Alexander was born in 356 B.C. and was a King of the Greek kingdom of Macedon from 336 B.C. until his death in 323 B.C. at the age of 32. He is especially known for his conquests of nearly the entire known world in his day. As we shall see from Scripture, he conquered the entire Persian Empire (which was the world empire that preceded his Grecian Empire) and when he died his huge empire was divided into four parts: Syria, Egypt, Macedonia and Asia Minor.

Alexander and his Grecian Empire is spoken of in the book of Daniel. In Daniel chapter 2 King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a great image of a man with a head of GOLD, a breast of SILVER, a belly of BRASS, legs of IRON, and feet of IRON AND CLAY (verses 31-33). In Daniel’s interpretation of the dream (in verses 36-43) he told Nebuchadnezzar that these FOUR METALS illustrated four world kingdoms, with the head of gold representing him and his kingdom followed by three other kingdoms (each one being inferior to the one that it conquered, as pictured by the inferior metals). Daniel himself had a dream (7:1-8) about those same kingdoms depicted as FOUR BEASTS (a LION, a BEAR, a LEOPARD, and a unnamed beast). History confirms that these were indeed the Babylonian, Mede & Persian, Grecian and Roman empires. In Daniel chapter 8 he had a vision about the Persian and Grecian empires except in this vision they are seen as a RAM with two horns (Medes & Persians) and a GOAT with one horn (Grecians). They are named in verses 20-21, “The RAM which you saw, having the TWO HORNS—they are the kings of MEDIA and PERSIA. And the male GOAT is the kingdom of GREECE.”

Now let’s look specifically at Alexander the Great. Let’s read 8:5-8, “And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a NOTABLE HORN between his eyes. Then he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing beside the river, and ran at him with furious power. And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled him; there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand. Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the LARGE HORN WAS BROKEN, and in place of it FOUR NOTABLE ONES came up toward the four winds of heaven.” The “notable horn” is none other than Alexander the Great, the King of the Greek Empire of Macedon. After he had conquered the Mede/Persian Empire he was at the zenith of his power and with no one left to conquer he became depressed and an extreme alcoholic. His addiction led to his untimely death (“the large horn was broken”) and then his large kingdom was divided up between his FOUR GENERALS (“four notable ones”). Daniel also wrote of Alexander and his four generals and their kingdoms in 11:3-4, “Then a MIGHTY KING shall arise, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he has arisen, his kingdom shall be broken up and divided toward the FOUR WINDS of heaven, but not among his posterity nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be uprooted, even for others besides these.” This prophecy was fulfilled to the letter and ungodly men thought this was too incredible to be true, so they tried to assign the date of Daniel’s writings to some time AFTER these events took place.

What do we learn from the sad history of Alexander the Great? We learn that “great men rise quickly to power and fall just as quickly.” They may have had their few “moments of fame,” but unless they come to believe in God as the “Most High God, the King of Heaven” (see Daniel 4:34-37), their names will “go down in infamy.”  (DO)  (561.3)