From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [1]

commonly called the Great, son and successor of Philip, king of Macedon, is denoted in the prophecies of Daniel by a leopard with four wings, signifying his great strength, and the unusual rapidity of his conquests,  Daniel 7:6; and by a one-horned he-goat running over the earth so swiftly as not to touch it, attacking a ram with two horns, overthrowing him, and trampling him under foot, without any being able to rescue him,  Daniel 8:4-7 . The he-goat prefigured Alexander; the ram, Darius Codomannus, the last of the Persian kings. In the statue beheld by Nebuchadnezzar in his dream,  Daniel 2:39 , the belly of brass was the emblem of Alexander. He was appointed by God to destroy the Persian empire, and to substitute in its room the Grecian monarchy.

Alexander succeeded his father Philip, A.M. 3668, and B.C. 336. He was chosen, by the Greeks, general of their troops against the Persians, and entered Asia at the head of thirty-four thousand men, A.M. 3670. In one campaign, he subdued almost all Asia Minor; and afterward defeated, in the narrow passes which led from Syria to Cilicia, the army of Darius, which consisted of four hundred thousand foot, and one hundred thousand horse. Darius fled, and left in the hands of the conqueror, his camp, baggage, children, wife, and mother.

After subduing Syria, Alexander came to Tyre; and the Tyrians refusing him entrance into their city, he besieged it. At the same time he wrote to Jaddus, high priest of the Jews, that he expected to be acknowledged by him, and to receive from him the same submission which had hitherto been paid to the king of Persia. Jaddus refusing to comply under the plea of having sworn fidelity to Darius, Alexander resolved to march against Jerusalem, when he had reduced Tyre. After a long siege, this city was taken and sacked; and Alexander entered Palestine, A.M. 3672, and subjected it to his obedience. As he was marching against Jerusalem, the Jews became greatly alarmed, and had recourse to prayers and sacrifices. The Lord, in a dream, commanded Jaddus to open the gates to the conqueror, and, at the head of his people, dressed in his pontifical ornaments, and attended by the priests in their robes, to advance and meet the Macedonian king. Jaddus obeyed; and Alexander perceiving this company approaching, hastened toward the high priest, whom he saluted. He then adored God, whose name was engraven on a thin plate of gold, worn by the high priest upon his forehead. The kings of Syria who accompanied him, and the great officers about Alexander, could not comprehend the meaning of his conduct. Parmenio alone ventured to ask him why he adored the Jewish high priest; Alexander replied, that he paid this respect to God, and not to the high priest. "For," added he, "whilst I was yet in Macedonia, I saw the God of the Jews, who appeared to me in the same form and dress as the high priest at present, and who encouraged me and commanded me to march boldly into Asia, promising that he would be my guide, and give me the empire of the Persians. As soon, therefore, as I perceived this habit, I recollected the vision, and understood that my undertaking was favoured by God, and that under his protection I might expect prosperity."

Having said this, Alexander accompanies Jaddus to Jerusalem, where he offered sacrifices in the temple according to the directions of the high priest. Jaddus is said to have showed him the prophecies of Daniel, in which the destruction of the Persian empire by Alexander is declared. The king was therefore confirmed in his opinion, that God had chosen him to execute this great work. At his departure, Alexander bade the Jews ask of him what they would. The high priest desired only the liberty of living under his government according to their own laws, and an exemption from tribute every seventh year, because in that year the Jews neither tilled their grounds, nor reaped their fruits. With this request Alexander readily complied.

