Daniel Chapter two

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JLG

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2) If Daniel had children what type of school would he promote?

Daniel 1:
Then the king ordered Ashpenaz his chief court official to bring some of the Israelites, including those of royal and noble descent. They were to be youths without any defect, of good appearance, endowed with wisdom, knowledge, and discernment, and capable of serving in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the writing and the language of the Chaldeans.


- They should be able to learn about the example of faithful servants of God!

- They should be able to develop perpetual knowledge!

- That is creating new knowledge from studying again and again the same books of the Bible but through different angles or aspects!

- Thus they could see details they can’t see the first time or the second time or the third one…!

- But they shouldn’t be told what to think!

- They should open their brains!

- They should open their hearts!

- And they should express themselves which seems so difficult today!
 

JLG

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1) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Daniel 1:

- City of Jerusalem:

https://www.britannica.com/place/Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Hebrew Yerushalayim, Arabic Bayt al-Muqaddas or Al-Quds, ancient city of the Middle East that since 1967 has been wholly under the rule of the State of Israel.

Long an object of veneration and conflict, the holy city of Jerusalem has been governed, both as a provincial town and a national capital, by an extended series of dynasties and states. In the early 20th century the city, along with all of historic Palestine, became the focus of the competing national aspirations of Zionists and Palestinian Arabs. This struggle often erupted in violence. The United Nations (UN) attempted to declare the city a corpus separatum (Latin: “separate entity”)—and, thus, avert further conflict—but the first Arab-Israeli war, in 1948, left Jerusalem divided into Israeli (west Jerusalem) and Jordanian (East Jerusalem) sectors. The following year Israel declared the city its capital. During the Six-Day War of 1967, the Jewish state occupied the Jordanian sector and shortly thereafter expanded the city boundaries—thereby annexing some areas of the West Bank previously held by the Jordanians—and extended its jurisdiction over the unified city. Although Israel’s actions were repeatedly condemned by the UN and other bodies, Israel reaffirmed Jerusalem’s standing as its capital by promulgating a special law in 1980. The status of the city remained a central issue in the dispute between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, who claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Area 49 square miles (126 square km). Pop. (2016 est.) 936,425. (For more information on the conflict between Israel and the Arabs, see Israel; Palestine; West Bank; Arab-Israeli wars.)

Character of the city

Jerusalem plays a central role in the spiritual and emotional perspective of the three major monotheistic religions. For Jews throughout the world it is the focus of age-old yearnings, a living proof of ancient grandeur and independence and a centre of national renaissance; for Christians it is the scene of Jesus’ agony and triumph; for Muslims it is the goal of the Prophet Muhammad’s mystic night journey and the site of one of Islam’s most sacred shrines. For all three faiths it is a holy city, a centre of pilgrimage, and an object of devotion.
 

JLG

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2) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Daniel 1:

- City of Jerusalem:

Despite a rapidly changing demography, Jerusalem has retained a diverse and cosmopolitan character, particularly in the walled Old City with its Armenian, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim quarters: Arabs in traditional and modern attire; Christians, Western and Oriental, in their infinite variety of secular garb and monastic vestments; Jews in casual and Orthodox dress; and hosts of tourists combine in colourful, kaleidoscopic patterns. Synagogues, churches, mosques, and dwellings in various styles make up the city’s unique architectural mosaic. Sunlight falling on the white and pink stone used for all construction gives even quite mundane buildings an aura of distinction. The scent of cooking and spices, the peal of church bells, the calls of muezzins from minarets, and the chanting of Jewish prayers at the Western (Wailing) Wall all add flavour to the life of the city. The absence of vehicular traffic within most of the Old City helps preserve its special character. In recognition of its central place in the traditions and histories of numerous peoples, the Old City was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981. Yet outside the walls Jerusalem is in every sense a modern city, with its network of streets and transportation, high-rise buildings, supermarkets, businesses, schools, restaurants, and coffeehouses. The persistent mingling of Hebrew, Arabic, English, and other languages in the streets brings to mind the multicultural and political complexities of life in this revered city.

Landscape of Jerusalem
City site
Jerusalem stands on hills at an elevation of 2,575 feet (785 metres). The modern unified city is the largest municipality in Israel or the West Bank and is the heart of an urban agglomeration that spills outside the city limits into adjacent areas of both jurisdictions. At the centre of the modern municipality is the Old City, a walled medieval enclosure of less than half a square mile (roughly one square km), from which the entire city has grown.
To the east the city looks down on the Dead Sea and across the Jordan River to the arid mountains of eastern Jordan (the biblical mountains of Moab). To the west it faces the coastal plain and the Mediterranean Sea, about 35 miles (60 km) away.


Climate

Jerusalem has a mixed subtropical semiarid climate with warm dry summers and cool rainy winters. The average annual precipitation is about 24 inches (600 mm), and snowfalls—which in some years do not occur—are generally light. Average daily mean temperatures range from about 75 °F (24 °C) in August to about 50 °F (10 °C) in January. The hot dry desert wind, called sharav in Hebrew (or khamsin, from the Arabic word for “fifty,” as it is said to come some 50 days per year), is fairly common in autumn and spring. Average daily humidity is about 62 percent in the daytime but may drop 30 to 40 percent under sharav conditions. Summer exposure to the sun’s rays in Jerusalem is intense because of the lack of clouds and the low humidity but also because the sun reaches such a high angle (80° above the horizon) at that season.
Jerusalem has no serious air pollution. Its elevation ensures the free mixing of surface air, and, apart from automobile exhaust, pollutant sources are few, for there is little heavy industry.
Plant and animal life
Lying on the watershed between the relatively rainy Hare Yehuda (Hills of Judaea) and the dry Judaean desert, Jerusalem has both Mediterranean and Irano-Turanian vegetation. The various red and brown Mediterranean soils, formed by the different types of limestone chalk covering the hills, support as many as 1,000 plant species. In the spring, masses of wildflowers proliferate on slopes and wastelands.
Jerusalem is exceptionally rich in birdlife, which includes 70 resident species and about 150 winter visitors. Those most commonly seen are the hooded crow, jay, swift (which nests in old walls and buildings), and bulbul. Large flocks of white storks overfly the city. In the winter, starlings and white wagtails roost in the thousands at various points in the metropolitan area. However, goldfinches and linnets, formerly numerous, now rarely appear. Also often observed within the city are the lesser kestrel and the Palestinian sunbird. The only venomous snake is the Palestine viper, but this is rarely seen in urban areas. The smooth lizard and common chameleon frequent gardens and the walls of houses.
 

JLG

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3) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Daniel 1:

- City of Jerusalem:
City layout

The municipal boundaries, extended by Israel in June 1967 and again in 1993, stretch from the closed Atarot Airport in the north to a point almost reaching the West Bank town of Bethlehem in the south and from the ridge of Mount Scopus and the Mount of Olives in the east to Mount Herzl, ʿEn Kerem, and the Hadassah Medical Centre of the Hebrew University in the west.

