Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Torch Doth Pass

Behold, a ram which had two horns.  Now the two horns were long, and one was longer than the other, with the longer one coming up last.  I saw the ram butting westward, northward, and southward, and no other beasts could stand before him and none could rescue from his power; but he did as he pleased and magnified himself.

Behold, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of the whole earth without touching the ground; and the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. 

And he came up to the ram that had two horns and rushed at him in his mighty wrath.  And I saw him come beside the ram and he was enraged at him; and he struck the ram and shattered his two horns and the ram had no strength to withstand him.  So he hurled him to the ground and trampled on him, and there was none to rescue the ram from his power.

Then the male goat magnified himself exceedingly.  But as soon as he was mighty, the large horn was broken; and in its place there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.

The ram with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia.  And the shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king.  And the broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place represent the four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power.  

Daniel the Prophet 605-535 BC

Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in 331 BC.  Greece became a world empire and Greek, the universal language of the dominion. 

When Alexander entered Egypt, he was hailed as a liberator and son of the Egyptian god, Amon-Re.  He founded the city of Alexandria to exhibit the superiority of the Greek way of life.  The Diaspora was encouraged to settle there and Alexandria became a centre for Hellenists—Jews who adopted the Greek culture.

Alexander died of typhoid fever in 323 BC, at the age of thirty-three.  His generals plotted and quarrelled over how the empire should be divided up.  Alexander had one son, born posthumously, but both he and his mother were murdered during the wars among the generals.

Over the next few years Ptolemy took possession of the southern part of the empire, Cassander the west, Seleucus the east, and Antigonus the north.

However, Antigonus “the One Eyed” wanted the entire empire for himself.  In 301 BC, at Ipsus in Asia Minor, he was slain by his rivals, Seleucus, Lysimachus, and Cassander.  Lysimachus, another of Alexander’s generals, took over the northern part of the empire.  

Ptolemy Soter wasn’t present at Ipsus.  Instead, he focused his energies on solidifying his control over the southern part of the empire, namely Egypt and Palestine.


  1. Elmakin, an Arabic historian, wrote that Jeremiah the prophet was stoned to death in Egypt and buried in a pauper’s grave. When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, he moved Jeremiah’s remains to Alexandria and gave him an honourable burial.

  2. After the Battle of Ipsus, Seleucus received Syria and Lysimachus received Asia Minor. Prior to 301 BC, Lysimachus ruled Thrace which was northeast of Cassander’s Macedonia and Seleucus ruled Persia and most of Mesopotamia including Babylonia.

  3. Scriptural references: Daniel 8:3-8,20-22

  4. Diaspora: the dispersion of Jews after the Babylonian exile until the present time; the Jews thus dispersed; the lands to which the Jews were dispersed. (The main dispersions took place between the 8th and 6th century BC which included the transportation of Jews by the Assyrians after their conquest of Israel in 722 BC.)

  5. Clarification of “the kings of Media & Persia:” The kingdom of Media was Cyrus’ first conquest & by far his largest in terms of square miles. Thus the Persian empire was dubbed the Medo-Persian empire. Click Conquest of Babylon on the sidebar.