Jewish testimonies about ancient Macedonian ethnicity


1. In the early Syriac documents the dating is by the “The rule of the Greeks”.

2. In the Greek translation of First Maccabees, one of our earliest witnesses, the dominion of Antiochus Epiphanes and his successors is termed “the kingdom of the Greeks,” (1. Macc. 1:10, and elsewhere)

3. In the Jewish Talmud and Midrash, we have a reference to Yavans (Seleucid Greeks).

4. In Megillah 11a , we have “I did not reject them in the day of the Greeks”, ie. In the name of the Seleucid rule.

5. In Maccabaeus 8:18 we have “the kingdom of the Greeks, «την βασιλείαν των Ελλήνων».
6. In 1 Macc. 1:10 where is being mentioned the accession of Antiochus Epiphanes as “he ascended the throne of the Grecian Kingdom in the [Seleucid] year 137

7. In Dan 11:2 we have a reference in the same sense.

8. In Dan 10:20 we find a passage in which Yavan is used to designate the Greek state in Asia where the Angel Gabriel is foretelling the future to Daniel, saying that as soon as the conflict with Persians is finished, another will begin, namely that with the “Captain of Yavan

In conclusion noticeably the prophers :
– Daniel (chap.8, 1-22 chap.2 para.39 4-13, 26-28, 31, 38 chap. 7, 2-7)
-Isiaiah chap. 19, 20 chap. 19,23
-Joel chap.3 v.6,
-Habacoum chap.2, v.5 and
-the books of the Maccabees (1st book chap. 1, v.1 & 10 chap. 6 v.2, II 8, 20 III 8) include explicit elements for the greek character of Macedonia.

Furthermore Jewish historians like:

-Flavius Josephus makes reference to the Greeks of Macedonia and to Greece or Macedonia, sometimes using the one term and sometimes the other, clearly regarding the Macedonians as Greeks and the Greeks as Macedonians (Antiquities of the Jews book 11 para.337, 109, 148, 286, 184 book 8 para.61, 95 100, 154, 312 book 10 para.273 book 12 para.322 & 414 where he includes these Macedonina kings together with Antiochus the Great in teh conquest if the Greek world by the Romans since he regards Macedonia as a Greek province).

-Philo of Alexandria refers to the Macedonian King Alexander whom he indentifies with the Greeks.

-Maimonides according to whom “thanks to the conquest of Judea by the Greek-Macedonian dynasty the greek learning was transplanted there and contributed to making Hellenism and Judaism acquainted with one another and to the creation of a new philosophical and religious synthesis which opened up new paths and gave new directions to human civilisation”.

-Numerous well known rabbis.