(Al·ex·anʹder) [man’s defender].
1. Alexander the Great, son of Phillip II of Macedonia and his wife Olympias, born in Pella about October 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.—Dan. 8:5-7, 20, 21.
Ascending the throne following the assassination of his father, Alexander, two years later when in his early twenties, set out to conquer the world. (Dan. 8:5) This dashing young military strategist deployed his comparatively small army in deep-ranked phalanx formation, a tactic introduced by his father and which he developed to a high degree of efficiency. Rather than 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. (Ezek. 26:4, 12) It is, therefore, quite significant that Alexander took the rubble of the old mainland city destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar some years before and built with it a half-mile (.8 kilometer) 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 (if we are to believe Josephus) the high priest showed Alexander 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 Septuagint version was made. Looking eastward, Alexander returned from Egypt through Palestine, and with 47,000 men overpowered a reorganized Persian army of 1,000,000 near Gaugamela. In quick succession Darius III was murdered by one-time friends, Babylon surrendered, and Alexander pushed on to secure Susa and Persepolis. From there he continued his campaign into India before looking westward again.
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. (Dan. 8:8) Alexander’s ambition to rebuild Babylon failed to materialize not simply because he suddenly died of malarial fever complicated by his reckless living in the prime of life, at thirty-two, in 323 B.C.E.; Jehovah had determined long before 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. (Dan. 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.” (Dan. 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 or koi·neʹ Greek became the international language, hence the latter portion of the Bible was written in koi·neʹ Greek rather than Hebrew.
3. A relative of chief priest Annas present at the trial of Peter and John.—Acts 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.—Acts 19:33, 34.
5. One who, with Hymenaeus, ‘experienced shipwreck concerning his faith,’ and was disfellowshiped because of his blasphemy. (1 Tim. 1:19, 20) Possibly the same as 6, below.
6. The coppersmith against whom Timothy was warned because of inflicting “many injuries” on Paul.—2 Tim. 4:14, 15.