Having left Jerusalem, Alexander visited other cities of Palestine, and was every where received with great testimonies of friendship and submission. The Samaritans who dwelt at Sichem, and were apostates from the Jewish religion, observing how kindly Alexander had treated the Jews, resolved to say that they also were by religion Jews. For it was their practice, when they saw the affairs of the Jews in a prosperous state, to boast that they were descended from Manasseh and Ephraim; but when they thought it their interest to say the contrary, they failed not to affirm, and even to swear, that they were not related to the Jews. They came, therefore, with many demonstrations of joy, to meet Alexander, as far almost as the territories of Jerusalem. Alexander commended their zeal; and the Sichemites entreated him to visit their temple and city. Alexander promised this at his return; but as they petitioned him for the same privileges as the Jews, he asked them if they were Jews. They replied, they were Hebrews, and were called by the Phoenicians, Sichemites. Alexander said that he had granted this exemption only to the Jews, and that at his return he would inquire into the affair, and do them justice.

This prince having conquered Egypt, and regulated it, gave orders for the building of the city of Alexandria, and departed thence, about spring, in pursuit of Darius. Passing through Palestine, he was informed that the Samaritans, in a general insurrection, had killed Andromachus, governor of Syria and Palestine, who had come to Samaria to regulate some affairs. This action greatly incensed Alexander, who loved Andromachus. He therefore commanded all those who were concerned in his murder to be put to death, and the rest to be banished from Samaria; and settled a colony of Macedonians in their room. What remained of their lands he gave to the Jews, and exempted them from the payment of tribute. The Samaritans who escaped this calamity, retired to Sichem, at the foot of mount Gerizim, which afterward became their capital. Lest the eight thousand men of this nation, who were in the service of Alexander, and had accompanied him since the siege of Tyre, if permitted to return to their own country, should renew the spirit of rebellion, he sent them into Thebais, the most remote southern province of Egypt, where he assigned them lands.

Alexander, after defeating Darius in a pitched battle, and subduing all Asia and the Indies with incredible rapidity, gave himself up to intemperance. Having drunk to excess, he fell sick and died, after he had obliged "all the world to be quiet before him," 1Ma_1:3 . Being sensible that his end was near, he sent for the grandees of his court, and declared that "he gave the empire to the most deserving." Some affirm that he regulated the succession by a will. The author of the first book of Maccabees says, that he divided his kingdom among his generals while he was living, 1Ma_1:7 . This he might do; or he might express his foresight of what actually took place after his death. It is certain, that a partition was made of Alexander's dominions among the four principal officers of his army, and that the empire which he founded in Asia subsisted for many ages. Alexander died, A.M. 3684, and B.C. 323, in the thirty-third year of his age, and the twelfth of his reign. The above particulars of Alexander are here introduced because, from his invasion of Palestine, the intercourse of the Jews with the Greeks became intimate, and influenced many events of their subsequent history.

On the account above given of the interview between Alexander and the Jewish high priest, by Josephus, many doubts have been cast by critics. But the sudden change of his feelings toward them, and the favour with which the nation was treated by him, render the story not improbable.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

1. Alexander The Great Born at Pella, 356 B.C., son of Philip, king of Macedon; not named, but described prophetically: "an he-goat" )Symbol Of Ogility, The Graeco-Macedonian Empire) coming from the W. on the face of the whole earth and not touching the ground (Implying The Incredible Swiftness Of His Conquests) ; and the goat had A Notable Horn (Alexander) between his eyes, and he came to the ram that had two horns (Media And Persia, The Second Great World Kingdom, The Successor Of Babylon; Under Both Daniel Prophesied Long Before The Rise Of The Macedon-Greek Kingdom) standing before the river (At The River Granicus Alexander Gained His First Victory Over Darius Codomanus, 334 B.C.) and ran unto him in the fury of his power, moved with choler against him (On Account Of The Persian Invasions Of Greece And Cruelties To The Greeks) , and smote the ram and broke his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to stand before him; but he cast him down to the ground and stamped upon him, and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand: therefore the he-goat waxed very great, and when he was strong the great horn was broken, and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven" ( Daniel 8:5-8).

