the Persians, and penetrated far into the Indies. He died at the age of thirty-two, from the effects of intemperance, and left his vast empire to be divided among his four generals.
2. Son of Simon the Cyrenian, Mr 15:21, apparently one of the more prominent early Christians.
3. One of the council who condemned Peter and John, Ac 4:6.
4. A Jew of Ephesus, who sought in vain to quiet the popular commotion respecting Paul, Ac 4:6.
(1.) A relative of Annas the high priest, present when Peter and John were examined before the Sanhedrim (Ac 4:6).
(2.) A man whose father, Simon the Cyrenian, bore the cross of Christ (Mr 15:21).
(3.) A Jew of Ephesus who took a prominent part in the uproar raised there by the preaching of Paul (Ac 19:33). The Jews put him forward to plead their cause before the mob. It was probably intended that he should show that he and the other Jews had no sympathy with Paul any more than the Ephesians had. It is possible that this man was the same as the following.
(4.) A coppersmith who, with Hymenaeus and others, promulgated certain heresies regarding the resurrection (1Ti 1:19; 2Ti 4:14), and made shipwreck of faith and of a good conscience. Paul excommunicated him (1Ti 1:20; comp. 1Co 5:5).
1. ALEXANDER THE GREAT. Born at Pella, 356 B.C., son of Philip, king of Macedon; not named, but described prophetically: "an he-goat" )symbol of ogility, the Graeco-Macedonian empire) coming from the W. on the face of the whole earth and not touching the ground (implying the incredible swiftness of his conquests); and the goat had A NOTABLE HORN (Alexander) between his eyes, and he came to the ram that had two horns (Media and Persia, the second great world kingdom, the successor of Babylon; under both Daniel prophesied long before the rise of the Macedon-Greek kingdom) standing before the river (at the river Granicus Alexander gained his first victory over Darius Codomanus, 334 B.C.) and ran unto him in the fury of his power, moved with choler against him (on account of the Persian invasions of Greece and cruelties to the Greeks), and smote the ram and broke 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: 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" (Da 8:5-8).
The "he-goat" answers to the "leopard" (Da 7:6) whose "wings" similarly marked the winged rapidity of the Greek conquest of Persia. In 331 B.C. Alexander finally defeated Darius, and in 330 burned Persepolis, the Persian capital. None, not even the million composing the Persian hosts, could deliver the ram, Persia, out of his hand. But "when he was strong, the great horn Alexander was broken." The Graeco-Macedonian empire was in full strength at Alexander's death by fever, the result of drunken excesses, at Babylon. At the time it seemed least likely to fall it was "broken." Alexander's natural brother, Philip Aridaeus, and his two sons Alexander AEgus and Hercules, in 15 months were murdered; "and for it the he-goat came up four notable ones, toward the four winds of heaven": Seleucus in the E. obtained Syria, Babylonia, Mede-Persia; Cassander in the W. Macedon, Thessaly, Greece; Ptolemy in the S. Egypt, Cyprus, etc.; Lysimachus in the N. Thrace, Cappadocia, and the northern regions of Asia Minor.
The" leopard" is smaller than the "lion" (Da 7:4,6); swift (Hab 1:8), cruel (Isa 11:6), springing suddenly on its prey (Ho 13:7). So Alexander, king of a small kingdom, overcame Darius at the head of an empire extending from the AEgean sea to the Indies, and in 12 years attained the rule from the Adriatic to the Ganges. Hence the leopard has four wings, whereas the lion (Babylon) had but two. The "spots" imply the variety of nations incorporated, perhaps also the variability of Alexander's own character, by turns mild and cruel, temperate and drunken and licentious. "Dominion was given to it" by God, not by Alexander's own might; for how unlikely it was that 30,000 men should overthrow hundreds of thousands. Josephus (Ant. 11:8, section 5) says that Alexander meeting the high priest Jaddua (Ne 12:11-22) said that at Dium in Macedonia he had a divine vision so habited, inviting him to Asia and promising him success.
Jaddua met him at Gapha (Mizpeh) at the head of a procession of priests and citizens in white. Alexander at the sight of the linen arrayed priests, and the high priest in blue and gold with the miter and gold plate on his head bearing Jehovah's name, adored it, and embraced him; and having been shown Daniel's prophecies concerning him, he sacrificed to God in the court of the temple, and granted the Jews liberty to live according to their own laws, and freedom from tribute in the sabbatical years. The story is doubted, from its not being alluded to in secular histories: Arrian, Plutarch, Diodorus, Curtius. But their silence may be accounted for, as they notoriously despised the Jews. The main fact is strongly probable. It accords with Alexander's character of believing himself divinely chosen for the great mission of Greece to the civilized world, to join the east and west in a union of equality, with Babylon as the capital.
Many kings of the East met him wearing (linen) fillets (Justin). Jews were in his army. Jews were a strong element in the population of that city which he founded and which still bears his name, Alexandria. The remission of tribute every sabbatical year existed in later times, and the story best explains the privilege. When Aristotle urged him to treat the Greeks as freemen and the Orientals as slaves, he declared that "his mission from God was to be the more fit together and reconciler of the whole world in its several parts." Arrian says: "Alexander was like no other man, and could not have been given to the world without the special interposition of God."
