They were to inherit an empire covering 11 million square miles, stretching over 3 continents from Europe into parts of Africa, into the Middle East and Asia, but more than 200 years before they could establish themselves in this vast empire, a Man from heaven came down [536 BC] and told the prophet Daniel [Dan.10-11] that they, the rightful royal heirs to this empire, would not have it. It was a sad prophecy, one I am sure would have broken the heart of the bearer of such bad news. The story I now retell, is about this prophecy, and how all of it fulfilled exactly to the letter.
“ DANIEL 11:4 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 “he” of course referred to Alexander the great who conquered the Persian empire since 334 BC, before he died of a fever or malaria in Babylon in June 323 after 12 years of victories. In another vision Daniel had in 550 BC about Alexander, his Greek army is described as a “he goat” attacking the Persian ram with much anger.
In that vision, Alexander, his war against the Mede/Persians and it’s consequences is clearly identified. “ Dan:8 20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.”
What is also very interesting is that Alexander on coins has been depicted sometimes with the horns of the heathen god Ammon, in honor of his victory over Egypt. But both Scripture in Dan.8 &11 described the terribly sad event when this notable king or horn or power- Alexander- was broken off [died] and then in his place 4 other notable horns stood up.
If you click on “Archibald” you will find the previous part of this prophecy in a piece called- “The rise of Alexander foretold”. The Man not only foretold the rise of Alexander, but also what would happen to his kingdom and offspring [posterity] after his death.
Death is always sad, and the death of this mighty Alexander at such a young age of only 32, came very untimely to the world and to his generals. Suddenly there was this great vacuum, an immense loss, and with it the scramble to find a suitable replacement for this great man. For who else could take the place of such a great man? Who else could push at the world like a horned goat like he did?
“ On his death bed, his marshals asked him to whom he bequeathed his kingdom. Since Alexander had no obvious and legitimate heir (his son Alexander IV would be born after his death, and his other son was by a concubine, not a wife), it was a question of vital importance. There is some debate to what Alexander replied. Some believe that Alexander said, "Kratisto" (that is, "To the strongest!") or "Krat'eroi" (to the stronger). Alexander may have said, "Krater'oi" (to Craterus). This is possible because the Greek pronunciation of "the stronger" and "Craterus" differ only by the position of the accented syllable. Most scholars believe that if Alexander did intend to choose one of his generals, his obvious choice would have been Craterus because he was the commander of the largest part of the army (infantry), because he had proven himself to be an excellent strategist, and because he displayed traits of the "ideal" Macedonian. But Craterus was not around, and the others may have chosen to hear "Krat'eroi" — the stronger. Regardless of his reply, Craterus does not appear to have pressed the issue.”[Wikipedia]
As it was, the generals did not make general Craterus the next ruler, but called "a Council of state" in Babylon to determine what to do. They decided that the empire should indeed go to Alexander’s family, with them assisting that family as in the control of the empire. But although they made this noble decision, the God of heaven told his prophet more than 200 years before that day, they would not inherit.
Wives and concubines
Let us look at Alexander’s family. As far as I read, he had at least three wives and a concubine. In 334 he took unto himself a royal woman called Barsine, daughter of the satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia. In 334 BC, the year of Alexander’s invasion of Asia, she and her children were sent by Memnon to king Darius III as hostages for his fidelity; and in the ensuing year, when Damascus was betrayed to the Macedonians, she fell into the hands of Alexander.
Roxana a Bactrian [Afghan] princess, became Alexander’s wife when he married her in 327 BC after he visited the fortress of Sogdian Rock. Then there were two other women, Stateira II the eldest daughter of his arch enemy Darius III, and Parysatis the cousin of Darius III whom he married on the same day 324 BC at a mass wedding festival in Susa in a time before Christ when polygamy was still practiced in the western world. Alexander captured the family of Darius III including his mother Sisygambis, his wife Stateira I, his daughters Stateira II and Drypteis, and other family members after he defeated Darius at the battle of Issus, when Darius fled and left his family behind.
Despite Darius III efforts afterwards to negotiate the release of his family, it failed and Alexander went on to marry his eldest daughter and cousin Parysatis. Darius III wife [Stateira I] died in child birth after her capture in 332 BC, and even in her case it is speculated that Darius might not have been the father. Although Alexander treated the family well, Darius mother Sisygambis wasn’t so sure of fellow soldiers, and fasted herself to death after Alexander’s death.
Alexander also had a mother called Olympias back home in Macedon when death took him away.
