Bible Prophecy Research
Title: Alexander the Great
Submitted by: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexander the Great
(Dan 11:4 KJV) "And when he shall stand up, his
kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to
his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be
plucked up, even for others beside those."
The following concerning the death of Alexander comes from
-- begin quoted section --
The death of Alexander the Great is still shrouded in
mystery to this day. It seems hard to believe that a 33-year-old man could die of natural
causes that spring up out of the blue, and
consequently, modern historians have made many attempts to explain exactly what happened.
According to Plutarch, the events leading up to his death are as follows:
Alexander proceeded to Babylon, even after receiving word
of several bad omens, such as ravens fighting each other over the city wall with some
falling dead right in front of him, a man
with a deformed liver being sacrificed in the king's honor, and his best lion was kicked
to death by an ass. The god Serapis told a man to put on the king's robes and sit upon the
all served as warnings to Alexander about what may lie in store for him, but they did not
Once in Babylon, he drank heavily at several banquets. One
such banquet was hosted by his friend, Medius. In the Armenian version of the story,
Psuedo-Callisthenes wrote that this banquet was a
conspiracy involving Iollas, Cassander, and others who were unhappy with Alexander. They
gave him poisoned wine, and immediately after drinking it, Alexander felt as if he had
hit in the liver with an arrow." When he tried to throw it back up, he was given a
poisoned feather, which ensured that the poison would reach his blood stream. He proceeded
to get very
sick and his condition deteriorated until his death. Plutarch did not believe this
version, saying the sudden pain Alexander felt after drinking was a detail "with
which certain historians felt
obliged to embellish the occasion, and thus invent a tragic and moving finale to a great
action. Aristobulus tells us that he was seized with a raging fever, that when he became
thirsty he drank
wine which made him delirious."
We will probably never know the truth, even though new
theories are still coming out. We do know that on the 7th of June, 323 BC, the Macedonians
were allowed to file past their leader for the
last time and finally, three days later, he succumbed to the illness. Thus, on June 10,
323 BC, Alexander the Great died at the age of 33.
-- end quoted section --
Apparently the tomb of Alexander, which was in Alexandria
for at least 300 years, has disappeared as well, though there are some rumors as to its
discovery. Nevertheless, his death and burial
still remain a mystery.
"Shortly after his death, Philip, his half-brother;
Alexander II, his legitimate son; and Hercules, his illegitimate son, were all three
murdered and Alexander's four generals took over"
[Wilmington's Guide to the Bible]. Just as Dan 11:4 aluded to so many years earlier, we
see a kingdom divided not to the rightful heirs, but to others. The NASB version uses the
when speaking of Alexander's kingdom being given to others. Interesting indeed.
Update to the death of Alexander the Great
In the October 1998 issue of Discover Magazine a new
diagnosis into the death of Alexander the Great is proposed. According to David Oldach, an
infectious-disease expert at the University of Maryland, and Eugene Borza, a retired
historian from Penn State, Alexander probably died of typhoid fever.
The bacterium, Salmonella typhi, can be contracted by
eating and drinking contaminated food and water. If not treated, it leads to death in
20-30% of its victims.
According to historical records, Alexander suffered
"chills, sweat, exhaustion, extremely high fever, and severe pain." Eventually,
he slipped into a coma and died. Although many infections can produce the same type of
symptoms, the severe pain that Alexander suffered was a major clue to Oldach. If left
untreated, typhoid can perforate the bowel.
Another interesting historical curiosity that Oldach's and
Borza's diagnosis possibly solves is the mention that Alexander's body supposedly did not
begin to decay until several days after his death. In the past, this has been dismissed as
myth or legend. But according to this new theory, this "myth" may be explained
by the presence of a rare complication of typhoid fever called ascending paralysis.
"The paralysis gradually seizes the entire body and depresses breathing." To
observers, Alexander appeared dead, while in all likelihood, he was a coma.
Source: Discover Magazine, October 1998; Vol. 19, Number
10, page 22.
In Daniel 8, the goat is generally believed to
represent Alexander the Great.
"Marching back into Asia, Alexander met a vast army
and was dismayed by their multitudes. His soldiers comforted him: 'Be of good cheer, Sire;
do not fear the great number of the enemy, for
they will not be able to stand the very smell of goat that clings to us."
(Will Durant, The Story of Civilization)