The Old City, which is believed to have been continuously inhabited for almost 5,000 years, forms a walled quadrilateral about 3,000 feet (900 metres) long on each side. It is dominated by the raised platform of the Temple Mount—known in Hebrew as Har Ha-Bayit, the site of the First and Second Temples, and known to Islam as Al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf (“The Noble Sanctuary”), a Muslim holy place containing the Dome of the Rock, Al-Aqṣā Mosque, and other structures. The rest of the area within the walls is a typical Middle Eastern city, with its mosques and madrasahs (Muslim religious colleges); its churches, convents, hospices, and residences of high ecclesiastical dignitaries; its synagogues and yeshivas (Talmudic academies); its hidden courtyards and gardens; and its medieval vaulted triple bazaar in the centre and labyrinth of smaller souks along David Street, which leads from Jaffa Gate and the old Ottoman Citadel toward the Temple Mount.

The first neighbourhoods outside the Old City walls, built from the 1860s onward, were scattered chiefly along the main roads from the west and northwest leading into the city. These early Jewish suburbs were paralleled by non-Jewish expansion prompted by Christian religious or nationalistic motivation. The latter included the Russian Compound on the meydan (old Turkish parade ground), near what is today the commercial heart of west Jerusalem; the German Colony, near what became the railway station; and the American Colony, north of the Damascus Gate. Some early communities, such as Mishkenot Shaʾananim and Yemin Moshe, with its famous windmill landmark, have been reconstructed and resettled or turned into cultural centres. Others include the Bukharan Quarter; Meʾa Sheʿarim, founded by Orthodox Jews from eastern and central Europe, with its scores of small synagogues and yeshivas; and Maḥane Yehuda, with its fruit and vegetable market, inhabited mainly by Jews of North African and Oriental origin. Residential quarters established between World Wars I and II include Reḥavya in the centre, Talpiyyot in the south, and Qiryat Moshe and Bet Ha-Kerem in the west. The old campus of the Hebrew University at Mount Scopus, northeast of the Old City, formed for some 20 years (1948–67) an Israeli exclave in the Jordanian sector; it was entirely rebuilt after the Six-Day War. Some Arab districts, such as Talbieh and Katamon (Gonen), whose residents fled during the fighting of 1947–48, are now Jewish neighbourhoods, and thousands of houses were built for new Jewish immigrants in districts to the west, newly incorporated into the city. Arab neighbourhoods outside the Old City include El-Sheikh (Al-Shaykh) Jarrāḥ, Wadi al-Jōz (al-Jawz), and Bayt Ḥanīnā in the north and villages such as Silwān and Bayt Ṣafāfā in the south.

Since 1967 large new housing developments for Jews have been built on the southern, eastern, and northern edges of the city, both within and beyond the extended city boundary. Their construction on territory claimed by both Israelis and Arabs has given rise to repeated confrontations and controversy. Meanwhile, construction of housing for Arabs within the city has been severely limited, which has resulted in large-scale ribbon development of Arab housing, particularly along the road leading north to Ramallah.
Housing

There is a great variety of housing in the city. In the Old City are antiquated buildings constructed of ancient stones; 19th-century Jewish neighbourhoods, some of which have declined into slums; modern quarters with tree-lined streets; and government-built housing projects, mainly for new immigrants. The most common basic dwelling unit in the Old City consists of a complex of structures, often on different levels, built around an inner court that is entered through a narrow corridor. Since 1967 the government has taken steps to facilitate slum clearance, and the Jewish quarter in the Old City and many older neighbourhoods in the New City have been restored and gentrified for Jewish inhabitants. Average housing density is higher among Arabs (about 1.9 persons per room) than it is among Jews (about 1 person per room).
 

JLG

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4) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Daniel 1:

- City of Jerusalem:

Architecture

The outstanding characteristic of the architecture of Jerusalem is the coexistence of old and new, sacred and secular, in a variety of styles. The most conspicuous feature is the city wall erected in 1538–40 by the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, largely on the foundations of earlier walls dating chiefly to the period of the Crusades but in some places to Byzantine, Herodian, and even Hasmonean times. The Old City may be entered through any of seven gates in the wall: the New, Damascus, and Herod’s gates to the north, the St. Stephen’s (or Lion’s) Gate to the east, the Dung and Zion gates to the south, and the Jaffa Gate to the west. An eighth gate, the Golden Gate, to the east, remains sealed, however, for it is through this portal that Jewish legend states that the messiah will enter the city. The Jaffa and Damascus gates are still the main entrances. The city wall remains intact and unbroken, save for a gap (immediately next to the Jaffa Gate) that was cut by the Ottoman authorities in 1898 to facilitate the grand entrance of Emperor William II of Germany on the occasion of his visit to the city.

On three sides of the Temple Mount, parts of the original supporting walls still stand. During the centuries when Jews were excluded from the Temple Mount, its Western Wall became Jewry’s holiest shrine. Since 1967 the wall has been further exposed, and a large plaza has been cleared in front of it. The main buildings on the platform are two Islamic structures: the magnificent gold-capped Dome of the Rock, completed in 691, and the silver-domed Al-Aqṣā Mosque, built in the early 8th century.

The Citadel (with David’s Tower) beside the Jaffa Gate, which acquired its present form in the 16th century, was created over ruins from the Hasmonean and Herodian periods, integrating large parts of Crusader structures and some Mamlūk additions. The large number of churches mainly represent two great periods of Christian architecture, the Byzantine and Crusader eras. The former is characterized by two- or three-tiered ornamental or basketlike carved capitals. The Crusader architecture reflects Romanesque styling, which features semicircular arches and barrel vaults. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre incorporates elements of both styles, but its facade and layout are architecturally Romanesque. The best example of the mixed style is the Church of St. Anne (its substructure is Byzantine); others are the Armenian Cathedral of St. James, which combines Romanesque with Oriental elements, and the Tomb of the Virgin, which is Romanesque in its upper part but Byzantine in its lower.

The central part of the triple bazaar, as well as its link with the Cardo (a restored Roman-Byzantine mall), is of Crusader origin. Mamlūk constructions of the 13th to the 15th century, as well as coats of arms of Mamlūk rulers, are found along David Street and near the Gate of the Chain at the Western Wall. The constructions are characterized by “stalactite” or “honeycomb” (muqarnas) ornamentation and the use of multicoloured slabs of stone. Ottoman architecture of the early 16th century continued the Mamlūk style and is represented in some structures of the Temple Mount. The rock-cut tombs east and north of the Old City exemplify architecture of the first half of the 1st millennium bce (Tomb of Pharaoh’s Daughter) and the Second Temple period (Tombs of the Kings, Tomb of Absalom, and Tomb of Zechariah). The restored Monastery of the Cross, in the heart of modern west Jerusalem, dates originally to the 5th century.