The "he-goat" answers to the "leopard" ( Daniel 7:6) whose "wings" similarly marked the winged rapidity of the Greek conquest of Persia. In 331 B.C. Alexander finally defeated Darius, and in 330 burned Persepolis, the Persian capital. None, not even the million composing the Persian hosts, could deliver the ram, Persia, out of his hand. But "when he was strong, the great horn Alexander was broken." The Graeco-Macedonian empire was in full strength at Alexander's death by fever, the result of drunken excesses, at Babylon. At the time it seemed least likely to fall it was "broken." Alexander's natural brother, Philip Aridaeus, and his two sons Alexander AEgus and Hercules, in 15 months were murdered; "and for it The He-Goat came up four notable ones, toward the four winds of heaven": Seleucus in the E. obtained Syria, Babylonia, Mede-Persia; Cassander in the W. Macedon, Thessaly, Greece; Ptolemy in the S. Egypt, Cyprus, etc.; Lysimachus in the N. Thrace, Cappadocia, and the northern regions of Asia Minor.

The" leopard" is smaller than the "lion" ( Daniel 7:4;  Daniel 7:6); swift ( Habakkuk 1:8), cruel ( Isaiah 11:6), springing suddenly on its prey ( Hosea 13:7). So Alexander, king of a small kingdom, overcame Darius at the head of an empire extending from the AEgean sea to the Indies, and in 12 years attained the rule from the Adriatic to the Ganges. Hence the leopard has four wings, whereas the lion (Babylon) had but two. The "spots" imply the variety of nations incorporated, perhaps also the variability of Alexander's own character, by turns mild and cruel, temperate and drunken and licentious. "Dominion was given to it" by God, not by Alexander's own might; for how unlikely it was that 30,000 men should overthrow hundreds of thousands. Josephus (Ant. 11:8, section 5) says that Alexander meeting the high priest Jaddua ( Nehemiah 12:11-22) said that at Dium in Macedonia he had a divine vision so habited, inviting him to Asia and promising him success.

Jaddua met him at Gapha (Mizpeh) at the head of a procession of priests and citizens in white. Alexander at the sight of the linen arrayed priests, and the high priest in blue and gold with the miter and gold plate on his head bearing Jehovah's name, adored it, and embraced him; and having been shown Daniel's prophecies concerning him, he sacrificed to God in the court of the temple, and granted the Jews liberty to live according to their own laws, and freedom from tribute in the sabbatical years. The story is doubted, from its not being alluded to in secular histories: Arrian, Plutarch, Diodorus, Curtius. But their silence may be accounted for, as they notoriously despised the Jews. The main fact is strongly probable. It accords with Alexander's character of believing himself divinely chosen for the great mission of Greece to the civilized world, to join the east and west in a union of equality, with Babylon as the capital.

"Many kings of the East met him wearing (linen) fillets" (Justin). Jews were in his army. Jews were a strong element in the population of that city which he founded and which still bears his name, Alexandria. The remission of tribute every sabbatical year existed in later times, and the story best explains the privilege. When Aristotle urged him to treat the Greeks as freemen and the Orientals as slaves, he declared that "his mission from God was to be the more fit together and reconciler of the whole world in its several parts." Arrian says: "Alexander was like no other man, and could not have been given to the world without the special interposition of God."

He was the providential instrument of breaking down the barrier wall between kingdom and kingdom, of bringing the contemplative east and the energetic west into mutually beneficial contact. The Greek language, that most perfect medium of human thought, became widely diffused, so that a Greek version of the Old Testament was needed and made (the Septuagint) for the Greek speaking Jews at Alexandria and elsewhere in a succeeding generation; and the fittest lingual vehicle for imparting the New Testament to mankind soon came to be the language generally known by the cultivated of every land. Commerce followed the breaking down of national exclusiveness, and everywhere the Jews had their synagogues for prayer and reading of the Old Testament in the leading cities. preparing the way and the place for the proclamation of the gospel, which rests on the Old Testament, to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles.