He was the providential instrument of breaking down the barrier wall between kingdom and kingdom, of bringing the contemplative east and the energetic west into mutually beneficial contact. The Greek language, that most perfect medium of human thought, became widely diffused, so that a Greek version of the Old Testament was needed and made (the Septuagint) for the Greek speaking Jews at Alexandria and elsewhere in a succeeding generation; and the fittest lingual vehicle for imparting the New Testament to mankind soon came to be the language generally known by the cultivated of every land. Commerce followed the breaking down of national exclusiveness, and everywhere the Jews had their synagogues for prayer and reading of the Old Testament in the leading cities. preparing the way and the place for the proclamation of the gospel, which rests on the Old Testament, to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles.
2. Son of Simon of Cyrene (Mr 15:21). He and his brother Rufus are spoken of as well known in the Christian church.
3. A kinsman of Annas the high priest (Ac 4:6); supposed the same as Alexander the alabarch (governor of the Jews) at Alexandria, brother of Philo-Judaeus, an ancient friend of the emperor Claudius.
4. A Jew whom the Jews put forward during Demetrius' riot at Ephesus to plead their cause before the mob who suspected that the Jews were joined with the Christians in seeking to overthrow Diana's worship (Ac 19:33). Calvin thought him a convert to Christianity from Judaism, whom the Jews would have sacrificed as a victim to the fury of the rabble.
5. The coppersmith at Ephesus who did Paul much evil. Paul had previously "delivered him to Satan" (the lord of all outside the church) (1Co 5:5; 2Co 12:7), i.e. excommunicated, because he withstood the apostle, and made shipwreck of faith and of good conscience, and even blasphemed, with Hymenaeus. The excommunication often brought with it temporal judgment, as sickness, to bring the excommunicated to repentance (1Ti 1:20; 2Ti 4:14-15).
1. Son of Simon of Cyrene; like his brother Rufus, evidently a well-known man (Mr 15:21 only). 2. One of the high-priestly family (Ac 4:6). 3. The would-he spokesman of the Jews in the riot at Ephesus, which endangered them as well as the Christians (Ac 19:33); not improbably the same as the coppersmith (2Ti 4:14) who did St. Paul 'much evil,' and who was probably an Ephesian Jew; possibly the same as the Alexander of 1Ti 1:20 (see Hymen
1. Son of Simon, the Cyrenian who was compelled to carry the cross of the Lord. Mr 15:21.
2. One of the leaders among the Jews when Peter and John were arrested. Ac 4:6.
3. A Jew at Ephesus who sought to address the crowd in the theatre. Ac 19:33.
4. One in the church who having made shipwreck of faith was by Paul delivered unto Satan that he might learn not to blaspheme. 1Ti 1:20.
5. The coppersmith who did Paul much evil, and of whom Timothy was warned. 2Ti 4:14. He may have been the same as No. 4.
1. Son of Simon the Cyrenian, who was compelled to bear the cross for our Lord.
2. One of the kindred of Annas the high priest.
3. A Jew at Ephesus whom his countrymen put forward during the tumult raised by Demetrius the silversmith,
to plead their cause with the mob.
4. An Ephesian Christian reprobated by St. Paul in
as having, together with one Hymenaeus, put from him faith and a good conscience, and so made shipwreck concerning the faith. This may be the same with
5. Alexander the coppersmith, mentioned by the same apostle,
as having done him many mischiefs.
ALEXANDER, commonly called the Great, son and successor of Philip, king of Macedon, is denoted in the prophecies of Daniel by a leopard with four wings, signifying his great strength, and the unusual rapidity of his conquests, Da 7:6; and by a one-horned he-goat running over the earth so swiftly as not to touch it, attacking a ram with two horns, overthrowing him, and trampling him under foot, without any being able to rescue him, Da 8:4-7. The he-goat prefigured Alexander; the ram, Darius Codomannus, the last of the Persian kings. In the statue beheld by Nebuchadnezzar in his dream, Da 2:39, the belly of brass was the emblem of Alexander. He was appointed by God to destroy the Persian empire, and to substitute in its room the Grecian monarchy.
Alexander succeeded his father Philip, A.M. 3668, and B.C. 336. He was chosen, by the Greeks, general of their troops against the Persians, and entered Asia at the head of thirty-four thousand men, A.M. 3670. In one campaign, he subdued almost all Asia Minor; and afterward defeated, in the narrow passes which led from Syria to Cilicia, the army of Darius, which consisted of four hundred thousand foot, and one hundred thousand horse. Darius fled, and left in the hands of the conqueror, his camp, baggage, children, wife, and mother.