As Jerusalem spread outside the walls, its architecture came to be characterized chiefly by iron beams and red-tiled roofs. From 1930 there was a radical change, and flat roofs and reinforced concrete faced with naturally dressed stone predominated. The arrival of a number of German Jewish architects, refugees from Nazism, reinforced the trend toward modernism. Among important buildings of the British mandate period are Government House (since 1948 the UN headquarters in the region), the King David Hotel, the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum, the Jewish Agency headquarters, and the Young Men’s Christian Association building in west Jerusalem. In the period between 1948 and 1967 much of the residential construction in the Israeli sector took the form of standardized, high-density apartment blocks. Since 1967 design and construction standards have improved. Buildings are seldom taller than eight stories, but since 1967 there has been a growing tendency, despite opposition, for high-rise construction. This is the case with a number of modern hotels at the western entrance to the city, and the construction of office buildings in the city centre is following the trend. All buildings, however, must follow a city ordinance—originally issued by Colonel (later Sir) Ronald Storrs, British governor of the city from 1917 to 1926—requiring that all buildings be faced in stone. With only a few exceptions, the ordinance has been enforced continuously since the 1920s. Outstanding modern architecture is represented by the Knesset Building, the Israel Museum, the Jerusalem Theatre, and the Hebrew Union College. More-contemporary trends are represented by the Bank of Israel, the City Hall, and the Supreme Court building. Religious buildings remain a prominent part of the urban scene.
 

JLG

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5) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Daniel 1:

- City of Jerusalem:
People of Jerusalem
Because Jerusalem is a holy city, uniquely revered by the three major monotheistic religions, its people have traditionally been classified according to religious affiliation. A majority of the city’s residents are either secular or traditional Jews. Muslims are the most homogeneous of the communities, and Christians—who are represented by numerous sects and churches—are the most diversified. Residential segregation is the norm, and Jews and Arabs live almost exclusively in specific districts. Among the Jews there is a further subdivision of residential districts among ultraorthodox, traditional, and secular Jews, and Armenian Christians likewise form their own enclave in the Old City.
Muslims are the most ethnically homogeneous group, being very nearly all Arabs. The Christian community is somewhat more diverse. Although the city has attracted visitors and settlers from throughout the Christian world (and Christians are by far the smallest religious group), Arabs remain the largest ethnic element among the city’s Christians. Jerusalem’s Jewish population is far and away the most ethnically diverse. Jews from every part of the Diaspora have settled in the city, adding to the extant Jewish community. Although the political conflict over the fate of the city and the broader region often has been shrouded in religious overtones, it has largely taken the shape of competing national aspirations—one Jewish Israeli and the other Palestinian Arab—and these two groups form the major political and demographic blocs within the modern city.


Jews
Among the Jews, an important line of division is between Ashkenazim (broadly, Jews of central and eastern European origin), Sephardim (Jews of Spanish and Portuguese origin), and Mizrahim (North African or Oriental Jews). Of no less importance is the division between the Orthodox and the more secular-minded segments of the population. Secular, traditional, and ultraorthodox groups each constitute roughly one-third of the Jewish population. Religious controversy plays a large part in local politics, and disputes often erupt over issues such as Sabbath observance or kashruth (dietary law). Some ultraorthodox neighbourhoods are barred to traffic on the Sabbath.
Jerusalem is the centre of Jewish religious reverence and aspiration. The most sacred spot is the Temple Mount, on which many Orthodox Jews refrain from setting foot for fear of profaning the sanctity of the site where once stood the most sacred Holy of Holies. In addition to the Western Wall—the most important centre of prayer and pilgrimage—other holy places include the reputed tomb of King David on Mount Zion, the Mount of Olives with its ancient Jewish cemetery, and the tombs of priestly families in the Valley of Kidron. Old synagogues and study houses in the Old City have been refurbished; particularly worthy of mention is the interconnected group of four synagogues begun in the 16th century by Jews exiled from Spain. Jerusalem is one of the world’s foremost centres of rabbinic learning and contains scores of yeshivas. Notable modern religious structures include the Jerusalem Great Synagogue and the synagogue and associated institutions of the followers of the Rebbe of Belz, a Hasidic rabbi whose court is in Jerusalem.


Muslims
Muslims formed only a minority of the Arab population of Jerusalem in the first decade of the 20th century, but by the early 21st century they outnumbered Christians by an overwhelming margin. Almost all are Sunni Muslims. Jerusalem is revered by Muslims as the third holiest place on earth, and the pilgrimage to Jerusalem (taqdīs) is viewed as an optional complement to the pilgrimage to Mecca, the hajj. Unlike the hajj, the pilgrimage to Jerusalem is undertaken individually at any time of the year. Jerusalem was also the starting point of the annual Nābī Mūsā (Prophet Moses) pilgrimage to a Muslim shrine on the road to Jericho, locally held to be the burial place of the biblical prophet. The festival, which was always timed to coincide with Easter celebrations, was at one time the largest mass pilgrimage in Palestine and played an important part of the religious ritual of Jerusalem and the surrounding area. The Nābī Mūsā pilgrimage, which was under the patronage of the Ḥusaynī family, died away in the early 1950s.
Since 1967 Al-Ḥaram al-Sharīf and the Muslim waqfs (religious endowments) have been administered by a Muslim council that does not recognize the sovereignty of Israel over East Jerusalem. The council also assumed responsibility for the Sharīʿah courts and other Muslim religious institutions that had previously been under the jurisdiction of the Council of Waqf and Muslim Affairs in Amman, Jordan. Since 1995 the Palestinian Authority (PA) has come to exercise effective control over all Muslim institutions, religious courts, and appointments to religious office in East Jerusalem.
 

JLG

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6) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel





Daniel 1:

- City of Jerusalem:

Christians

Christians constitute the smallest but most religiously diverse section of the population. They number some 15,000, of whom about four-fifths are Arabs. Jerusalem is the seat of three resident patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox churches and of many archbishops and bishops, and almost all the principal historic sects of Christendom are represented in the city in some form. The main groups are Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant. The major denominations, except the Protestants, share control over the Church of the Holy Sepulchre according to a rule—known as the “status quo”—promulgated by the Ottoman sultan in 1852.
The Greek Orthodox Church maintains a patriarchate with jurisdiction over the entire Holy Land. Although the laity and parish clergy are mainly Arab, the patriarch, bishops, and regular clergy are almost all Greek. The patriarchate owns large tracts of valuable real estate both in Jerusalem and elsewhere. The Russian Orthodox Church too owns considerable properties dating to tsarist times. The Roman Catholic Church in Jerusalem, established in 1099 during the First Crusade, was dissolved when the Muslims won the city in 1244. The Franciscan order, which since 1334 has been the “Custodian of the Holy Land,” is charged with the safekeeping of Roman Catholic rights and properties in Jerusalem. The Latin patriarchate was reestablished in 1847. Of the Oriental Orthodox churches, the Armenian is the largest, its patriarchate having been established in the 6th century; other churches include the Coptic and the Ethiopian. At least 1,000 Armenians live in the city, about half of them in a compound in the Armenian quarter around the seat of the patriarchate at the Cathedral of St. James, which constitutes the largest monastic centre in the region. Smaller Christian sects with communities and institutions in Jerusalem include the Syrian Orthodox, Greek Catholic (Melchite), and Armenian Catholic churches. The small Protestant community includes Anglicans, Lutherans, and adherents of American Evangelical churches.
 

JLG

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1) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Daniel 8:

- Greece:

https://www.history.com/news/alexander-the-great-defeat-persian-empire

How Alexander the Great Conquered the Persian Empire

Alexander used both military and political cunning to finally unseat the Persian superpower.

