Almost everyone dreams, but we tend to forget them due to sleep amnesia. Luckily, Alexander the Great was able to recall an important dream and also reflected on it. It turned out to be a dream that saved an entire city from the unimaginable destruction and bloodshed.
When Alexander the Great set out to invade the Persian empire, he had many challenges along the way. He had to invade and conquer many kingdoms on his path. He started with unification of the city-states of Greece. Then he marched toward the Mediterranean coast and onward to Egypt, followed by Jerusalem.
The invasion of Jerusalem would be an easy conquest for Alexander’s powerful and fearless army. Plans to proceed were in place and news of the eminent invasion by the Macedonian and Greek armies sent shivers through spines in Jerusalem.
The high priest of Jerusalem, Jaddua, was an old and wise man of God. He summoned his people and organized mass prayers to seek God’s help to save his people.
Jerusalem’s defenses were no match for the mighty army of Alexander. Jaddua understood that and decided not to prepare for war. Instead he set up a welcome post for Alexander’s arrival outside the city gates. Food, drinks, and music awaited Alexander’s arrival.
Jaddua and other priests dressed in white robes and brought some pages from book of Daniel with them. The atmosphere grew tense as Alexander’s army approached.
Alexander was surprised to find a welcome post instead of battle-ready defense forces. As he arrived, he dismounted from his horse and begin to walk towards the priests, alone. Troops rushed to go with him but he declined.
Alexander met and greeted Jaddua for the first time. He told the priest that he recognized him from a dream many months ago, when he was planning his conquest back in Greece.
In that dream, Alexander told the priest, God introduced them, and told Alexander that the old priest will assist him in his conquest of Persia.
Jaddua shared that he too had a similar dream. In Jaddua’s dream, God appeared to assure him that the people of Jerusalem would be protected from the king of Macedon.
Next, Jaddua read predictions from the book of Daniel to Alexander. One of those predictions was that a Greek King would come from the West, bring down the Persian Empire, and conquer the entire world. Jaddua claimed that Alexander was the Greek king mentioned in Daniel.
Persia was an established empire, and starting in 499 BC, it waged 50 years of war against Greece and the Balkans. Europe grew tired of this and wanted to destroy the Persian Empire. Alexander’s father, Philip II of Macedon, was elected to lead the invasion of Persia. In 336 BC, as he was in the early stages of planning the invasion, Philip II was assassinated and replaced by his son, Alexander.
In Alexander’s vision, the invasion and destruction of the Persian Empire was not an easy feat. The Persian Empire controlled a large part of the known world; Alexander had good reasons to lose sleep over the sanity of his ambitions.
The encounter with Jaddua gave him the needed confidence. He decided not to change anything about Jerusalem. Furthermore, he graciously accompanied Jaddua to the temple in Jerusalem and offered a sacrifice to God. Alexander went on to conquer Persia, resulting in an empire encompassing most of the known world.
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