Jeremiah 49 – The Prophecy Against Ammon & Alexander the Great

People seem to admire Alexander the Great, but they despise Adolf Hitler when they both killed people for the sole purpose of controlling the world.  I don’t admire either. 

Martin Luther
He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God’s punishment for sin could be purchased with money.

He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517.

His refusal to retract all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the Pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Emperor.

Luther taught that salvation and subsequently eternity in heaven is not earned by good deeds but is received only as a free gift of God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin and subsequently eternity in hell.

His theology challenged the authority of the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge from God.

The people I admire are Martin Luther, The Jews and Their Lies, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress,” and George Muller (the man that first started orphonages), Autobiography of George Muller.”

There are different suggestions of why Hitler hated the Jews so much, but they all point that the Jews of today are greedy, back-stabbing, corrupt people.

One night Alexander dreamed of an angel and the face of it looked like Simon the Just, the Jewish High Priest.  Alexander didn’t like Jews, or anyone for that matter, anymore then Hitler did, but due to the dream he gave the Jews some reverence and we are paying for that today.

The Jews took advantage of Alexander’s good gesture and installed a system of tax collection that led to terrible corruption. It was so inherently corrupt that the Talmud (the Jewish Bible) held that anybody who was a tax collector was presumed to be a thief.

This terribly pernicious system destroyed the morale of the Jewish community in the time of the Greeks long after Alexander was gone.  The majority of the Jews during the time of Alexander the Great are not the Jews of today.

The main different between Alexander and Hitler is that Alexander didn’t worship You, but the major gods and goddesses: Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Ares, Dionysus, Hephaestus, Athena, Hermes, Demeter, Hestia and Hera.  And he believed that he was the son of Zeus.

While Hitler not only worshiped Jesus Christ, but studied more than 130 books about Him, and he was a big fan of Martin Luther.  That doesn’t mean he’s going to heaven, but I would say he has a better change hen Alexander dioes.

Most of the information about Alexander the Great comes from the historian Herodotus, so I want to see what…

Jeremiah 49
The Prophecy Against Ammon

1 Concerning the Ammonites, thus saith the LORD; Hath Israel no sons? hath he no heir? why then doth their king inherit Gad, and his people dwell in his cities?

Qasr Al Abd was built by the governor of Ammon in 200 B.C.

“Concerning the Ammonites” – Ammon was east of the Jordan and north of Moab.  “Their king” is probably Molech, the chief god of the Ammonites, also known as Milcom.  Both titles are related to the West Semitic word for “king” (Hebrew melek).

2 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will cause an alarm of war to be heard in Rabbah of the Ammonites; and it shall be a desolate heap, and her daughters shall be burned with fire: then shall Israel be heir unto them that were his heirs, saith the LORD.

3 Howl, O Heshbon, for Ai is spoiled: cry, ye daughters of Rabbah, gird you with sackcloth; lament, and run to and fro by the hedges; for their king shall go into captivity, and his priests and his princes together.

“Ai” – not the Ai of Josh 8, its location is unknown.

4 Wherefore gloriest thou in the valleys, thy flowing valley, O backsliding daughter? that trusted in her treasures, saying, Who shall come unto me?

“Who shall come unto me?” – according to Josephus (Antiquities, 10.9.7) Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Ammon in the 23rd year of his reign (582 B.C.).

5 Behold, I will bring a fear upon thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts, from all those that be about thee; and ye shall be driven out every man right forth; and none shall gather up him that wandereth.

6 And afterward I will bring again the captivity of the children of Ammon, saith the LORD.

Rabbah Moab Roman Temple
The modern town of er-Rabbah preserves the ancient name of Rabbah Moab. In the Roman and Byzantine period, the city was known as Areopolis (City of [the god] Mars).

According to an inscription, this Roman temple was dedicated to the emperors Diocletian and Maximian, who ruled jointly from AD 286-305.

7 Concerning Edom, thus saith the LORD of hosts; Is wisdom no more in Teman? is counsel perished from the prudent? is their wisdom vanished?8 Flee ye, turn back, dwell deep, O inhabitants of Dedan; for I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, the time that I will visit him.

“Esau” – the patriarch Jacob’s brother, and another name for Edom (see Gen 25:29-30, 36:1), just as Israel was another name for Jacob (see Gen 32:28).  The fact that Esau was Jacob’s brother made Edom’s enmity toward Israel all the more reprehensible (see Amos 1:11; Obad 10).

9 If grape gatherers come to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? if thieves by night, they will destroy till they have enough.