For more than two centuries, the Achaemenid Empire of Persia ruled the Mediterranean world. One of history’s first true super powers, the Persian Empire stretched from the borders of India down through Egypt and up to the northern borders of Greece. But Persia’s rule as a dominant empire would finally be brought to an end by a brilliant military and political strategist, Alexander the Great.

Alexander III was born in 356 B.C. in the small Kingdom of Macedonia. Tutored in his youth by Aristotle and trained for battle by his father, Philip II, Alexander the Great grew to become a powerful imperialist. His undermanned defeat of the Persian King Darius III at the Battle of Gaugamela is seen as one of the decisive turning points of human history, unseating the Persians as the greatest power in the ancient world and spreading Hellenistic culture across a vast new empire.

Alexander owed a tremendous debt to his father for leaving him a world-class army led by experienced and loyal generals. But it was Alexander’s genius as a leader and battlefield strategist that secured his victory against an imposing adversary deep in enemy territory.

Philip II Left Alexander the Great a Fierce Army

The Macedonians weren’t always a force to be reckoned with. The historic centers of Greek power were the city-states of Athens, Sparta and Thebes to the south, whose leaders regarded the Macedonians as barbarians. It was Alexander’s father, Philip, who single-handedly transformed the Macedonian army into one of the most feared fighting machines in the ancient world.

Philip reorganized all of Macedonian society around a professional army and raised elite fighting forces of infantry, cavalry, javelin throwers and archers. Aristocratic young men would start their military training at seven years old and graduate to officers at 18. The highest positions were in the Royal Companion Cavalry, the king’s own personal squadron, and in the Royal Hypaspists, an elite 500-man infantry unit that surrounded the king in battle.

Weaponry also got an upgrade under Philip. Gone was the shorter “dory” or Greek wooden spear (7 feet long), and in its place was the much longer sarissa, an 18- to 22-foot hunting spear with an iron tip that could puncture heavy armor and impale charging cavalry horses.

Backed by his shiny new army, Philip marched south in 338 B.C. and defeated an all-star alliance of Athens and Thebes at the Battle of Chaeronea. The battle served as a coming-out party for 18-year-old Alexander, who bravely led the Macedonian cavalry charge that broke through the Athenian ranks and secured victory for the upstart kingdom.
 

JLG

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2) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Daniel 8:

- Greece:

With the Greek mainland subdued under Macedonian rule, Philip turned his well-oiled army East toward the Persian Empire, a far greater prize. But soon after crossing the Hellespont into Persian territory, Philip was assassinated, making young Alexander the new king and commander-in-chief of the Macedonian forces.

As soon as Alexander came to the throne, he openly stated that he would carry on his father’s plans,” says Graham Wrightson, a history professor at South Dakota State University and author of Combined Arms Warfare in Ancient Greece. But before Alexander could push into Persia, he had to take care of business back home.

The Greek city-states of Athens and Thebes weren’t thrilled to be under the thumb of “barbarian” kings, particularly since it infringed on their democratic ideals. Immediately after Alexander was made king, Thebes rose up to challenge his authority—a big mistake. Not only did the Macedonian army easily crush the Thebian rebellion, says Wrightson, “but Alexander razed Thebes to the ground and sold the entire city into slavery, except for one house owned by the descendants of his favorite poet.”

Alexander Used Political Campaigns to Rule Greece
Always the savvy strategist, Alexander knew that he couldn’t rule the Greek mainland by fear and brute force alone. So as he turned his attention back to Persia, Alexander framed his campaign against the Achaemenid Empire as a patriotic retaliation for Persia’s failed invasion of the Greek mainland a century earlier. That conflict featured the famous Battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartan warriors made a heroic last stand against tens of thousands of Persian invaders.

Alexander creates a propaganda campaign that the Macedonians are invading Persia on behalf of the Greeks, even though Macedon wasn’t part of Greece and didn’t fight on the side of Greece in the original Greco-Persian wars,” says Wrightson. “He’s invading Persia to punish the Persians retroactively for daring to invade Greece in the first place.”

Whether motivated by Greek pride or the spoils of imperial conquest, Alexander picked up where his father left off and marched into Persia in 334 BC, where his army of 50,000 would be tested against the largest and best-trained fighting force in the known world.

It’s estimated that King Darius III of Persia was in command of a total of 2.5 million soldiers spread across his vast empire. At the heart of the Persian army were the “Immortals,” an elite regiment of 10,000 infantrymen whose numbers never changed. When a man was killed, another rose to take his place. The Persian cavalry and archers were also legendary, as were the scythe chariots which cut down enemy infantry with their razor-sharp wheel hubs.
 

JLG

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3) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Daniel 8:
- Greece:


Persian Empire Was Already in Decline

But there were also signs that the Persian Empire was already in decline. After suffering humiliating back-to-back defeats in Greece in the 5th-century B.C., Persia stopped expanding. In the century leading up to Alexander’s reign, Persia was furthered weakened by a civil war and other internal rebellions. Darius still commanded a massive army, but Persia was receding on the world stage while Macedon had the momentum of an ascendant military super power.

After quickly dispatching a small regional army near the town of Granicus, Alexander had his first real test against Darius and his Persian Royal Army near the coastal city of Issus. Darius’ strategy was to cut off Alexander’s supply lines from behind and force the Macedonian troops to turn around and face off. But Darius botched the location of the battle, which ended up being a narrow strip of land between a ridge and the sea that neutralized his numbers advantage.

At Issus, Alexander debuted the battle strategy that would assure him victory after victory during his remarkable reign of conquest. Knowing he would be outmatched in manpower, Alexander relied on speed and distraction. He would draw enemy troops toward one flank, then wait for a momentary gap to open up in the center of the enemy lines for a head-first cavalry charge.

Just as he did with his father at Chaeronea, Alexander personally led the Macedonian cavalry charge at Issus, which cut right to the heart of the Persian defenses, just as planned. A stunned Darius reportedly hopped on his horse and fled, with the rest of his army close behind.

The two armies wouldn’t meet again for another two years. In the interim, Darius regrouped and called in reinforcements from the East, while Alexander marched his army South into Egypt. When Alexander returned to Persia from his Egyptian conquests, Darius tried to delay the inevitable clash as long as possible, eventually deciding that if there was going to be a rematch, it would be on Daruis’ terms.

Darius and his generals chose a battle site near the town of Gaugamela. It was a wide, flat valley that, unlike Issus, would allow the Persians to take full advantage of their lopsided numbers, an estimated 250,000 Persian troops facing off against Alexander’s 50,000.

Darius even flattened the ground so that his scythe chariots could charge at the Macedonians,” says Wrightson.

Alexander the Great's Complicated Battle Plan
But Alexander will not be outplayed. He camped the Macedonian army in the hills above the battle site to fuel up and rest while he drew up a game plan. The Persians, fearing a night attack, remained in ready formation all night, anxiously awaiting a charge that never came.

At dawn, the Macedonians took the battlefield. True to his strategy, Alexander’s army advanced in a line with the two flanks drawn back like a bow. Then he ordered the entire Macedonian line to march quickly to the right.

