Biblical Archaeology: Greece
Significant Archaeological Discoveries and the Bible.
Alexander the Great Coin
This coin reveals scenes of Alexander the Great's life. The top image depicts Alexander being crowned by Nike, the goddess of victory. The bottom image depicts Alexander on his horse Busephalus at the Jhelum River attacking Porus on his war elephant. Porus was trying to stop Alexander from crossing the river until the monsoon, which would delay him until after the summer months. In 336 BC when Darius II was king of Persia he battled against Alexander the Great and was defeated twice. The two famous battles were the Battle of Issus in 333 BC and the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC. This marked the end of the Archaemenid Empire and the rise of Greece as a world power. Alexander conquered the world and died in Babylon in 323 BC. This coin depicting Alexander the Great is an important discovery in Biblical Archaeology and the period of Greek history. Biblical Archaeology
In ancient Greece the Parthenon was dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the patron goddess of Athens. It was built between 447 and 438 BC. and its sculptural decoration was completed in 432 BC. Biblical Archaeology
Antiochus IV Epiphanes Bust
Bust of Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus IV usurped the throne of his brother Seleucus IV who died. Antiochus was determined to hellenize Israel and make them a people who were worthy of bordering Egypt, he needed a loyal hellenized population there. The Jews were quickly becoming more Greek than any other time in history. A group of Jews came to Antiochus with a plan. They proposed that the high priest Onias III should be removed and his hellenized brother Jason should take his place. They should set up a Greek Constitution and coin Greek money.
The plan was followed and all the Jews were outraged. It was the first time since the Babylonian Captivity that a non-Jewish government had interfered with the priesthood (treating the sacred office as though it were nothing other than a governmental office). But the worst was yet to come. Now the hellenizers had full control of the government in Jerusalem and they began to build gymnasiums within the city and encouraged the young to spent all their time there. The young priests engaged in sports, Jerusalem was filled with Greek styles, Greek clothes, Greek names, Greek language and worst of all, Greek religion and Greek morals.
The most radical hellenizers felt that things were not moving fast enough so they convinced Antiochus to remove Jason and replace him with Menelaus who was not even a member of the priestly family. Menelaus had no sympathy for the Jewish traditions whatsoever and was only concerned about his own power. The Temple treasury did not contain enough money to pay Antiochus what he had promised so he sold some of the holy vessels of the Temple to raise the money he needed. It was now the goal that Judaism was to be destroyed. In the mind of Antiochus to be un-hellenized was stiff-necked nonsense. If Judaism stood in the way then Judaism was to be destroyed so he gave the orders.
The Syrian army marched into Jerusalem and many of the people were killed and others escaped to the hills. Only the known Hellenists were allowed to remain. Orders were given: NO Sabbath, NO Holy Days, and NO Circumcision. A Statue of Zeus/Antiochus was placed in the Temple above the altar. The most detestable animals (the pig) were brought and sacrificed on the altar. An abominable act was perpetrated on Kislev 25, 168 BC according to the Book of Maccabees that "left the Jewish people desolate." (They call this the Abomination of Desolation in Daniel) but Jesus taught that this was a preliminary occurrence of a greater fulfillment coming in the last days, during the seventieth week of Daniel.
Antiochus IV Epiphanes Coin
Antiochus IV (175-164 BC), was the 8th ruler of the Seleucid empire. He gave himself the surname "Epiphanes" which means "the visible god" (that he and Jupiter were identical). He acted as though he really were Jupiter and the people called him "Epimanes" meaning "the madman". He was violently bitter against the Jews, and was determined to exterminate them and their religion. He devastated Jerusalem in 168 BC, defiled the Temple, offered a pig on its altar, erected an altar to Jupiter, prohibited Temple worship, forbade circumcision on pain of death, sold thousands of Jewish families into slavery, destroyed all copies of Scripture that could be found, and slaughtered everyone discovered in possession of such copies, and resorted to every conceivable torture to force Jews to renounce their religion. This led to the Maccabaean revolt, one of the most heroic feats in history.
Immortal Guard Warriors
These ancient Persian archers were from the immortal guard at the Palace of Darius I "the Great" at ancient Susa (Sushan). In one ancient battle the Persian king surrounded himself by a picked body of Persian warriors called, "the immortals," consisting of 10,000 foot soldiers, the best and the bravest of his own native army. The Ten Thousand Immortals were known in history as the royal bodyguard of ancient Persia. These 5 foot tall archers were the royal Immortal Guard from the palace of Darius at Susa (ancient Shushan). These archers are seen wearing colorful ceremonial clothing decorated with tiny stars, from their woven and twisted headbands, hair and beards, even to their shoes. Their clothes are decorated with tiny stars. Their bows, arrows and spears were gold and silver.
The bright colored enameled tiles used to line the entire walls, bringing to life the illustrious and lavish celebrations that existed at the palace of the kings of ancient Persia.
All the colors seen here are reminiscent of the lavish banquet mentioned in the Book of Esther in the Bible (white, green, blue, purple, silver, gold), when the king of Persia invited nobles and princes from all over his empire to a feast at his palace.
Guests would ascend a wide stone staircase entering a gate into the courtyard. All along the path there were the elaborate carvings along the walls, of nobles and princes, royal guards, horses and chariots. Representatives from the lands and provinces of the Persian Empire bringing tribute to the ruler of the world, king Darius (522-486 B.C.). Their destination was the great audience hall and palace of the king, a place of tremendous wealth and luxury. According to history when Alexander the Great marched into Susa he took 40,000 talents of gold which was about 1200 tons.
Alexander the Great faced hordes of soldiers like the archers shown here when he conquered the world of the Persians. The Persian Empire was vast, extending from India to Greece, and down to Ethiopia.
These archers of the royal guard revealed on these brilliantly glazed ceramic tiles of blue and gold discovered at Susa are important discovery in the study of Biblical archaeology. It shows us the enemies of Alexander the Great who is alluded to in the Book of Daniel, and the luxurious wealth of the Persians as mentioned in the Book of Esther regarding the royal banquet of the king of Persia.
Macedonian Infantry Helmet
Greek Macedonian Infantry Helmet in Biblical Archaeology
Marble Bust of Alexander the Great
This is the best depiction of the face of Alexander because it was dated back to the 4th Century BC. It is located at the Greek Ministry of Culture. In 336 BC When Darius II was king of Persia he battled against Alexander the Great and was defeated twice. The two famous battles were the Battle of Issus in 333 BC and the Battle of Gaugamela in 331 BC. This marked the end of the Archaemenid Empire and the rise of Greece as a world power. Alexander conquered the world and died in Babylon in 323 BC. This bust of Alexander the Great is an important discovery in Biblical Archaeology and the period of Greek history. Includes a Map of Alexander's Decisive battles.
"And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes." DANIEL 8:5
"And the he goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king." DANIEL 8:21
The Parthenon is the most important and characteristic monument of the ancient Greek civilization and still remains its international symbol. It was dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the patron goddess of Athens. It was built between 447 and 438 BC. and its sculptural decoration was completed in 432 BC. The parthenon in Nashville is the world's only full-size replica of the ancient Parthenon in Athens. Biblical Archaeology
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