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Holman Bible Dictionary

Alexander the Great

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(al ehx an' drih uh) succeeded his father as king of Macedonia and quickly conquered the Persian empire. Related Old Testament Passages—Daniel 7:6 (leopard Alexander the Great); Daniel 8:8 (broken horn death of Alexander); Daniel 11:3-4 (mighty king Alexander); Zechariah 9:1-8 (Alexander's conquest of Palestine).

Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.) was one of the greatest military leaders in history. His father was Phillip of Macedon, king of a region of Greece known as Macedonia.

Phillip had great plans for his son, Alexander. When Alexander was thirteen years old, his father enrolled him as a student of Aristotle. Aristotle instilled in his brilliant young pupil a love for literature and Greek culture.

When Alexander was twenty years old (336 B.C.), his father was killed, and Alexander became king. This ambitious young king immediately began to make plans to conquer Persia. Persia had extended its empire to Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). In 334 B.C., Alexander led his troops into Asia Minor where they won a series of victories over the Persians.

Alexander the Great continued his victorious military march into Syria and Egypt. From victories there, he led his troops into Persia, Media, and as far east as northern India. He returned to Babylon, where he died in 323 B.C. at the age of thirty-three.

Alexander's most lasting legacy was his spread of Greek culture. Everywhere he went, he tried to instill that culture. While Alexander is never directly named in the Bible, the culture which he brought to Palestine greatly affected the biblical world, especially during the time between the writing of the Old and New Testaments. His empire is one element of the historical background of Daniel. See Greece, Religion and Society of and Alexandria .

Lynn Jones


Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor. Entry for 'Alexander the Great'. Holman Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/a/alexander-the-great.html. 1991.

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