Scripture Readings: Daniel 11: 3-, Acts 6:1-6, Acts 9:26-29
The ideas and history I share with you in this Bible study were not created by me. There are books and articles written in detail about these very same conclusions of the verses from Daniel 11. . My job here is to share, pull it all together, and make it easier for the new reader of the Bible to understand. The actual idea of creating a Lent Bible study tracing the historical political figures to Jesus, came from God himself. I just follow His lead, and he brings it all together. I am thrilled to share these stories. After doing this for three years during the 40 days of Lent, , it has become my very favorite part of the year.
Today we introduce Alexander the Great, the king mentioned in verse 3, a man that only ruled for 12 years, but had everlasting influence over this region of the biblical world so much so that the old scrolls of the old testaments were all written in Greek and the whole Roman Empire during Jesus’s days spoke this man’s language,Greek. Alexander, born in Macedonia, the same Macedonia that Paul met the commerce guru, Lydia and began spreading the Christian religion into Europe. He was a very powerful leader, conquering the Persian empire and Egypt. How do we know that God was referring to Alexander the Great? In verse 4 it mentions that the kingdom shall be broken and divided up into four. Alexander did pass unexpectedly, he died in Babylon, of all cities, and his kingdom was divided up into four regions, not by family predecessors but among political leaders. And these political leaders take us further to the next part of the story, the fight among the kings of the north and the kings of the south
Overtime the Jews adopted the Greek traditions and culture into their way of life, so much so that they strayed from their Hebrew belief system causing controversy and major turmoil. This week we will speak more about this controversy when Daniel speaks of the Maccabees and their battle for reform. This part of history is where we get the Hanukkah story.
This group of Jews incorporating the Greek lifestyle into their culture were called Hellenistic Jews. William F. Dankenbring, a controversial self-professed prophet of the 1980″s, wrote in an article “The Greek influence in Judea had grown significantly since the days of Alexander the Great, circa 330 B.C. By the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, circa 168-165 B.C., Hellenism had become very strong, and many of the high priests had become “Hellenists,” leading to the Maccabean revolt. In successive generations, the Greek influence never abated, particularly among the business, commercial and priestly crowd. Many of the priests, being Sadducees, were greatly influenced by Greek culture and contact.”
I included in our study today, a two verses from the New Testament. Each speaks to the Hellenistic influences right after Jesus’s death. The first verses written about the 12 disciples after Jesus’s death and resurrection. And the second verses written about Paul. Again, showing you how it all comes together.
Daniel saw it , written on the wall, per se how it will all historically come together: Alexander the Greek, the immersion of Greek culture into this part of the world, the influence it had over God’s people, and eventually it’s impact on the crucifixion of Christ. Stay with me. Spend today again thanking God for being a God of details. And most importantly being a God of wanting to know and understand the details of your life. Bring what ever concerns you have to Him. He is listening. He knows all the details of your life, he just wants you to bring and give your burdens to Him. Tomorrow we go a little off topic, staying in Daniel 11, but introducing you to two powerful women.