Darius, fearing he was about to be overlapped on his left side, sent in 5,000 of his best cavalry. Alexander counter-struck with a regiment of 1,500 mercenaries tasked with holding the right-hand position. Darius grew frustrated with the lack of progress, so he sent in another 10,000 cavalry, almost his entire left flank. Alexander responded with what’s known as his “pawn sacrifice” of several thousand troops destined to die as a set up for the final move.

At this point, Darius ordered a full-frontal charge on the rest of the Macedonian army, but it took time for his orders to reach his left flank. This created just enough slack in the Persian line for Alexander to strike.

Just as Darius begins the charge, the Macedonians launch a devastating cavalry attack that goes right into the gap cunningly created by Alexander’s tactics,” says Wrightson.
 

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4) Geographical locations in the book of Daniel

Daniel 8:

- Greece:
As Alexander and his elite Royal Companion Cavalry raced into the heart of the Persian defenses, they were momentarily surrounded by the enemy, but the experienced Macedonian sarissa regiments fought their way through. According to legend, Alexander killed Darius’ chariot driver and almost captured the Persian king before he fled once again on horseback.


Days later, with Alexander’s cavalry in hot pursuit, Darius was killed by his own cousin, who delivered the fallen king’s head to Alexander as a tribute. Appalled by the treasonous act, Alexander had the man tortured and executed before declaring himself the undisputed king of Macedonia, Greece, and now Persia.

The reign of Alexander the Great was short-lived. After subduing all of the Persian Empire, his army marched east and got as far as India before turning back home to Macedon. But he never made it home. At just 32 years old, Alexander died in Persia in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II in Babylon from a sudden and mysterious illness.
 

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1) The Administration in Babylon:

https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/babylonian-empire

Babylonian Empire
Type of Government

Located on the banks of the Euphrates River in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq), the city-state of Babylon was the capital of two empires over the course of its long history. Both were absolute monarchies. The first was marked by the king’s personal involvement in even the most trivial affairs of state. An ever-expanding bureaucracy, a more powerful priesthood, and greater interaction with distant powers distinguished the second empire from its predecessor.

Background
Because the term Babylonian Empire can be misleading, a few clarifications are necessary. First, it is important to note that Babylon and Babylonia are not
identical. For much of its history, the city of Babylon was only one of a number of independent states in the region called Babylonia. Indeed, it was the conquest of those neighboring states that created the empires. Second, many of the most familiar features of Babylon did not exist until the second empire, often called the Chaldean or neo-Babylonian Empire, arose more than a thousand years after the first. Strictly speaking, however, the term Babylonian Empire refers only to the first incarnation, which began in about 1894 BC and ended three hundred years later.


Urban civilizations had existed in Mesopotamia for more than a thousand years when Babylon first rose to prominence. Because the land between the Tigris and Euphrates was a fertile and well-watered enclave in a barren landscape, it proved extremely attractive to a variety of nomadic peoples. Among those who stayed, abandoning nomadism for a more settled life of farming and trade, were the Amorites. Their union with the more established residents of northern Babylonia, an area known as Akkad, led to the establishment of a new dynasty in Babylon itself. The new king, Sumu-Abum (c. 1894–c. 1881 BC), was an Amorite.

His administration probably resembled those in nearby cities such as Kish and Kazallu. Construction of defensive walls, irrigation canals, and temples was a major preoccupation. Strong city walls were an obvious need in a land crowded with rival states, but the other projects were critical to royal power as well. No king or city in Mesopotamia could survive without active, centralized management of their water resources through canals, levees, and dams. As Sumu-Abum himself understood, one of the most effective ways of waging war against a enemy downstream was to simply divert the river. Less obvious to modern eyes, perhaps, is the benefit Sumu-Abum, his successors, and his rivals derived from their continual construction and reconstruction of temples, an activity that absorbed enormous manpower and a large share of government revenue. However, the basis of a Mesopotamian king’s legitimacy was the perceived closeness of his relationship with the gods. A king who neglected the temples was inviting the wrath of heaven and the fury of his people.

The other major focus of Mesopotamian kings was warfare, usually in the form of temporary, small-scale raids against neighbors. So it was with Sumu-Abum and the first four of his successors. The sixth, however, was Hammurabi (d. 1750 BC), one of the most famous rulers of antiquity. It was Hammurabi’s sustained military success, particularly against Larsa, Babylon’s powerful southern rival, that transformed the relatively prosperous city-state into a major regional power. He is better known, however, for the so-called Code of Hammurabi, a series of hypothetical if-then statements that judges could use as a guide in adjudicating the real cases before them. The code illustrates Hammurabi’s lifelong interest in law and the importance he accorded it in his administration. It also reveals something of his philosophy of kingship, a philosophy that permeated the structural framework of his government.
 

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2) The Administration in Babylon:

Government Structure

A king’s closeness to the gods should not prevent his personal involvement in the most mundane, trivial, or unpleasant affairs of state. Or so the extensive records of Hammurabi’s administration suggest. These include letters to other heads of state, instructions to subordinates, and propaganda. The overwhelming impression is a paradox: a large bureaucracy designed to bring the smallest details of every facet of government activity to the attention of the king. While most bureaucracies exist to remove from the king or chief executive the burden of routine business, Hammurabi seems to have welcomed it, for reasons about which can only be speculated. Even though most Mesopotamian kings would have handled some legal cases as the court of last resort, Hammurabi involved himself in land disputes between farmers, contract disputes between merchants, and other routine legal business. A personal interest in law may have played a role. Most historians believe, however, that he simply took to heart the king’s traditional role as the guardian of justice. His involvement in diplomatic and military affairs might have had the same motive, if he believed that one of his neighbors was abusing the rights of the people.
Hammurabi’s attention to detail had a significant effect on the structure of his government. Scribes and literate clerks were the foundation of his administration, for it was only through their efforts that he could be kept abreast of state affairs with the thoroughness he demanded. Accurate records were crucial, particularly in the management of the frequent military drafts and the ilkum, a kind of compulsory labor service. After conquering a new territory, the king would send out a small corps of specialists under his immediate command to handle its integration into the empire. Such tasks were ideal training for future monarchs. Hammurabi is known to have sent his sons on diplomatic missions, just as he gave at least one daughter in marriage to an ally. Serious illness toward the end of his life forced Hammurabi to transfer most duties to Samsu-Iluna (eighteenth century BC), his son and successor. Even though it may well have been a difficult decision for Hammurabi, the transfer to Samsu-Iluna was useful in clarifying the succession and avoiding a bitter fight for the throne after the great king’s death.
Despite the turmoil of the centuries between the first and second empires, a basic conservatism prevented radical change in the political structure. Like many other ancient peoples, Babylonians revered the traditions and habits of their ancestors, whom they regarded as closer to the gods. Some change, including the expansion of the bureaucracy as a result of increased trade and territory, was accepted as inevitable. However, any other deviation from perceived tradition was likely to meet resistance.
 

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2) The Administration in Babylon

Political Parties and Factions

Most political intrigue in the first empire had external roots, as neighboring kings tried to undermine each other’s authority. It is likely that tax burdens and compulsory labor provoked some purely internal dissatisfaction, but little is known for certain. The king’s prestige as the semidivine embodiment of divine order undoubtedly stifled the expression of dissent. Some kings went further, declaring themselves wholly immortal. Many historians suspect that declarations of immortality were primarily a tool of weak or troubled kings to enhance their authority; Hammurabi himself apparently never felt the need to issue one.

