The Greekness of ancient Macedonians in the Old and New Testament


Daniel explaining Navouchodonosor’s first dream

“This is what you saw king: A statue came and stood in front of you, very big with exceptional splendor and horrific sight. Its head was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thigs of copper, its shins of iron and feet consisted of one part of iron and one part of clay. While you were looking at the statue, a rock broke off a mountain, without the touch of a human hand, and hit the the statue in its feet that were made of iron and clay and smashed them. Then, the iron, the clay, the copper, the silver and the gold were shattered to pieces and dispersed just like the hay in the summer, they were gone with the wind and no sign of them was found. The rock that hit the statue became a big mountain and covered the earth.”
(Daniel chapter 2 verses 31-43)

The golden head symbolized king Navouchodonosor’s Babylonian kingdom. The rest of the valuable metals (silver, copper, iron) symbolized the following kingdoms of Medians, Persians, GREEKS (Alexandros) or according to other sources, the kingdoms of MedioPersians, GREEKS and Romans. The rock symbolized the coming of a new kingdom that will be established by GOD.

In the Acts of the Apostles (19.21), Pauls epistole to Romans (15.26) and Thessalonians (1.8) is obvious the district division of Greece by the Romans into Achaia and Macedonia.

Daniel in his second vision speaks of a powerful Ram with two horns that nothing could stand in its way but suddenly a Goat with one horn between his eyes came from the east and defeated the mighty Ram.
(Daniel chapter 8 verses 1-14)

Now let’s see how Daniel explained it..

“While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and seeked for comprehension, someone with the appearance of a man stood in front of me. Then I heard a human voice from the Oulai river saying ‘Gabriel make him understand the vision’. Gabriel came next to me. I was scared and I fell down facing the soil. He told me ‘Understand human, the vision refers to the end of times’. While he was speaking, i was sleeping deeply with my face on the soil. He touched me and made me stand up. He said ‘ I will tell you what will happen in the end, in a specific time, when GOD’s wrath ceases. The Ram you saw with the two horns are the kings of Medians and Persians. The Goat is the kingdom of GREEKS and the horn between the eyes is the first king (Alexander)’.”
(Daniel chapter 8 verses 15-27)

In the books of the Maccabees, are described among others the conflicts between Alexander’s diadochoi (successors) and especially the Seleucids and the Ptolemies with the Jews of Judea.
In all three books, Alexander’s succesors and their men are identified as GREEKS and their names are also Greek (Antiochos, Appolonios, Lysias, Ptolemaios, Gorgias, Nicanor, Philippos, Demetrios, Seleucos, Backhidis, Andronikos, Menelaos, Philopator..). They are referred as Greeks and there are specific mentions about the Greek customs and religion that tried to impose on Judea.

“Alexandros the Macedonian, son of Philippos, came from the land of Hetiim and defeated Darius, the knig of Medians and Persians and became king in Darius place as he was already king in GREECE
(A’ Book of Maccabees 1.1)

“From their successors (the successors of Alexander’s generals) came a child, Antiochos Epiphanis, son of king Antiochos. He was a prisoner in Rome and then he became king the year 137, like the GREEKS calculated the kingdom
(A’ Book of Maccabees 1.10)

*The year 137 is actually the year 175 B.C. because the book of Maccabees measures the years from the founding of Seleucos A’ and on, meaning from 312 B.C. and on.

“He (Antiochos) also found out that there was (in Elymais ) a very rich temple, where there were golden shields, armors and weapons that they were left there by Alexandros the Macedonian, son of Philippos, the first king among the GREEKS
(A’ Book of Maccabees 6.2)

In the B’ book of the Maccabees chapter 6 verses 1-11 it is described how king Antiochos tried to
impose the Greek religion (Dionysia) on the Jews.

“King Antiochos agreed and Jason (the head priest) with the power that was given to him,
forced his country men to live like the GREEKS”
(B’ Book of Maccabees 4.10)


At first we must mention that the New Testament was written in the Greek language because at that time that was the universal language since Alexander the Great spread it all over his empire.

In the acts of the Apostles’ (chapter 16, verses 11-15 & 17 verses 1-15, Paul’s journey to Macedonia) there is a description of Macedonia and we can see the names of its cities. Philippoi, Thessaloniki (not Solun), Neapolis, Amphipolis, Appolonia, Beroia. all GREEK names. Apostle Paul and Silas also mention the ethnicities that found in Macedonia, Jews, Romans, Greeks. There is no mention of a Macedonian ethnicity separate from the Greek nation, Macedonians are identified as Greeks.

“And there appeared to Paul during the night, a vision of a Macedonian man who spoke to him in GREEK , ‘ΔΙΑΒΑΣ ΕΙΣ ΜΑΚΕΔΟΝΙΑΝ ΒΟΗΘΗΣΟΝ ΗΜΙΝ’ (which means Come to Macedonia and help us)”
(Acts of the Apostles chapter 16 verse 9)

“Some of them were Jews in descent but they were born, others in Cyprus and others in Cyrynaic Libya. When they came to Antiocheia, they taught the Jews that were born far from Palestine and had as a their native tongue the GREEK language and they preached to them Jesus’ Gospel.”

(Acts of the Apostles chapter 11 verse 20)

“Some of them (Jews) believed and became Paul and Sila’s deciples. From the GREEKS proselytes who respected the real God many were convinced and many from the women of the upper class”
(Acts of the Apostles chapter 17 verse 4)

“The Jews in Beroia were more kind than those of Thessaloniki and accepted the word of God with willingness, scrutinizing the scriptures every day to see if what they had discussed were as Paul had said. Many of them believed and also many of the GREEK men and women of the upper class”
(Acts of the Apostles chapter 17 verses 11-12)

Apostle Paul wrote the following epistoles addressing to Romans, Korinthians, Gauloises, Efessians, Filippisians, Colossians, Thessalonians (not Solun), Timotheon, Philimon, Jews.

The Romans had divided the Greek lands in 2 provinces under the names Macedonia (north) and Achaia (south), this division can be seen at
Acts of the Apostles 19:21
Epistole to Romans 15:26
Epistole to Thessalonians 1:8

“The year 149 (163 B.C.), Maccabee and his men were informed that Antiochos Eupator was marching with many troops against Judea. The king was accompanied by the vice king Lysias, who was also the administrator of the royal affairs. Both of them were leading GREEK troops that consisted of 110.000 foot soldiers and 5.300 horse men, 22 elephants and 300 charriots with blades.
(B’ Book of Maccabees 13.1-2)

Written by George Pap

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