Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing
without revealing his plan
to his servants the prophets.
On his way to world domination, Alexander the Great was moving from the Helispond down toward Egypt. If you follow that pathway, you see that it leads directly through Jerusalem. No one was more aware of this than the citizens of Jerusalem, who could hear the hoof beats and the roar of the Greek chariots as they were on their way. Surely the Greeks would plunder and ruin Zion!
The people gathered themselves around Genua, the high priest. Genua fell on his knees before God and asked what he should do to defend a defenseless people. God told him that each person who would go forward to greet the Greek army should dress in white and wear a turban, the headdress based on Judaist liturgy. The turban had a gold plaque across the front of it, in which was engraved the name of God. This was all.
The people did as they were instructed, and their representatives, dressed in white, walked North of Zion’s walls to stand and wait for Alexander and the Greeks.
Josephus, the Jewish historian tells us of that epical moment, when Jews and Greeks stood nose to nose. Though terribly afraid, the high priest stood his ground as he watched the dust churn up in the distance from the chariot wheels and the horses’ hoofs. But when the vast army was within visible distance, something unusual happened. For the first time in his life, Alexander got off his mount and stopped the army. He walked over a few yards to stand before the high priest, then he fell on his knees.
“What are you doing respecting that Jew?” cried out his generals.
“It isn’t the man that I am respecting,” he returned. “It’s that sign. You see, I have seen it in a vision.”
Historians tell us that Alexander had a dream a few days before, and in the dream he saw white clad people wearing the name of God. At the time, God’s name meant nothing to him, but because of the intriguing association between the two, he had a moment of tenderness.
Realizing this, Genua withdrew from his sheaf an ancient roll of Daniel. He opened it to what we have in our Bible as chapters 7 and 8, and he pointed out to Alexander the incredible fact that 200 years before that moment, Daniel had actually written that Alexander would overthrow the Persians and a great ruler. Alexander interpreted this to mean that he would become the ruler of the world.
Josephus tells us that Alexander was suddenly overcome with joy, and although he was a man of deep depression, he shook that off and rejoiced, promising that he would virtually put a perimeter of protection around Zion, and he would never disturb nor destroy the inhabitants of the city, nor any of the Jewish people. And if you know your history, you know that the Greek army never did!
Dear Lord, we thank You for the Bible. We thank You for those faithful prophets that told us what to expect. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.