God Saved the Jews From Alexander the Great.


Photo by Gunnar Bach Pedersen

I have read some of the writings of Josephus Flavius. He lived from AD 37 – 100 AD. Some scholars have not accepted his account of history, but many do. I believe God moved upon him to write about God, Jesus, the Scriptures and the history of the Jews. He wrote in both Aramaic and Greek and was writing for the Gentiles who had no knowledge of the Scriptures and Jewish history.

In Part 1, The Antiquities of the Jews, I came upon a chapter that dealt with Alexander the Great and his treatment of the Jews. It was fascinating, and I think many of you would like to know how God spared his people from being killed by Alexander. I will now quote from the book only:

“Now Alexander, when he had taken Gaza, made haste to go up to Jerusalem: and Jaddua the high priest, when he heard that, was in an agony, and under terror, as not knowing how he should meet the Macedonians, since the king was displeased at his foregoing disobedience.

He therefore ordained that the people should make supplications, and should join with him in offering sacrifices to God, whom he besought to protect that nation, and to deliver them from the perils that were coming upon them. Whereupon God warned him in a dream, which came upon him after he had offered sacrifice, that he should take courage and adorn the city, and open the gates; that the rest appear in white garments, but that he and the priests should meet the king in the habits (clothing) proper to their order, without the dread of any ill consequences, which the providence of God would prevent.

Upon this, when he rose from his sleep, he greatly rejoiced and declared to all the warning he had received from God according to which dream he acted entirely, and so waited for the coming of the king.

And when he heard Alexander was not far from the city, he went out in procession, with the priests and the multitude of the citizens. The procession was venerable, and the manner of it different from that of the other nations…The Phonecians and the Chaldeans that followed Alexander thought they would have liberty to plunder the city, and torment the high priest to death, which is the reverse of what happened.

Alexander, when he saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, while the priests stood clothed with fine linen, and the high priest in purple and scarlet clothing, with his mitre on his head having the golden plate on which the name of God was engraved, he approached them by himself and adored that name, and first saluted the high priest. The Jews also did all together, with one voice, salute Alexander, and encompass him about; whereupon the kings of Syria and the rest were surprised at what Alexander had done, and supposed him disordered in his mind.

However, Parmenlo alone went up to him and asked how it came to pass that when all others adored him, he should adore the high priest of the Jews? He replied, “I did not adore him, but that God who hath honored him with that high priesthood. For I saw this very person in a dream, in this very clothing, when I was at Dios, in Macedonia, when I was considering with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia.

He exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly pass over the sea thither, for he would conduct my army, and would give me the dominion over the Persians. So, having seen no other in that clothing and now seeing this person in it, and remembering that vision and the exhortation which I had in my dream, I believe that I bring this army under the divine conduct, and shall therewith conquer Darius, and destroy the power of the Persians, and that all things will succeed according to what is in my own mind.

And when he had said this to Parmenlo, and had given the priest his right hand, the priests ran along beside him as he came into the city. He went into the temple and made a sacrifice to God, according to the hight priest’s directions and magnificently treated both the high priest and the priests. And when the book of Daniel was showed him, wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended. Then he was glad and dismissed the multitude…”

“I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.” Psalm 116:1

“It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.” Daniel 2:21

4 thoughts on “God Saved the Jews From Alexander the Great.

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