2. Son of Simon of Cyrene ( Mark 15:21). He and his brother Rufus are spoken of as well known in the Christian church.

3. A kinsman of Annas the high priest ( Acts 4:6); supposed the same as Alexander the alabarch (governor of the Jews) at Alexandria, brother of Philo-Judaeus, an ancient friend of the emperor Claudius.

4. A Jew whom the Jews put forward during Demetrius' riot at Ephesus to plead their cause before the mob who suspected that the Jews were joined with the Christians in seeking to overthrow Diana's worship ( Acts 19:33). Calvin thought him a convert to Christianity from Judaism, whom the Jews would have sacrificed as a victim to the fury of the rabble.

5. The coppersmith at Ephesus who did Paul much evil. Paul had previously "delivered him to Satan" (the lord of all outside the church) ( 1 Corinthians 5:5;  2 Corinthians 12:7), i.e. excommunicated, because he withstood the apostle, and made shipwreck of faith and of good conscience, and even blasphemed, with Hymenaeus. The excommunication often brought with it temporal judgment, as sickness, to bring the excommunicated to repentance ( 1 Timothy 1:20;  2 Timothy 4:14-15).

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [3]

(Ἀλέξανδρος, ‘helper of men’)

This name is found in the NT in five different connexions, and possibly designates as many different individuals.

1. The son of Simon of Cyrene, who bore the cross to Calvary ( Mark 15:21), and the brother of Rufus. In all probability Alexander and his brother were well-known and honoured men in the Church of Rome (cf.  Romans 16:13 and articleRufus), to which the Gospel of Mark was addressed, as St. Mark identifiés the father by a reference to the sons. We may regard the allusion as an interesting instance of the sons being blessed for the father’s sake.

2. A leader of the priestly party in Jerusalem at the period subsequent to the death of Christ. After the healing of the impotent man we are told that Alexander was present at a meeting of the Jewish authorities along with Annas, Caiaphas, and John, and ‘as many as were of the kindred of the high priest’ ( Acts 4:6). It is probable, though not quite certain, that this indicates that Alexander belonged to the high-priestly class; and it is impossible to identify him with Alexander the ‘alabarch’ of Alexandria and brother of Philo.

3. A leading member of the Jewish community at Ephesus ( Acts 19:33), who was put forward by the Jews at the time of the Ephesian riot to clear themselves of any complicity with St. Paul or his teaching, but whom the mob refused to hear. He may have been one of the ‘craftsmen,’ though on the whole it is unlikely that a Jew would have any connexion with the production of the symbols of idolatry. There are, however, slight variations in the Manuscriptsof  Acts 19:33, and different views have been taken with regard to Alexander and the intention of the Jews. Meyer holds that Alexander was a Jewish Christian who was put forward maliciously by the Jews in the hope that he might be sacrificed (cf. Com. in loco ). The omission of τις, ‘a certain,’ before his name has been regarded as an indication that Alexander was a well-known man in Ephesus at the time.

4. A Christian convert and teacher, who along with Hymenaeus ( q.v. [Note: quod vide, which see.] ) and others apostatized from the faith, and was excommunicated by the Apostle Paul ( 1 Timothy 1:19-20).

5. Alexander the coppersmith, who did St. Paul much evil and whom the Apostle desires to be rewarded according to his works ( 2 Timothy 4:14-15). This Alexander has been identified with both 3 and 4. We are able to gather certain facts regarding him which would seem to connect him with 3. -(1) His trade was that of a smith (see Coppersmith), a worker in metal, originally brass, but subsequently any other metal, which might associate him with the craftsmen of Ephesus. (2) The statement regarding him was addressed to Timothy, who was settled in Ephesus. On the other hand, we are told that Alexander greatly withstood St. Paul’s words-a reference which seems to indicate a bitter personal hostility between the two men, as well as controversial disputes on matters of doctrine which might rather connect him with 4 , the associate of Hymenaeus. It is possible that 3, 4 , and 5 may be the same person, but Alexander was a very common name, and the data are insufficient to allow of any certain identification. Those who hold the Epistles to Timothy to be non-Pauline regard the statement in  Acts 19:33 as the basis of the references in the Epistles, but the only thing in common is the name, while there is no indication in Acts that Alexander had any personal connexion with St. Paul.

