Avalon Chronicles #77: "The Last Wishes of Alexander the Great"
by Allen B. Clark
Linda and I recently returned from an amazing trip to Israel about which I intend to write in my next few Chronicles. While there I avidly read the Jerusalem Post and the Haaretz section of the New York Times. In the Jerusalem Post on Friday Feb. 10, 2017 page 19, I read a fascinating article by Greer Fay Cashman, wherein she quoted from a Rabbi Edward Belfer, his answer to the question of, 'What is the most precious thing that all of us own, sometimes complain about, often give to others with no possibility of getting back and seldom treasure enough?' His answer related to "The last wishes of Alexander the Great."
"On his death bed, Alexander summoned his generals and told them his last three wishes:
1. The best doctors should carry his coffin.
2. The wealth he accumulated (money, gold, precious stones) should be scattered along the procession to the cemetery.
3. His hands should hang loose outside the coffin for all to see.
One of his generals, surprised by these unusual requests, asked Alexander to explain. Alexander said;
1. I want the best doctors to carry my coffin to demonstrate that in the face of death, even the best doctors in the world have no power to heal.
2. I want the road to be covered with my treasure so everybody sees that material wealth acquired on earth, will stay on earth.
3. I want my hands to swing in the wind, so people understand that we come to this world empty-handed and leave empty-handed after the most precious treasure of all is exhausted and that is: TIME."
Cashman goes on to quote the Rabbi,
"We take to our grave no material wealth. TIME is our most precious treasure because it is LIMITED. We can produce wealth, but we cannot produce more time. When we give someone our time, we actually give a portion of our life that we can never take back.
"Our time is our life! The best present that you can give to your family and friends is your TIME. May God grant YOU plenty of TIME to share with all."
My own personal comments relates to the best use of our time is that we share with our spouse and children, giving them our precious time and attention.
Historical note on Alexander and Israel: There are several references to Alexander having completed a successful siege of Gaza and then approaching Jerusalem in 332 B.C. The historian Flavius Josephus wrote that the High Priest Jaddua, met Alexander outside Jerusalem and made an accomodation with him. Alexander's tutor Aristotle had convicted Alexander to favor the Jews. Alexander was very polite to the welcoming party and is said to have said about his respect accorded Jaddua, "I did not adore him, but that God who hath honored him with his high priesthood;..." When the scroll of Daniel's was brought to Alexander's attention indicating a king from Greece would defeat the Persians, Alexander accepted that he was that king and rendered great positive attention to the Jews from then on.
This account renders distinct authenticity to the credibility of the prophecy of Daniel.