10 But I have made Esau bare, I have uncovered his secret places, and he shall not be able to hide himself: his seed is spoiled, and his brethren, and his neighbors, and he is not.

11 Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in me.

12 For thus saith the LORD; Behold, they whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken; and art thou he that shall altogether go unpunished? thou shalt not go unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink of it.

Dedan
Ancient Dedan is known as Al Ula today. In the ruins of the old city there are inscriptions that indicate the Dedanites were preceded by a Minean settlement.

The Mineans established a center at this desert oasis in order to protect the incense trade. Dedan is situated between Medina and Tabuk in central Saudi Arabia. It was one of the largest and most important centers of civilization in ancient Arabia.

“They whose judgment was not to drink…have assuredly drunken” – though they are God’s chosen ones, the people of Judah will be punished because of their sin (see Amos 3:2).  God punished His own chosen people, the Jews, imagine what He’s going to do to the false Jews of today?

13 For I have sworn by myself, saith the LORD, that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes.

“Bozrah” – not the Bozrah of 48:24; the Edomite Bozrah was probably the capital of Edom in the days of Jeremiah.

14 I have heard a rumor from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent unto the heathen, saying, Gather ye together, and come against her, and rise up to the battle.

15 For, lo, I will make thee small among the heathen, and despised among men.

16 Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.

“Pride” – Edom’s besetting sin (and Satan’s favorite).

“Rock” – perhaps a reference to Petra, the most spectacular of the mountain strongholds for which Edom was noted.

17 Also Edom shall be a desolation: every one that goeth by it shall be astonished, and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof.

18 As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbor cities thereof, saith the LORD, no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it.

PETRA, Jordan
Carved from the rock that served as a base for Esau — the father of the Edomites — Petra is a magical and mysterious ancient city that illuminated the imaginations of mankind through the millennia and now serves as a key location for many scholars tracking so-called “end-times” events.

19 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan against the habitation of the strong: but I will suddenly make him run away from her: and who is a chosen man that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?

20 Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD that he hath taken against Edom; and his purposes, that he hath purposed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out: surely he shall make their habitations desolate with them.

21 The earth is moved at the noise of their fall, at the cry the noise thereof was heard in the Red sea.

22 Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.

“Eagle” – represents Nebuchadnezzar in 48:40 and probably here also.  A more complete subjugation of the Edomites was accomplished by Nabatean Arabs (perhaps the “dragons of the wilderness” of Mal 1:3) beginning c. 550 B.C.

23 Concerning Damascus. Hamath is confounded, and Arpad: for they have heard evil tidings: they are fainthearted; there is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet.

24 Damascus is waxed feeble, and turneth herself to flee, and fear hath seized on her: anguish and sorrows have taken her, as a woman in travail.

Remains of a Nabataean cistern north of Makhtesh Ramon, southern Israel.

25 How is the city of praise not left, the city of my joy!

26 Therefore her young men shall fall in her streets, and all the men of war shall be cut off in that day, saith the LORD of hosts.

27 And I will kindle a fire in the wall of Damascus, and it shall consume the palaces of Ben-hadad.

28 Concerning Kedar, and concerning the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon shall smite, thus saith the LORD; Arise ye, go up to Kedar, and spoil the men of the east.

29 Their tents and their flocks shall they take away: they shall take to themselves their curtains, and all their vessels, and their camels; and they shall cry unto them, Fear is on every side.

30 Flee, get you far off, dwell deep, O ye inhabitants of Hazor, saith the LORD; for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon hath taken counsel against you, and hath conceived a purpose against you.

Damascus
Ruins of the Jupiter Temple at the entrance of Al-Hamidiyah Souq.

31 Arise, get you up unto the wealthy nation, that dwelleth without care, saith the LORD, which have neither gates nor bars, which dwell alone.

32 And their camels shall be a booty, and the multitude of their cattle a spoil: and I will scatter into all winds them that are in the utmost corners; and I will bring their calamity from all sides thereof, saith the LORD.

33 And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation forever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it.

34 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,

35 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.

36 And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.

Damascus today

37 For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the LORD; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them:

38 And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD.

39 But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.

Alexander the Great

Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great, refers to the Macedonian king, never appears in the Bible.

Alexander the Great in battle on his horse, Bucephalas.

Alexander was born in Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia in July 356 B.C. His parents were Philip II of Macedon and his wife Olympias. Alexander was educated by the philosopher Aristotle.

However, the prophets Daniel and Zechariah wrote prophecies concerning Greece and Alexander’s Macedonian Empire.