Perhaps the most important distinction between the first and second empires is a dramatic increase in the power of the various priesthoods, particularly that of Marduk, Babylon’s patron god. Ironically, the priests’ new power stemmed largely from their ability to harness the people’s reverence for the past. If the authority of the gods was eternal and inviolate, went the argument, the authority of their priests ought to be as well. In fact, many early kings, particularly Hammurabi, kept tight control of the priesthoods. Religion and politics were inseparable in Mesopotamia, but the most successful kings took care to assert their authority over the temples and the priests who staffed them. Over time, this became an increasingly difficult task.

Major Events

After a period of increasing turmoil and internal weakness, Babylon fell to the invading Kassites, an Iranian people, in about 1575 BC. Their rule seems to have had little discernable effect on Babylon’s political structure, but the lack of written records from this period makes certainty impossible. By the middle of the twelfth century, power had passed to another Iranian people, the Elamites, though the powerful Assyrians were soon threatening from the north. They would dominate Babylon for the next five hundred years, until their downfall in about 625 BC at the hands of Nabopolassar (d. 605 BC), the leader of the Chaldean people, who came from what is now Kuwait. During their rule some of the most familiar events of Babylonian history occurred, including the construction of the Hanging Gardens and the conquest of Jerusalem, both of which were the work of Nabopolassar’s son, Nebuchadrezzar II (c. 630–562 BC).

Aftermath

In 539 BC the Persians, in concert with the priests of Marduk, seized Babylon without a fight. The city’s economic and cultural prominence continued until the Persian king Xerxes I (c. 519–465 BC) plundered it and destroyed its walls after a failed rebellion in 482 BC. The effects of Xerxes’ revenge were permanent.
 

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- Coming back to Daniel 5 thread 41 about the power of the Church :


The key to understanding the importance of Egypt in that period lies in seeing how the Christian church came rapidly to dominate secular as well as religious institutions and to acquire a powerful interest and role in every political issue. The corollary of this was that the head of the Egyptian church, the patriarch of Alexandria, became the most influential figure within Egypt, as well as the person who could give the Egyptian clergy a powerful voice in the councils of the Eastern church. During the course of the 4th century, Egypt was divided for administrative purposes into a number of smaller units but the patriarchy was
not, and its power thus far outweighed that of any local administrative official. Only the governors of groups of provinces (vicarii of dioceses) were equivalent, and the praetorian prefects and emperors were superior. When a patriarch of Alexandria was given civil authority as well, as happened in the case of Cyrus, the last patriarch under Byzantine rule, the combination was very powerful indeed.


The turbulent history of Egypt in the Byzantine period can largely be understood in terms of the struggles of the successive (or, after 570, coexisting) patriarchs of Alexandria to maintain their position both within their patriarchy and outside it in relation to Constantinople. What linked Egypt and the rest of the Eastern Empire was the way in which the imperial authorities, when strong (as, for instance, in the reign of Justinian), tried to control the Egyptian church from Constantinople, while at the same time assuring the capital’s food supply and, as often as not, waging wars to keep their empire intact. Conversely, when weak they failed to control the church. For the patriarchs of Alexandria, it
proved impossible to secure the approval of the imperial authorities in Constantinople and at the same time maintain the support of their power base in Egypt. The two made quite different demands, and the ultimate result was a social, political, and cultural gulf between Alexandria and the rest of Egypt and between Hellenism and native Egyptian culture, which found a powerful new means of expression in Coptic Christianity. The gulf was made more emphatic after the Council of Chalcedon in 451 established the official doctrine that Christ was to be seen as existing in two natures, inseparably united. The council’s decision in effect sent the Egyptian Coptic (now Coptic Orthodox) church off on its own path of monophysitism, which centred around a firm insistence on the singularity of the nature of Christ.
Despite the debilitating effect of internal quarrels between rival churchmen, and despite the threats posed by the hostile tribes of Blemmyes and Nubade in the south (until their conversion to Christianity in the mid-6th century), emperors of Byzantium still could be threatened by the strength of Egypt if it were properly harnessed.



- Religious leaders looking for power and their own interests which have nothing to do with God’s interests !


- One God, two Gods,three Gods… More ?
 

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https://www.britannica.com/biography/Origen

Origen, Latin in full Oregenes Adamantius, (born c. 185, probably Alexandria, Egypt—died c. 254, Tyre, Phoenicia [now Ṣūr, Lebanon]), the most important theologian and biblical scholar of the early Greek church. His greatest work is the Hexapla, which is a synopsis of six versions of the Old Testament.
Life

Origen was born of pagan parents, according to the Neoplatonist philosopher Porphyry, but of Christian parents, according to the ecclesiastical historian
Eusebius of Caesarea, whose account is probably more accurate. Eusebius stated that Origen’s father, Leonides, was martyred in the persecution of 202, so that Origen had to provide for his mother and six younger brothers. At first he lived in the house of a wealthy lady. He then earned money by teaching grammar and lived a life of strenuous asceticism. Eusebius added that he was a pupil of Clement of Alexandria, whom he succeeded as head of the Catechetical school under the authority of the bishop Demetrius. Eusebius also alleged that Origen, as a young man, castrated himself so as to work freely in instructing female catechumens; but this was not the only story told by the malicious about his extraordinary chastity, and thus it may merely have been hostile gossip. Eusebius’ account of Origen’s life, moreover, bears the embellishments of legends of saints and needs to be treated with this in mind.
According to Porphyry, Origen attended lectures given by Ammonius Saccas, the founder of Neoplatonism. A letter of Origen mentions his “teacher of philosophy,” at whose lectures he met Heraclas, who was to become his junior colleague, then his rival, and who was to end as bishop of Alexandria refusing to hold communion with him. Origen invited Heraclas to assist him with the elementary teaching at the Catechetical school, leaving himself free for advanced teaching and study. During this period (from c. 212), Origen learned Hebrew and began to compile his Hexapla.



A wealthy Christian named Ambrose, whom Origen converted from the teachings of the heretical Valentinus and to whom he dedicated many of his works, provided him with shorthand writers. A stream of treatises and commentaries began to pour from Origen’s pen. At Alexandria he wrote Miscellanies (Stromateis), On the Resurrection (Peri anastaseos), and On First Principles (De principiis). He also began his immense commentary on St. John, written to refute the commentary of the Gnostic follower of Valentinus, Heracleon. His studies were interrupted by visits to Rome (where he met the theologian Hippolytus), Arabia, Antioch, and Palestine.

Because of his reputation, Origen was much in demand as a preacher, a circumstance that provoked the disapproval of Demetrius, bishop of Alexandria, who was anxious to control this free lay teacher and especially angry when Origen was allowed to preach at Caesarea Palestinae. In about 229–230 Origen went to Greece to dispute with another follower of Valentinus, Candidus. On the way he was ordained presbyter at Caesarea. The Valentinian doctrine that salvation and damnation are predestinate, independent of volition, was defended by Candidus on the ground that Satan is beyond repentance; Origen replied that if Satan fell by will, even he can repent. Demetrius, incensed at Origen’s ordination, was appalled by such a doctrinal view and instigated a synodical condemnation, which, however, was not accepted in Greece and Palestine. Thenceforth, Origen lived at Caesarea, where he attracted many pupils. One of his most notable students was Gregory Thaumaturgus, later bishop of Neocaesarea.