Besides the 3 wives, Alexander also had mentally disabled half brother called Arrhideaus, whom he loved dearly and took with him on his conquests through Asia and Africa.
“In Plutarch's report, he became both physically and mentally disabled following a poisoning attempt by Philip II's wife, Queen Olympias, who wanted to eliminate a possible rival to her son Alexander. However, this may just be malicious gossip, and there is no evidence that Olympias really caused her stepson's condition. Alexander was very fond of him, and took him on his campaigns, both to protect his life and to ensure he would not be used as a pawn in a challenge for the throne.” [Wikipedia]
The concubine Barsine provided Alexander with the first possible heir, when she gave birth to a son named Heracles. Of the 3 other wives only Roxana went on to provide Alexander with a child. At the time of his death she was still pregnant.
In that time of crisis the generals quickly dismissed Barsine and her son Heracles from laying any claims to the throne because she was a concubine. “ On Alexander's death, 323 BC, a claim to the throne on this boy's behalf was unsuccessfully urged by Nearchus.” [wikipedia] What is a concubine? The dictionary says: “ Legal or Official mistress- a woman who is the lover of a wealthy married man but with the social status of a subordinate form of wife, often kept in a separate home.”
Interesting isn’t it? In other words we still have concubines today, only we call them strictly mistresses, and they are not legal like in those days, but are kept in total secrecy usually also in a separate location. But their fate is still the same in most cases. When the will is read, the mistress and her offspring is no where mentioned. At such a time the family consider them a shame, and a secret that should best be forgotten. Considering this, I think it should discourage any mistress from becoming first of all an instrument of hurt, and secondly someone of such a low ranking status, who still seems to have no future. Barsine was legal, yet had no future.
Two heirs named
As it was the generals decided that the empire should be shared between Alexander’s mentally disabled half brother Arrhideaus and Roxana’s child, if it would be a boy. And indeed Roxana did give birth to a boy! Alexander’s beloved half brother Arrhideaus was now duped Phillip III and the young boy of Roxana was duped Alexander IV placed under the regency of a mighty general called Perdiccas, and “so they lived and ruled happily ever after?”
Did this came to pass? No!
As it is in these situations, the character of man will not allow a situation to unfold unhindered, if they can twist it to their own advantage. Despite what the mouth spoke, and the embraces or hugs and the love that the body and arms declared, their hearts plotted grievous things in its secret chambers. There they sat in that council, no doubt with sad faces, but with hearts secretly plotting how they could get rid of the royal family.
What happened to Alexander’s other two wives Stateira II and Parysatis?
According to some historic sources Roxana made the first move and immediately after the death of Alexander ordered them to be put to death so as to strengthen her own position. And so were murdered Alexander’s 2 wives, by another.
And what happened then?
Trouble started with the now powerful regent Perdiccas, who tried to strengthen his position by a marriage with Antipater's [another powerful general of Alexander] daughter Nicaea. At the same time, Olympias [Alexander’s mother] offered Perdiccas the hand of her daughter Cleopatra, Alexander’s sister. Everybody now wanted to be friends with Perdiccas or sought his favor in the hope of laying hands on the empire later on themselves. Perdiccas chose Cleopatra, which angered Antipater. Antipater then formed an alliance with Ptolemy, another general who settled in Egypt. Perdiccas declared war on Ptolemy and set out to destroy him, but died on the way at the hands of his own soldiers who assassinated him before he could battle Ptolemy in Egypt. Upon this Antipater declared himself super regent of Alexander’s empire, only to die within a year. Thus started a long series of the wars between the generals [wars of the Diadochi] wherein everybody tried to grab a piece of land through one or other claim of regency or sinister deal.
Antipater in 319 BC was succeeded by Polyperchon, another powerful general as regent of the kings Phillip III and the boy Alexander IV.
In the mean time Antipater son Cassander, wasn’t planning on having Polyperchon rule peacefully as regent. He began war with Polyperchon, captured Philip III, Alexander’s half brother, and forced Polyperchon out of Macedonia. Polyperchon fled to Epirus, and joined Olympias, Alexander’s mother, Roxana his wife, and her son Alexander IV.
Mother killed stepson
Alexander’s mother Olympias now formed an alliance with Polyperchon and her cousin Aeacides to invade Macedonia as she realized that in case of Cassander's regency, her grandson Alexander IV would definitely lose out on the crown. She was initially successful, defeating and capturing the army of King Philip. She captured Philip III, her stepson, Alexander’s half brother in October of that year, while many supporters of Cassander were massacred. Olympias then put to death the mentally disabled Phillip III [Arrhideaus] and his wife Eurydice. And in this tragic manner died Alexander’s beloved half brother, at the hands of his own mother.