Literature.-R. J. Knowling, Expositor’s Greek Testament , ‘Acts,’ 1900; Comm. of Meyer, Zeller, Holtzmann; W. M. Ramsay, St. Paul , 1895, p. 279; articles in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) and Encyclopaedia Biblica .

W. F. Boyd.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [4]

1. The Great, the famous son and successor of Philip, king of Macedon. He is alluded to in  Daniel 7:6   8:4-7 , under the figures of a leopard with four wings, and a one-horned he-goat, representing the swiftness of his conquests and his great strength. He was appointed by God to destroy the Persian Empire and substitute the Grecian. In the statue seen by Nebuchadnezzar in his dream,  Daniel 2:39 , the belly of brass was the emblem of Alexander. He succeeded his father B. C. 336, and within twelve years overran Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, founded Alexandria, conquered the Persians, and penetrated far into the Indies. He died at the age of thirty-two, from the effects of intemperance, and left his vast empire to be divided among his four generals.

2. Son of Simon the Cyrenian,  Mark 15:21 , apparently one of the more prominent early Christians.

3. One of the council who condemned Peter and John,  Acts 4:6

4. A Jew of Ephesus, who sought in vain to quiet the popular commotion respecting Paul,  Acts 4:6

5. A coppersmith, and apostate from Christianity,  1 Timothy 1:20   2 Timothy 4:14 .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [5]

  • A coppersmith who, with Hymenaeus and others, promulgated certain heresies regarding the resurrection ( 1 Timothy 1:19;  2 Timothy 4:14 ), and made shipwreck of faith and of a good conscience. Paul excommunicated him ( 1 Timothy 1:20; Compare  1 Corinthians 5:5 ).

    Copyright Statement These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., DD Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Alexander'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. 1897.

  • Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

    Alexan'der. (Helper Of Men, Brave).

    1. Son of Simon, the Cyrenian, who was compelled to bear the cross for our Lord.  Mark 15:21.

    2. One of the kindred of Annas , the high priest.  Acts 4:6.

    3. A Jew at Ephesus, whom his countrymen put forward during the tumult raised by Demetrius, the silversmith,  Acts 19:33, to plead their cause with the mob.

    4. An Ephesian Christian reprobated by St. Paul in  1 Timothy 1:20 as having, together with one Hymenaeus, put from him faith and a good conscience, and so made shipwreck concerning the faith. This may be the same with

    5. Alexander, the coppersmith, mentioned by the same apostle,  2 Timothy 4:14, as having done him many mischiefs.

    Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [7]

    ALEXANDER . 1 . Son of Simon of Cyrene; like his brother Rufus, evidently a well-known man (  Mark 15:21 only). 2 . One of the high-priestly family (  Acts 4:6 ). 3 . The would-he spokesman of the Jews in the riot at Ephesus, which endangered them as well as the Christians (  Acts 19:33 ); not improbably the same as the coppersmith (  2 Timothy 4:14 ) who did St. Paul ‘much evil,’ and who was probably an Ephesian Jew; possibly the same as the Alexander of   1 Timothy 1:20 (see Hymenæus), in which case we may regard him as an apostate Christian who had relapsed into Judaism.

    A. J. Maclean.

    Morrish Bible Dictionary [8]

    1. Son of Simon, the Cyrenian who was compelled to carry the cross of the Lord.  Mark 15:21 .

    2. One of the leaders among the Jews when Peter and John were arrested.  Acts 4:6 .

    3. A Jew at Ephesus who sought to address the crowd in the theatre.  Acts 19:33 .

    4. One in the church who having made shipwreck of faith was by Paul delivered unto Satan that he might learn not to blaspheme.  1 Timothy 1:20 .