From Caesarea, Origen continued his travels. In 235 the persecution of Maximinus found him in Cappadocia, from which he addressed to Ambrose his
Exhortation to Martyrdom. During this period falls the “Discussion with Heracleides,” a papyrus partially transcribing a debate at a church council (probably in Arabia) where a local bishop was suspected of denying the preexistence of the divine Word and where obscure controversies raged over Christological issues and whether the soul is, in actuality, blood. During the persecution under the emperor Decius (250), Origen was imprisoned and tortured but survived to die several years later. His tomb at Tyre was held in honour, and its long survival is attested by historians of the period of the Crusades.
 

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Writings

Origen’s main lifework was on the text of the Greek Old Testament and on the exposition of the whole Bible. The Hexapla was a synopsis of Old Testament versions: the Hebrew and a transliteration, the Septuagint (an authoritative Greek version of the Old Testament), the versions of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion and, for the Psalms, two further translations (one being discovered by him in a jar in the Jordan Valley). The purpose of the Hexapla was to provide a secure basis for debate with rabbis to whom the Hebrew alone was authoritative.

Origen’s exegetical writings consist of commentaries (scholarly expositions for instructed Christians), homilies for mixed congregations, and scholia (detached comments on particular passages or books). All extant manuscripts of the commentary on St. John, which extended to 32 books, depend on a codex preserved in Munich containing only a few of the books. This codex and a related manuscript at Trinity College, Cambridge, are the sole witnesses for the Greek original of books 10–17 of his commentary on St. Matthew. Greek fragments of this, as of most of Origen’s exegetical works, survive in writings known as catenae (“chains”; i.e., anthologies of comments by early Church Fathers on biblical books). Commentaries on the Song of Solomon and on Romans survive in a drastically abbreviated Latin paraphrase by the Christian writer Tyrannius Rufinus (c. 365–410/411). The homilies on Genesis through the Book of Judges (except Deuteronomy) and Psalms 36–38 survive in a Latin translation by Rufinus. Jerome, the great Christian scholar (c. 347–c. 420), translated homilies on the Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Luke. These Latin homilies were widely read in medieval monasteries and have a rich manuscript tradition. The Greek original of homilies on Jeremiah survives in a single manuscript in the Escorial (Spain), and that of a homily on the witch of Endor (which provoked early criticism for its thesis that Samuel really was conjured up) in a manuscript in Munich and on papyrus.
Prior to 231 Origen wrote
De principiis, an ordered statement of Christian doctrine on an ambitious scale, based on the presupposition that every Christian is committed to the rule of faith laid down by the Apostles (the Creator as God of both Old and New Testaments, the incarnation of the preexistent Lord, the Holy Spirit as one of the divine triad, the freedom of rational souls, discarnate spirits, the noneternity of the world, judgment to come) but that outside this restriction the educated believer is free to speculate. Origen was writing long before the conciliar definitions of Chalcedon (451) concerning the Trinity and the Person of Christ and at a period when a far larger area of doctrine could be regarded as open for discussion and argument than was the case by 400. De principiis diverged in its speculations from later standards of orthodoxy. The original was consequently lost and can only be reconstructed from the Philocalia (an anthology compiled by Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus illustrating Origen’s biblical interpretation), from Rufinus’ Latin paraphrase (which avowedly rewrites heterodox-sounding passages), and from later writers, notably Jerome and Justinian I (who quote especially compromising passages to prove Origen a heretic). The polemical anti-Origenists, however, need to be read with care since they were not above misquoting Origen and ascribing to him the words of later Origenists.


Origen’s great vindication of Christianity against pagan attack, Contra Celsum, written (probably in 248) at Ambrose’s request, survives in its entirety in one Vatican manuscript, with fragments in the Philocalia and on papyruses. Paragraph by paragraph it answers the Alēthēs logos (“The True Doctrine” or
Discourse”) of the 2nd-century anti-Christian philosopher Celsus and is therefore a principal source for the pagan intelligentsia’s view of 2nd-century Christianity as well as a classic formulation of early Christian reply. Both protagonists agree in their basic Platonic presuppositions, but beside this agreement, serious differences are argued. Celsus’ brusque dismissal of Christianity as a crude and bucolic onslaught on the religious traditions and intellectual values of classical culture provoked Origen to a sustained rejoinder in which he claimed that a philosophic mind has a right to think within a Christian framework and that the Christian faith is neither a prejudice of the unreasoning masses nor a crutch for social outcasts or nonconformists.


The tract On Prayer, preserved in one manuscript at Cambridge, was written in about 233; it expounds the Lord’s Prayer and discusses some of the philosophical problems of petition, arguing that petition can only be excluded by a determinism false to the experience of personality, while the highest prayer is an elevation of the soul beyond material things to a passive inward union with Christ, mediator between men and the Father.
 

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Theological System of Origen


Origen’s experience as a teacher is reflected in his continual emphasis upon a scale of spiritual apprehension. Christianity to him was a ladder of divine ascent, and the beginner must learn to mount it with the saints in a never-ceasing advance.
Everything in Origen’s theology ultimately turns upon the goodness of God and the freedom of the creature. The transcendent God is the source of all existence and is good, just, and omnipotent. This omnipotence is never mere power emptied of moral quality; one cannot appeal to it to rationalize absurdity or the extraordinary. In overflowing love, God created rational and spiritual beings through the Logos (Word); this creative act involves a degree of self-limitation on God’s part.


In relation to the created order, God is both conditioned and unconditioned, free and under necessity, since he is both transcendent to and immanently active in it. In one sense, the cosmos is eternally necessary to God since one cannot conceive such goodness and power as inactive at any time. Yet in another sense, the cosmos is not necessary to God but is dependent on his will, to which it also owes its continued existence. Origen was aware that there is no solution of this dilemma. The rational beings, however, neglected to adore God and fell. The material world was created by God as a means of discipline (and its natural catastrophes such as earthquakes and plagues remind man that this world is not his ultimate destiny). Origen speculated that souls fell varying distances, some to be angels, some descending into human bodies, and the most wicked becoming devils. (Origen believed in the preexistence of souls, but not in transmigration nor in the incorporation of rational souls in animal bodies.) Redemption is a grand education by providence, restoring all souls to their original blessedness, for none, not even Satan, is so depraved and has so lost rationality and freedom as to be beyond redemption. God never coerces, though with reformative intention he may punish. His punishments are remedial; even if simple believers may need to think of them as retributive, this is pedagogic accommodation to inferior capacity, not the truth.


