(Al·ex·anʹder) [Defender of Man].
1. Alexander the Great, son of Philip II of Macedonia and his wife Olympias, born at Pella in 356 B.C.E. Although not mentioned by name in the Bible, his rule of the fifth world empire was foretold two centuries before his birth.—Da 8:5-7, 20, 21.
In his early 20’s, two years after ascending the throne following the assassination of his father, Alexander set out to conquer the world. (Da 8:5) This dashing young military strategist deployed his comparatively small army in deep-ranked phalanx formation, a tactic that was introduced by his father and that Alexander developed to a high degree of efficiency.
Instead of pursuing the fleeing Persians after two decisive victories in Asia Minor (the first at the Granicus River; the second on the Plain of Issus, where a great Persian army estimated at half a million met utter defeat), Alexander turned his attention to the island city of Tyre. Centuries earlier it had been foretold that the walls, towers, houses, and the very dust of Tyre would be pitched into the sea. (Eze 26:4, 12) It is, therefore, quite significant that Alexander took the rubble of the mainland city destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar some years before and built with it an 800-m (0.5 mi) causeway out to the island city. The pounding by his navy and engines of war destroyed that proud mistress of the sea in July 332 B.C.E.
Jerusalem, on the other hand, opened its gates in surrender, and according to Josephus (Jewish Antiquities, XI, 337 [viii, 5]), Alexander was shown the book of Daniel’s prophecy, presumably chapter 8, where a mighty Greek king would subdue and conquer the Persian Empire. Thereupon, Alexander spared Jerusalem and pushed S into Egypt, where he was greeted as a deliverer. There he founded the city of Alexandria, the seat of learning where the Greek Septuagint was made. Looking eastward, Alexander returned from Egypt through Palestine, and with 47,000 men, overpowered a vast reorganized Persian army near Gaugamela. In quick succession Darius III was murdered by onetime friends, Babylon surrendered, and Alexander pushed on to secure Susa and Persepolis. From there he continued his campaign into India before looking westward again.
Postconquest Events. Alexander had great plans for rebuilding Babylon and making it his capital, but they were never realized. As Daniel had foretold, he was cut down and broken in death. (Da 8:8) Alexander’s ambition to rebuild Babylon failed to materialize not simply because in 323 B.C.E. at 32, in the prime of life, he suddenly died of malarial fever complicated by his reckless living but because Jehovah had long before determined that Babylon would never be rebuilt.—Jer 50:35-40.
During his short career Alexander married Roxana, the daughter of the conquered Bactrian king, and also Statire, a daughter of the Persian king Darius III. By Roxana he had a son who was named Alexander (Allou). And by a certain Barsine he had an illegitimate son named Heracles (Hercules). However, the prophecy of Daniel had foretold that “not to his posterity” would his empire be left; so it was that all Alexander’s family and heirs were done away with before many years passed. (Da 11:3, 4) Furthermore, it was written: “And that one having been broken, so that there were four that finally stood up instead of it, there are four kingdoms from his nation that will stand up, but not with his power.” (Da 8:22) It was, therefore, no mere historical coincidence that the empire was divided among four of Alexander’s generals: Seleucus Nicator taking Mesopotamia and Syria; Cassander, Macedonia and Greece; Ptolemy Lagus, Egypt and Palestine; and Lysimachus, Thrace and Asia Minor.
Alexander’s conquest left its greatest mark on history by spreading the Greek language and culture far and wide. Common Greek (Koine) became the international language, hence the latter portion of the Bible was written in Koine rather than in Hebrew.
3. A relative of Chief Priest Annas present at the trial of Peter and John.—Ac 4:6.
4. A Jew in Ephesus present when the silversmiths stirred up a riot against Paul. When Alexander attempted to speak to them, the wild mob shouted him down.—Ac 19:33, 34.
5. One who, with Hymenaeus, ‘experienced shipwreck concerning his faith,’ and was disfellowshipped because of his blasphemy. (1Ti 1:19, 20) Possibly the same as No. 6, below.
6. The coppersmith against whom Timothy was warned, because of his inflicting “many injuries” on Paul.—2Ti 4:14, 15.
[Box on page 70]
ALEXANDER THE GREAT AND BIBLE PROPHECY
“A male of the goats . . . proceeded to strike down the ram and to break its two horns.” “The ram that you saw possessing the two horns stands for the kings of Media and Persia. And the hairy he-goat stands for the king of Greece.” (Da 8:5, 7, 20, 21)
After defeating the Medo-Persian forces twice in Asia Minor, Alexander’s army pushed first to the S and then to the E, completely conquering the Medo-Persian Empire
In 332 B.C.E., Alexander used the rubble of the mainland city of Tyre to build a causeway to the island city, which he destroyed
“As soon as it became mighty, the great horn was broken.” (Da 8:8)
In 323 B.C.E., at 32 years of age, he was stricken and died
“Desolate wastes to time indefinite are what [Babylon] will become.” (Jer 51:26)
His grandiose plans to rebuild Babylon as his capital thus failed, and finally its site became a desolate waste
“His kingdom will be broken and be divided . . . but not to his posterity.” (Da 11:4)
Alexander’s heirs were murdered, and the kingdom fell apart
By 301 B.C.E., four of Alexander’s generals had taken over separate sections of the former empire
[Picture on page 71]
Medal bearing what is claimed to be the likeness of Alexander the Great