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Bible Dictionaries
Alexander the Great

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

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ALEXANDER THE GREAT . A Jewish tradition, reported by Josephus and the Talmud, relates that whilst the renowned Macedonian conqueror was besieging Tyre (b.c. 333), rival embassies from the Jews and the Samaritans solicited his protection. At the close of the siege he set out for Jerusalem, and was met outside by the entire population, with the high priest at their head. Recognizing the latter as the person who had appeared to him in a dream and promised him victory, the king prostrated himself. He then entered the city, offered sacrifice, was shown the passages in Daniel relating to himself, granted the people unmolested use of their customs, promised to befriend their eastern settlements, and welcomed Jews to his army ( Ant . XI. viii.). The objections to this story are: (1) that although there are references to Alexander and his successors in Daniel ( Daniel 2:40 ff., Daniel 7:7; Daniel 8:5; Daniel 8:8; Daniel 8:21; Daniel 11:3 f.), they were not written till the 2nd cent. b.c.; and (2) that the accounts given by Arrian and Curtius do not mention these events. It is also most likely that when Josephus declares that Alexander gave to the Jews in Alexandria equal privileges with the Macedonians ( c. Ap. ii. 4), he is anticipating by some years what happened under the Ptolemys.

The deep impression made by Alexander’s successes is evinced by the numerous legends connected with his name in later Jewish literature. But his real importance to the Biblical student consists in this he brought the Jews into contact with Greek literature and life.

J. Taylor.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Alexander the Great'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​hdb/​a/alexander-the-great.html. 1909.
 
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