Friday, March 14, 2014

Amazing Fulfillment of Biblical Prophecies on Alexander the Great

Christians turn to the Bible for moral and spiritual inspirations and guidance. They also refer to it for the study of Biblical histories and of prophecies and their fulfillment especially on Jesus who Christians believe is God’s promised Messiah. Moreover, there are also prophesies on famous persons in history and events that already happened or are expected to come. 

There are chapters and verses in the Bible in the Book of Daniel that some Biblical scholars believe to be prophecies on Alexander the Great, the King of Greece and Macedonia who was born in Pella in 356 BC. The prophet Daniel wrote his book about two centuries before the birth and the reign of Alexander of his empire. Following paragraphs are the Biblical verses (King James Version) and the recorded historical events that fulfilled the prophecies:

Daniel Chapter 8: 1-8

“In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at first. And I saw a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was in 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. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. And as I was considering, behold, a 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. 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. And I saw him come close to the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake the two horns: and there was no power in the ram, to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and he 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.”

Daniel Chapter 8: 19-22 identified the vision’s meaning of the ram and the he goat

And he said, behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which thou saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.”

Above verses hinted that the ram with two horns was the Persian and the Medo-Persian Empire. And the he goat was the succession of Greek Kings that would rule empires in Asia and parts of Europe and Africa. The first horn which represented the first king was believed to be Alexander the Great. That the goat came from the west and came not touching the ground was a figurative interpretation of the geographical location of Greece and Macedonia relative to Persia the former being west from Persia and are separated by sea to Asia. At age 20 Alexander quelled rebellions in Greece and unified the forces of Greece and Macedonia under his control as king. He then launched his campaigns beyond Greece and against the Persian Empire which perennially threatened Greece with invasion. Alexander’s forces defeated King Darius III much numerically superior forces in every battle. The fall of the Persian Empire also went with it her dominions such as Persia, Babylonia, Syria, Israel, Egypt and Asia Minor among others. The Persian Empire, the ram, was completely crushed.  Alexander, considered a highly educated man in his time, he being a student of Aristotle, endeavored to introduce the Greek culture, knowledge and language to his subjects in conquered territories. Greek became the lingua franca of the known ancient world. Despite his success, Alexander would not rest on his laurel. He launched more military campaigns to conquer India. However, his troops were pushed to the limits of their endurance. At the river Hyphasis in northern India his battle-weary troops which comprised Greek, Macedonians and other nationalities from his empire mutinied and refused to go any further. Alexander was forced to capitulate, and together with his troops marched back to Babylon through sea and desert routes. The hostile and difficult terrains back to Babylon took a heavy physical and morale toll to the troops and their king. They suffered many casualties in their march because of disease, hunger and thirst. The troops’ oneness with the king, and their willingness to endure hardship with him showed their loyalty and admiration to him despite their previous misunderstandings. The wounds that Alexander had sustained in battles, his exposures to harsh environments in his campaigns, his years of excessive drinking and the death of Hephaestion, his close friend and confidante might have affected his psychological and physical well being. In Babylon, after a drunken spree, Alexander was suddenly afflicted with fever. And not the best physicians at that time could save him from death. He was just 32 years old. This fulfilled the prophecy that when the he goat waxed very great, and was strong its first horn was broken.   
Daniel Chapter 11:3-4

And the mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.”

Previous verses said of four notable horns to replace the first horn that was between the eyes of the he goat. When he died Alexander left no clear will as to who should replace him when he would be gone. With the power vacuum, his generals promptly fought among themselves to secure a territory from the still undivided empire left by Alexander for them to rule as king and establish their own dynasty. This fulfilled the prophecy that four horns would arise to replace the one that was broken. Alexander’s son, Alexander IV, his wife Roxana, and his mother Olympias fall victims to his generals’ ambitions to rise to power. Alexander’s family was murdered by Cassander who then became the king of Greece and Macedonia. This fulfilled the prophecy that none of Alexander’s heirs would inherit his throne or his empire.