    5. The coppersmith who did Paul much evil, and of whom Timothy was warned.  2 Timothy 4:14 . He may have been the same as No. 4.

    People's Dictionary of the Bible [9]

    Alexander ( Ăl-Egz-Ăn'Der ), Strong Man, or Helper Of Men. 1. The son of Simon.  Mark 15:21. 2. A member of the council.  Acts 4:6. 3. A Jew of Ephesus.  Acts 19:34. 4. A coppersmith, and an apostate from Christianity.  1 Timothy 1:19-20;  2 Timothy 4:14.

    Holman Bible Dictionary [10]

     Mark 15:21 Acts 4:6 Acts 19:33 1 Timothy 1:19-20 2 Timothy 4:14

    Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [11]

    Alexander the Great

    Alexan´der the Great. This mighty king is named in the opening of the first book of Maccabees, and is alluded to in the prophecies of Daniel. These, however, are not the best reason for giving his name a place in this work: he is chiefly entitled to notice here because his military career permanently affected the political state of the Jewish people, as well as their philosophy and literature. It is not our part, therefore, to detail even the outlines of his history, but to point out the causes and nature of this great revolution, and the influence which, formally through Alexander, Greece has exerted over the religious history of the West.

    Fig. 23—Alexander the Great

    The conquest of Western Asia by Greeks was so thoroughly provided for by predisposing causes, as to be no mere accident ascribable to Alexander as an individual. The personal genius of the Macedonian hero, however, determined the form and the suddenness of the conquest; and, in spite of his premature death, the policy which he pursued seems to have left some permanent effects.

    His respectful behavior to the Jewish high-priest has been much dwelt on by Josephus (Antiq. xi. 8, 4-6), a writer whose trustworthiness has been much overrated. The story has been questioned on several grounds. Some of the results, however, can hardly be erroneous, such as, that Alexander guaranteed to the Jews, not in Judea only, but in Babylonia and Media, the free observance of their hereditary laws, and on this ground exempted them from tribute every seventh (or sabbatical) year. It is then far from improbable that the politic invader affected to have seen and heard the high-priest in a dream (as Josephus relates), and showed him great reverence, as to one who had declared 'that he would go before him and give the empire of Persia into his hand.'

    Immediately after, Alexander invaded and conquered Egypt, and showed to its gods the same respect as to those of Greece. Almost without a pause he founded the celebrated city of Alexandria (B.C. 332), an event which, perhaps more than any other cause, permanently altered the state of the East, and brought about a direct interchange of mind between Greece, Egypt, and Judea [ALEXANDRIA].

    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [12]

    al - eg - zan´dẽr ( Ἀλέξανδρος , Aléxandros , literal meaning "defender of men." This word occurs five times in the New Testament,  Mark 15:21;  Acts 4:6;  Acts 19:33;  1 Timothy 1:19 ,  1 Timothy 1:20;  2 Timothy 4:14 ): It is not certain whether the third, fourth and fifth of these passages refer to the same man.

    1. A S on of Simon of Cyrene

    The first of these Alexanders is referred to in the passage in Mk, where he is said to have been one of the sons of Simon of Cyrene, the man who carried the cross of Christ. Alexander therefore may have been a North African by birth. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record the fact, with varying detail, that Simon happened to be passing at the time when Christ was being led out of the city, to be crucified on Calvary. Mark alone tells that Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus. From this statement of the evangelist, it is apparent that at the time the Second Gospel was written, Alexander and Rufus were Christians, and that they were well known in the Christian community. Mark takes it for granted that the first readers of his Gospel will at once understand whom he means.