The climax of redemption is the incarnation of the preexistent Son. One soul had not fallen but had remained in adoring union with the Father. Uniting himself with this soul, the divine Logos, who is the second hypostasis (Person) of the triad of Father, Son, and Spirit (subordinate to the Father but on the divine side of the gulf between infinite Creator and finite creation), became incarnate in a body derived from the Virgin Mary. So intense was the union between Christ’s soul and the Logos that it is like the union of body and soul, of white-hot iron and fire. Like all souls Christ’s had free will, but the intensity of union destroyed all inclination for change, and the Logos united to himself not only soul but also body, as was apparent when Jesus was transfigured. Origen, influenced by a semi-Gnostic writing, the Acts of John, thought that Jesus’ body appeared
differently to different observers according to their spiritual capacities. Some saw nothing remarkable in him, others recognized in him their Lord and God. In his commentary on St. John, Origen collected titles of Christ, such as Lamb, Redeemer, Wisdom, Truth, Light, Life. Though the Father is One, the Son is many and has many grades, like rungs in a ladder of mystical ascent, steps up to the Holy of Holies, the beatific vision.


The union of God and man in Christ is pattern for that of Christ and the believer. The individual soul, as well as the church, is the bride of the Logos, and the mystery of that union is portrayed in the Song of Solomon, Origen’s commentary on which was regarded by Jerome (in the period of his enthusiasm for Origen) as his masterpiece. Thus, redemption restores fallen souls from matter to spirit, from image to reality, a principle directly exemplified both in the sacraments and in the inspired biblical writings, in which the inward spirit is veiled under the letter of law, history, myth, and parable. The commentator’s task is to penetrate the allegory, to perceive within the material body of Scripture its soul and spirit, to discover its existential reference for the individual Christian. Correct exegesis (critical interpretation) is the gift of grace to those spiritually worthy.

Origen viewed both the biblical revelation and the spiritual life of the believer as progressive processes. The church is the great “school of souls” in which erring pupils are disciplined: elementary education in this life, higher education in the world to come, where the atoning and sanctifying process will continue in a purging baptism of fire. Hell cannot be an absolute since God cannot abandon any creature; because of his respect for freedom it may take time, but God’s love will ultimately triumph. Christ’s work remains unfinished until he has subdued all to himself. Heaven is not necessarily absolute because freedom is an inalienable characteristic of the rational creature. “If you remove free will from virtue, you destroy its essence.” Because the redeemed remain free, when all souls have been restored the whole drama may begin again. The Stoics believed in world cycles determined by fate. Origen thought them possible for the opposite reason, because freedom means that there is no ultimate finality.
 

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Influence

If orthodoxy were a matter of intention, no theologian could be more orthodox than Origen, none more devoted to the cause of Christian faith. His natural temper is world denying and even illiberal. The saintliness of his life is reflected in the insight of his commentaries and the sometimes quite passionate devotion of his homilies. The influence of his biblical exegesis and ascetic ideals is hard to overestimate; his commentaries were freely plagiarized by later exegetes, both Eastern and Western, and he is a seminal mind for the beginnings of
monasticism. Through the writings of the monk Evagrius Ponticus (346–399), his ideas passed not only into the Greek ascetic tradition but also to John Cassian (360–435), a Semi-Pelagian monk (who emphasized the worth of man’s moral effort), and to the West. Yet he has been charged with many heresies.



In his lifetime he was often attacked, suspected of adulterating the Gospel with pagan philosophy. After his death, opposition steadily mounted, respectful in the Greek Christian Methodius of Olympus’ criticism of his spiritualizing doctrine of the Resurrection (c. 300), offensive in Epiphanius’ (375), a refuter of Christian heresies, violent in Jerome’s anti-Origenist quarrel with Rufinus (c. 393–402). Origen had his defenders, especially in the East (Eusebius of Caesarea; Didymus the Blind, the head of Catechetical School of Alexandria; Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, to some degree; and especially the Cappadocian Fathers—i.e., Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Gregory of Nyssa); but in the West Rufinus’ translation of De principiis (398) caused scandal, and in the East the cause of Origen suffered by the permanent influence of Epiphanius’ attack.


In the 6th century the “New Laura” (monastic community) in Palestine became a centre for an Origenist movement among the monastic intelligentsia,
hospitable to speculations about such matters as preexistent souls and universal salvation. The resultant controversy led Justinian I to issue a long edict denouncing Origen (543); the condemnation was extended also to Didymus and Evagrius by the fifth ecumenical council at Constantinople (553). Nevertheless, Origen’s influence persisted, such as in the writings of the Byzantine monk Maximus the Confessor (c. 550–662) and the Irish theologian John Scotus Erigena (c. 810–877), and, since Renaissance times, controversy has continued concerning his orthodoxy, Western writers being generally more favourable than Eastern Orthodox.



The chief accusations against Origen’s teaching are the following: making the Son inferior to the Father and thus being a precursor of Arianism, a 4th-century heresy that denied that the Father and the Son were of the same substance; spiritualizing away the resurrection of the body; denying hell, a morally enervating universalism; speculating about preexistent souls and world cycles; and dissolving redemptive history into timeless myth by using allegorical interpretation. None of these charges is altogether groundless. At the same time there is much reason to justify Jerome’s first judgment that Origen was the greatest teacher of the early church after the Apostles.
 

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1) The New Kingdom (c. 1539–1075 bce)
The 18th dynasty (c. 1539–1292 bce)
Ahmose


Although Ahmose (ruled c. 1539–14 bce) had been preceded by Kamose, who was either his father or his brother, Egyptian tradition regarded Ahmose as the founder of a new dynasty because he was the native ruler who reunified Egypt. Continuing a recently inaugurated practice, he married his full sister Ahmose-Nofretari. The queen was given the title of God’s Wife of Amon. Like her predecessors of the 17th dynasty, Queen Ahmose-Nofretari was influential and highly honoured. A measure of her importance was her posthumous veneration at Thebes, where later pharaohs were depicted offering to her as a goddess among the gods.

Ahmose’s campaigns to expel the Hyksos from the Nile River delta and regain former Egyptian territory to the south probably started around his 10th regnal year. Destroying the Hyksos stronghold at Avaris, in the eastern delta, he finally drove them beyond the eastern frontier and then besieged Sharuḥen (Tell el-Fārʿah) in southern Palestine; the full extent of his conquests may have been much greater. His penetration of the Middle East came at a time when there was no major established power in the region. This political gap facilitated the creation of an Egyptian “empire.”

Ahmose’s officers and soldiers were rewarded with spoil and captives, who became personal slaves. This marked the creation of an influential military class. Like Kamose, Ahmose campaigned as far south as Buhen. For the administration of the regained territory, he created a new office, overseer of southern foreign lands, which ranked second only to the vizier. Its incumbent was accorded the honorific title of king’s son, indicating that he was directly responsible to the king as deputy.

The early New Kingdom bureaucracy was modeled on that of the Middle Kingdom. The vizier was the chief administrator and the highest judge of the realm. By the mid-15th century bce the office had been divided into two, one vizier for Upper and one for Lower Egypt. During the 18th dynasty some young bureaucrats were educated in temple schools, reinforcing the integration of civil and priestly sectors. Early in the dynasty many administrative posts were inherited, but royal appointment of capable officials, often selected from military officers who had served the king on his campaigns, later became the rule. The trend was thus away from bureaucratic families and the inheritance of office.