After subduing Syria, Alexander came to Tyre; and the Tyrians refusing him entrance into their city, he besieged it. At the same time he wrote to Jaddus, high priest of the Jews, that he expected to be acknowledged by him, and to receive from him the same submission which had hitherto been paid to the king of Persia. Jaddus refusing to comply under the plea of having sworn fidelity to Darius, Alexander resolved to march against Jerusalem, when he had reduced Tyre. After a long siege, this city was taken and sacked; and Alexander entered Palestine, A.M. 3672, and subjected it to his obedience. As he was marching against Jerusalem, the Jews became greatly alarmed, and had recourse to prayers and sacrifices. The Lord, in a dream, commanded Jaddus to open the gates to the conqueror, and, at the head of his people, dressed in his pontifical ornaments, and attended by the priests in their robes, to advance and meet the Macedonian king. Jaddus obeyed; and Alexander perceiving this company approaching, hastened toward the high priest, whom he saluted. He then adored God, whose name was engraven on a thin plate of gold, worn by the high priest upon his forehead. The kings of Syria who accompanied him, and the great officers about Alexander, could not comprehend the meaning of his conduct. Parmenio alone ventured to ask him why he adored the Jewish high priest; Alexander replied, that he paid this respect to God, and not to the high priest. "For," added he, "whilst I was yet in Macedonia, I saw the God of the Jews, who appeared to me in the same form and dress as the high priest at present, and who encouraged me and commanded me to march boldly into Asia, promising that he would be my guide, and give me the empire of the Persians. As soon, therefore, as I perceived this habit, I recollected the vision, and understood that my undertaking was favoured by God, and that under his protection I might expect prosperity." Having said this, Alexander accompanies Jaddus to Jerusalem, where he offered sacrifices in the temple according to the directions of the high priest. Jaddus is said to have showed him the prophecies of Daniel, in which the destruction of the Persian empire by Alexander is declared. The king was therefore confirmed in his opinion, that God had chosen him to execute this great work. At his departure, Alexander bade the Jews ask of him what they would. The high priest desired only the liberty of living under his government according to their own laws, and an exemption from tribute every seventh year, because in that year the Jews neither tilled their grounds, nor reaped their fruits. With this request Alexander readily complied.
Having left Jerusalem, Alexander visited other cities of Palestine, and was every where received with great testimonies of friendship and submission. The Samaritans who dwelt at Sichem, and were apostates from the Jewish religion, observing how kindly Alexander had treated the Jews, resolved to say that they also were by religion Jews. For it was their practice, when they saw the affairs of the Jews in a prosperous state, to boast that they were descended from Manasseh and Ephraim; but when they thought it their interest to say the contrary, they failed not to affirm, and even to swear, that they were not related to the Jews. They came, therefore, with many demonstrations of joy, to meet Alexander, as far almost as the territories of Jerusalem. Alexander commended their zeal; and the Sichemites entreated him to visit their temple and city. Alexander promised this at his return; but as they petitioned him for the same privileges as the Jews, he asked them if they were Jews. They replied, they were Hebrews, and were called by the Phoenicians, Sichemites. Alexander said that he had granted this exemption only to the Jews, and that at his return he would inquire into the affair, and do them justice.
This prince having conquered Egypt, and regulated it, gave orders for the building of the city of Alexandria, and departed thence, about spring, in pursuit of Darius. Passing through Palestine, he was informed that the Samaritans, in a general insurrection, had killed Andromachus, governor of Syria and Palestine, who had come to Samaria to regulate some affairs. This action greatly incensed Alexander, who loved Andromachus. He therefore commanded all those who were concerned in his murder to be put to death, and the rest to be banished from Samaria; and settled a colony of Macedonians in their room. What remained of their lands he gave to the Jews, and exempted them from the payment of tribute. The Samaritans who escaped this calamity, retired to Sichem, at the foot of mount Gerizim, which afterward became their capital. Lest the eight thousand men of this nation, who were in the service of Alexander, and had accompanied him since the siege of Tyre, if permitted to return to their own country, should renew the spirit of rebellion, he sent them into Thebais, the most remote southern province of Egypt, where he assigned them lands.
Alexander, after defeating Darius in a pitched battle, and subduing all Asia and the Indies with incredible rapidity, gave himself up to intemperance. Having drunk to excess, he fell sick and died, after he had obliged "all the world to be quiet before him," 1 Macc. 1:3. Being sensible that his end was near, he sent for the grandees of his court, and declared that "he gave the empire to the most deserving." Some affirm that he regulated the succession by a will. The author of the first book of Maccabees says, that he divided his kingdom among his generals while he was living, 1 Macc. 1:7. This he might do; or he might express his foresight of what actually took place after his death. It is certain, that a partition was made of Alexander's dominions among the four principal officers of his army, and that the empire which he founded in Asia subsisted for many ages. Alexander died, A.M. 3684, and B.C. 323, in the thirty-third year of his age, and the twelfth of his reign. The above particulars of Alexander are here introduced because, from his invasion of Palestine, the intercourse of the Jews with the Greeks became intimate, and influenced many events of their subsequent history.
On the account above given of the interview between Alexander and the Jewish high priest, by Josephus, many doubts have been cast by critics. But the sudden change of his feelings toward them, and the favour with which the nation was treated by him, render the story not improbable.