"IT was B. C. 335 that Alexander began his memorable twelve years' reign. After quelling the attempts at rebellion in Macedonia, he entered Greece, and defeated the Thebans in decisive engagements. Passing over into Asia, he encountered and defeated the forces of Darius, in the memorable battles of Granicus in Mysia, and Issus in Oilicia. Proceeding toward Egypt, which had long been in a troubled condition, he passed through Syria and Palestine. Tyre withstood him for several months, but at last fell, being reached by a remarkable mole, which he constructed between the ruins of the old city on the mainland, and the modern one on the adjacent island. Alexander then marched to Jerusalem. There is a tradition that, as he approached the city, he was met by a procession of priests in their robes of office, and that the impression made on him was such, that he spared the city, and granted favorable terms to the Jews. It is quite likely that the priests showed him the prophecies of Daniel, which foretold his conquests; and this may be the explanation of the story, that when he saw the high priest, he recognized in him the person who had told him in a dream that he should conquer the world. From Jerusalem he proceeded to Egypt, which he rapidly subdued; and while there, he founded the city of Alexandria, which still bears his name.

"Returning to Asia, Alexander encountered Darius in the plains of Assyria, and in the battle of Arbela not far from ancient Nineveh, gave its death-blow to the Persian empire, which had existed about two hundred years. Not content with the limits of that mighty domain, he pushed eastward into India; and had not his Macedonians positively refused to go farther, he would have penetrated far beyond the countries of the Indus. He was occupied with various new projects, when he was cut off at Babylon, by a fever brought on or aggravated by drinking to excess at a banquet. He died at the age of thirty-two." Blaikie's Bible History.

Thus we see that from the time of Malachi the Jews were under Persian rulers for about eighty-five years, and under Alexander ten years. 

Very few important events marked their history during this period of nearly a century. After the death of Nehemiah, they were placed nominally under the authority of the governor of Syria, but were really left almost entirely to the control of the high priest. Thus the office of high priest became an object of ambition, and the cause of many disgraceful contests, some of which ended in murder. On the whole, however, the Jewish people led a quiet and prosperous life.

The favor at first shown them by Alexander appears to have been continued throughout his reign; for he allowed them to be governed by their own laws, and to be exempt from tribute every seventh, or sabbatical, year. The author last quoted says: "Alexander the Great appears to have formed a highly favorable estimate of the Jews, and to have discovered, in their intelligence, steadiness, industry, and zeal, the elements that make good citizens everywhere. Accordingly, when he founded Alexandria in Egypt, he encouraged the Jews to settle there, and gave them the privileges of citizens of the first class. He also encouraged them to settle in other newly founded cities, and generally throughout his "empire."