    There is no other mention of Alexander in the New Testament, but it is usually thought that his brother Rufus is the person mentioned by Paul in  Romans 16:13 , "Salute Rufus the chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine." If this identification is correct, then it follows, not only that the sons of Simon were Christians, but that his wife also was a Christian, and that they had all continued faithful to Christ for many years. It would also follow that the households were among the intimate friends of Paul, so much so that the mother of the family is affectionately addressed by him as "Rufus' mother and mine." The meaning of this is, that in time past this lady had treated Paul with the tender care which a mother feels and shows to her own son.

    This mention of Rufus and his mother is in the list of names of Christians resident in Rome. Lightfoot ( Comm. on Phil , 176) writes: "There seems no reason to doubt the tradition that Mk wrote especially for the Romans; and if so, it is worth remarking that he alone of the evangelists describes Simon of Cyrene, as 'the father of Alexander and Rufus.' A person of this name therefore (Rufus) seems to have held a prominent place among the Roman Christians; and thus there is at least fair ground for identifying the Rufus of Paul with the Rufus of Mark. The inscriptions exhibit several members of the household (of the emperor) bearing the names Rufus and Alexander, but this fact is of no value where both names are so common."

    To sum up, Alexander was probably by birth a North African Jew; he became a Christian, and was a well-known member of the church, probably the church in Rome. His chief claim to recollection is that he was a son of the man who carried the cross of the Saviour of the world.

    2. A R elative of Annas

    The second Alexander, referred to in  Acts 4:6 , was a relative of Annas the Jewish high priest. He is mentioned by Lk, as having been present as a member of the Sanhedrin, before which Peter and John were brought to be examined, for what they had done in the cure of the lame man at the gate of the temple. Nothing more is known of this Alexander than is here given by Luke. It has been conjectured that he may have been the Alexander who was a brother of Philo, and who was also the alabarch or magistrate of the city of Alexandria. But this conjecture is unsupported by any evidence at all.

    3. Alexander and the Riot at Ephesus

    The third Alexander is mentioned in  Acts 19:33 : "And some of the multitude instructed Alexander, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander beckoned with the hand, and would have made defense unto the people. But when they perceived that he was a Jew, all with one voice," etc., the Revised Version, margin. In the matter of the riot in Ephesus the whole responsibility rested with Demetrius the silversmith. In his anger against the Christians generally, but specially against Paul, because of his successful preaching of the gospel, he called together a meeting of the craftsmen; the trade of the manufacture of idols was in jeopardy. From this meeting there arose the riot, in which the whole city was in commotion. The Jews were wholly innocent in the matter: they had done nothing to cause any disturbance. But the riot had taken place, and no one could tell what would happen. Modern anti-Semitism, in Russia and other European countries, gives an idea of an excited mob stirred on by hatred of the Jews. Instantly recognizing that the fury of the Ephesian people might expend itself in violence and bloodshed, and that in that fury they would be the sufferers, the Jews "put forward" Alexander, so that by his skill as a speaker he might clear them, either of having instigated the riot, or of being in complicity with Paul. "A certain Alexander was put forward by the Jews to address the mob; but this merely increased the clamor and confusion. There was no clear idea among the rioters what they wanted: an anti-Jewish and an anti-Christian demonstration were mixed up, and probably Alexander's retention was to turn the general feeling away from the Jews. It is possible that he was the worker in bronze, who afterward did Paul much harm" (Ramsay, St. Paul the Traveler , etc., 279).

    4. Alexander an Ephesian Heretic

    The fourth of the New Testament Alexanders is one of two heretical teachers at Ephesus - the other being Hymeneus: see article under the word - against whom Paul warns Timothy in  1 Timothy 1:19 ,  1 Timothy 1:20 . The teaching of Hymeneus and Alexander was to the effect that Christian morality was not required - antinomianism. They put away - "thrust from them," the Revised Version (British and American) - faith and a good conscience; they willfully abandoned the great central facts regarding Christ, and so they "made shipwreck concerning the faith."