But Cassander who wasn’t present at the time some of his forces were defeated, engaged in further battle, captured Olympias in Pydna and forced her to surrender, although Polyperchon and Aeacides unsuccessfully tried to relieve her. Olympias then was brought to trial for the numerous and cruel executions of which she had been accused of; condemned without a hearing, and was put to death in 316 BC by the friends of those whom she had slain. Cassander is said to have denied her remains the rites of burial. Thus died the mother of Alexander.
Roxana and son killed
During his battle with Olympias, Cassander also captured Roxana and her son Alexander IV and then secretly put to death both of them. Thus died Alexander’s last remaining wife and her son.
Concubine and son killed
Polyperchon then fled to Peloponnesus and joined another general Antigonus. As war between Antigonus and other generals broke out, he sent to Polyperchon the last remaining son of Alexander and the concubine Barsine, namely Heracles, to be used as a bargaining chip against Cassander. Polyperchon however decided to break with Antigonus, and murdered the mother and the boy.
“ From a comparison of the accounts of Diodorus and Justin, it appears that he [Heracles] was brought up at Pergamum under his mother's care, and that she shared his fate when (309 BC) Polyperchon was induced by Cassander to murder him.” [Wikipedia]
What a sad story! Oh so terrible. The lust for money is the root of all evil! In the midst of all this chaos of the deaths of the Royals the empire was literally torn to pieces as many powerful generals laid claim to a piece of land and then began proclaiming themselves kings in different regions in the absence of any remaining royals. And thus fulfilled the words of the Man who spoke to Daniel 200 years before.
“ …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.” Dan11;4b
In the end, Alexander’s words at his death bed "Krat'eroi" which either meant Craterus or “ to the strongest” became true in that sense as indeed those strongest in war, grabbed parts of the empire. As the greed, and the lust for power conquered these generals, the empire was finally divided into 4 main regions as 4 main generals out of the bunch, established themselves, even as Daniel 8:22 said :
“ Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.”
1 In the west of Macedon, Cassander son of Antipater established himself after a series of wars.
2. In the north-west of Thrace, Lysimachus ruled
3. In Asia north, central to the east, a general named Seleucus established himself.
4. In Egypt a general named Ptolemy I Soter made himself king.
That Book we have here called Bible is not like any other Book. When it prophecy, it speaks truth even to the minute details. It behooves anyone to give it a second glance, for this Man to whom Daniel spoke, went on to prophecy the whole future of the human race. Yes even this very time we live in now was foretold. Thus the future is not unknown, but known unto those who take care to read. But who shall believe the report of that Man? Most shall march on straight to their death like others before them, while ignoring this sacred Book.
As we look back at the downfall of Alexander’s unified empire which became a divided empire as the Man said, we see it all happened mainly due to a tremendous lack of good character. They tried to rule the world, but they couldn’t rule themselves. From within things like greed, lust for power, lies, deceit, murder and other forms of corruption destroyed them. Gal.5:19! These fruits of the flesh conquered the conquerors. And if these fruits are in you, know this, you are conquered.
Herein is the downfall of our society too. Our society focus all their time acquiring the physical things on how to built a better advanced civilization, more technology, better ways, while they spent little time developing the secret chambers of the heart. For in those secret chambers of the heart we plot wars, and the outcome of the future. There is no special school for character development where we can send corrupt mankind to rid them from the corruption that will ruin society, but there is Jesus! Let us learn this lesson from that Greek society: If man cannot conquer the evil from within, it shall conquer him, and once mankind is conquered in that way, we shall never have peace.
Try as you may, all kingdoms shall come to it’s end because of this one thing: The evil from within. And for that purpose the Lord Jesus was born! He was born with such pureness of Spirit that no evil could ever conquer Him. When He stood before His critics they could find no fault with Him. Why? He had a Spirit inside Him that withstood and conquered all evil.
Inside Him was a character so pure and so victorious God simply had to break Him open on Calvary so His Spirit could come upon us, to give us the same victories He had. Churches should actually lead their people to receive His pure Holy Spirit.
Once the 120 disciple’s of Jesus received the Holy Spirit, only then were they powerful and victorious over every other circumstance. It was then that they were truly converted. Before that day of Pentecost Peter still denied the Lord, Thomas still doubted, John still wanted to burn those who didn’t believe their message, but after that, they lived holy lives, and gave their lives for the message. It is that Holy Ghost they received that changed everything. It is the one thing needed in people.