The non-eschatological prophecies in Daniel have proved so reliable that some critics have tried to post-date his writing, even though copious literary, historical and biblical factors point to a date of writing in the sixth century B.C.  

Zechariah, writing sometime between 520 and 470 B.C., was also well before Alexander’s rise to power.

World History
Surrounding Alexander the Great

Over the next eight years, in his capacity as king, commander, politician, scholar and explorer, Alexander led his army 11,000 miles, founding over 70 cities and creating an empire that stretched across three continents and covered around two million square miles.

Ancient Pella, Alexander the Great’s birth place.

The entire area from Greece in the west, north to the Danube, south into Egypt and as far to the east as the Indian Punjab, was linked together in a vast international network of trade and commerce.

This was united by a common Greek language and culture, while the king himself adopted foreign customs in order to rule his millions of ethnically diverse subjects.

Alexander was acknowledged as a military genius who always led by example, although his belief in his own indestructibility meant he was often reckless with his own life and those of his soldiers.

His legendary conquest of nearly the entire known world resulted in one of the largest empires in ancient history. Alexander overthrew the entire Persian Empire: Asia Minor, Persia, Egypt and everything in between, including Israel.

Alexander died of a fever in Babylon in June 323 B.C., undefeated in battle but without a clear heir, which led to the division of his empire among four of his generals.

Philip II of Macedon , Alexander’s father.

Although Alexander’s empire split, the Hellenism he spread continued. Greek became the universal language, and Greek culture was either required or encouraged in all parts of the divided empire. Israel changed hands between the Ptolemaic and Seleucid kingdoms.

Israel later gained its independence from 167–63 B.C., a time referred to as the Hasmonean Period and recorded in the apocryphal books of 1 and 2 Maccabees. The end of this period was marked by the Roman conquest of Jerusalem in 63 B.C.

Prophecy Regarding the Empire

Daniel discusses a great deal of the then-future events which, as mentioned above, have proved true. By God’s inspiration, Daniel predicted that there would be a succession of four “global” empires. His prophecy included many details, including the fact that the Greek Empire would split into four parts.

The Four-Kingdom Succession:

King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that he didn’t understand and none of his magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, or Chaldeans could interpret it, but God explained it to Daniel and he gave the king the interpretation.

Olympias, Alexander’s mother.

Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and break them to pieces.

Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king.

Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

This map shows the vast empire conquered by Alexander the Great in red highlight. The extent of the empire is an approximation of 320 B.C.

And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay.

And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.

Serapis, a Greco-Egyptian God worshipped in Hellenistic Egypt.

Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure (Dan 2:31-45).

From our vantage point in history, we now know the four kingdoms are the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman empires.

The Greek Conquest and Split

Daniel also received a vision of the demise of the Medo-Persian Empire, which had, in 539 B.C., overtaken the Babylonian Kingdom. God specifically names the Medo-Persian and Greek empires in Daniel 8:20-21 and 10:20–11:4.

The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king (Dan 8:20-21).

Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.

But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.

Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.

And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.

And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.

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 (Dan 10:20-11:4).

The first half of chapter 8 is a highly symbolic passage about a ram and a goat. The ram had two horns, one longer than the other, representing the empire of the Medes and the Persians (Dan 8:20), and “none could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great” (Dan 8:4).

Then a goat “came from the west” (Dan 8:5) with a single horn between its eyes. The horn represents the king, Alexander. The goat killed the ram and “became very great, but at the height of his power his large horn was broken off” (Dan 8:8) – a prediction of Alexander’s untimely death.

In Daniel’s vision, the single horn is replaced with four new horns, which are “four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power” (Dan 8:22).

The four new kingdoms are mentioned again in Dan 11:4, which say that “his [Alexander’s] empire will be broken up and parceled out toward the four winds of heaven.  It will not go to his descendants, nor will it have the power he exercised.”

These passages describe, two centuries in advance, precisely what happened to Alexander and his empire.

Conclusion

Approximately 250 years before Alexander began his world conquest, God provided Daniel with a glimpse into the future. This was important to Daniel and his people, as God also told them that they would return to their land and He would take care of them through the coming tumultuous times.

Ancient Hasmonean village in Nebi Samuel. It may have been the place called Mizpah of Benjamin.

 

Daniel was talking about Jesus Christ when he said:

And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever (Dan 2:44).

Kingdoms rise and fall, but God holds the future and His Word stands.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Is 55:11).

…Herodotus had to say about the Fall of Babylon.