    5. His Heresy Incipient Gnosticism

    In  2 Timothy 2:17 ,  2 Timothy 2:18 , Hymeneus is associated with Philetus, and further details are there given regarding their false teaching. What they taught is described by Paul as "profane babblings," as leading to more ungodliness, and as eating "as doth a gangrene." Their heresy consisted in saying that the resurrection was past already, and it had been so far successful, that it had overthrown the faith of some. The doctrine of these three heretical teachers, Hymeneus, Alexander and Philetus, was accordingly one of the early forms of Gnosticism. It held that matter was originally and essentially evil; that for this reason the body was not an essential part of human nature; that the only resurrection was that of each man as he awoke from the death of sin to a righteous life; that thus in the case of everyone who has repented of sin, "the resurrection was past already," and that the body did not participate in the blessedness of the future life, but that salvation consisted in the soul's complete deliverance from all contact with a material world and a material body.

    So pernicious were these teachings of incipient Gnosticism in the Christian church, that they quickly spread, eating like a gangrene. The denial of the future resurrection of the body involved also the dental of the bodily resurrection of Christ, and even the fact of the incarnation. The way in which therefore the apostle dealt with those who taught such deadly error, was that he resorted to the same extreme measures as he had employed in the case of the immoral person at Corinth; he delivered Hymeneus and Alexander to Satan, that they might learn not to blaspheme. Compare  1 Corinthians 5:5 .

    6. Alexander the Coppersmith

    The fifth and last occurrence of the name Alexander is in  2 Timothy 4:14 ,  2 Timothy 4:15 , "Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord will render to him according to his works: of whom do thou also beware (the King James Version "of whom be thou ware also"); for he greatly withstood our words." This Alexander was a worker in copper or iron, a smith. It is quite uncertain whether Alexander number 5 should be identified with Alexander number 4, and even with Alexander number 3. In regard to this, it should be remembered that all three of these Alexanders were resident in Ephesus; and it is specially to be noticed that the fourth and the fifth of that name resided in that city at much the same time; the interval between Paul's references to these two being not more than a year or two, as not more than that time elapsed between his writing 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy. It is therefore quite possible these two Alexanders may be one and the same person.

    In any case, what is stud of this last Alexander is that he had shown the evil which was in him by doing many evil deeds to the apostle, evidently on the occasion of a recent visit paid by Paul to Ephesus. These evil deeds had taken the form of personally opposing the apostle's preaching. The personal antagonism of Alexander manifested itself by his greatly withstanding the proclamation of the gospel by Paul. As Timothy was now in Ephesus, in charge of the church there, he is strongly cautioned by the apostle to be on his guard against this opponent.

    Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [13]

    the name of a large number of saints in the early martyrologies:

    (1) Martyr under Decius, commemorated Jan. 30;

    (2) commemorated Feb. 9;

    (3) son of Claudius, martyr at Ostia, Feb. 18;

    (4) bishop of Alexandria, Feb. 26 and April 10;

    (5) of Thessalonica, Feb. 27;

    (6) of Africa, March 5;

    (7) of Nicomedia, March 6;

    (8) with Gaius, March 10;

    (9) bishop of Jerusalem, martyr, March 18, (See Alexander Of Cappadocia);

    (10) martyr at Caesarea in Palestine, March 28, March 27;

    (11) saint, April 24, April 21;

    (12) the pope Alexander I said to have been martyred at Rome under Trajan (or Hadrian), May 3; he is named in the Gregorian Canon;

    (13) martyr at Bergamo, Aug. 26,

    (14) bishop and confessor, Aug. 28;

    (15) "in Sablinis," Sept. 9;

    (16) commemorated Sept. 10;

    (17) "in Capua," Oct. 15;

    (18) Armenian patriarch, Nov. 7, April 17, and Aug; 11; (19) bishop and martyr, Nov. 26; (20) martyr at Alexandria, translated Dec. 12.