Bootstrap of the Greeks


European history, as most Christians know it, begins with the Babylonian Captivity, otherwise called, the Babylonian Exile of the OT Jews (Old Testament Jews). Technically, this section should be the bootstrapping of the Babylonians, but no one cares about the Babylonians. It is the interplay with the Greeks that is of interest to us today; hence, this section will detail how Greeks were dragged into this world struggle for existence.


Babylonian civilization was the mirror image of Western civilization, having begun as many years before Christ, as we are living today after Christ; founded by Sargon around 2,000 BC. Hammurabi gave civilization the Hammurabi Code as many years before Christ as the years past Christ when we received our Constitution, sometime around 1776 BC. And Babylonia was destroyed as many years before Christ as Rome was destroyed after Christ, about 500 years (To be precise, Babylon’s destruction in 539 BC vs. Rome’s destruction in 476 AD).


Babylonia made one critical mistake.


The Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar decided to invade the Kingdom of Judah around 600 BC. The Israelites tried to resist with their own army, but were unsuccessful against the far mightier armies of Babylon. The Book of Jeremiah notes that the leading citizens of the OT Jews were removed in 597 BC with the Temple of Jerusalem partially despoiled. Eleven years later, in 586 BC, a Judean rebellion brought even harsher measures by Nebuchadnezzar, as he totally destroyed the First Temple and razed Jerusalem as punishment, with many Israelites deported from Judah. Finally, a third deportation occurred in 581 BC.


For forty years, the OT Jews were slaves to Babylonian Kings, in their first Diaspora. They were praying for deliverance; they were in search of a divinely appointed leader, or as they call him, a messiah. Their prayers would be answered. They would have their messiah, Cyrus II of Persia, more commonly referred to as Cyrus the Great.


Few radical changes in history happen by chance. The Pharisees and Sadducees from all over the Judaic world had groomed Cyrus and plotted with him to overthrow the Babylonian Empire. A direct confrontation right away would not be successful against the great power of the Babylonians. Cyrus would first have to take the kingdom of the Medes and from the Greeks; he would take the Greek kingdoms of Lydia and Iona.


Meanwhile, Babylonia would be softened from within by the Israelites. They plotted to undermine the stability and confidence of the Babylonians, making it primed for invasion.


Cyrus was now ready. He attacked the Babylonian Empire in 539 BC. In doing so, he earned the undying gratitude of the OT Jews, for of course, he would end the Babylonian captivity. Furthermore, Cyrus decree that the OT Jews could begin building the Second Temple in Jerusalem; however, it would not be completed until the reign of Darius the Great. (And who determines who is Great and who is not? -- The Israelites of course.)


A civilization 1,500-years-old, destroyed only 60 years after bringing OT Jews into their country. Three to four generations of OT Jews was all that was needed to wreck complete and utter havoc on one of the truly great civilizations.  


Yet, as Christians, we believe that God surely had a hand in this, right?


We will see this 60–to-80 year cycle of two generations required to obtain control over an enemy, followed by two generations required to complete its utter destruction, repeat itself over and over throughout this history.


Against the heaviest pounding, steel holds strong, but after years of seemingly unassailable support, against innocent water, steel rusts into oblivion.


Thus, Cyrus became the only Gentile in the entire history of the OT and NT Jews to be designated a Messiah -- for to the OT Jews, Cyrus the Great was indeed a divinely appointed leader. By freeing the Israelites from the Babylonian Captivity, Cyrus of Persia was on the same level as Moses, who had freed the Israelites from Egyptian Captivity. (In actuality, Muhammad would be considered a Messiah as well for freeing Jerusalem of Christian control, had Islam not gotten out of their control, after they unleashed it upon the world)


And, thus began a long and glorious Judeo-Persian history.


The bootstrap of Babylon -- completed!


Many OT Jews, the ones God favored, returned to Israel, but the money-loving ones stayed behind to take advantage of their new extra-special status in the richest, most powerful country in the world. They too would grow rich and powerful in this Judeo-Persian Empire and as depicted in the Book of Ester, they would even have license, granted by the King himself, to slay Persian citizens, or in this case, the former Babylonian citizens who had enslaved them. That surely would not endear them and their King to the Persian people.


Meanwhile, the Greeks were not so happy with this new Judeo-Persian Empire, which had just gobbled up its Lydian and Ionian provinces.


The Greco-Judeo-Persian Wars began around 500 BC with a revolt in Ionia against the Judeo-Persians. By this time, Darius the Great was in command and easily defeated them. Darius did not stop at a simple put down of a rebellion under his control however, for he wanted to take the battle to the rest of the Greeks who had assisted in the Ionian rebellion. In 492 BC, Darius sent his Judeo-Persian Armada across the Bosporus, entering Trace. He had reached the plains of Marathon before being stopped -- the same Marathon of Olympic Games fame.


In 480 BC, in order to avenge his father’s defeat by the Greeks, the son of Darius, Xerxes, re-entered Greece to fight the “300” Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae. Xerxes went on to sack Athens, but was defeated at the Battle of Salamis. The Book of Ester (as depicted in the recent Hollywood movie, One Night with the King) had the OT Jews so solidly in control of Persia during the “300” battle that the King himself, Xerxes, had married to the OT Jewish woman Ester and his most trusted advisor was her uncle, OT Jewish  Mordecai.


These days of the Greco-JudeoPersian Wars of 500 BC to 450 BC, followed by the Peloponnesian civil wars amongst the Greek city-states of 432 BC to 400 BC, encompass a period in Greek history called the Greek Classical Period. (500BC-336BC)


Now, it was time for the Greeks to return the favor done to them by the Judeo-Persians. In 336 BC, the Macedonian King Phillip was poised to invade the Judeo-Persian Empire. He felt confident that he could bloody the greatest empire known to man up until that time, but before he could invade, the OT Jews must have sent a team to Greece, for Philip was assassinated.


This assassination may have been what propelled his son, Alexander the Great, to take up his father’s mantle so vigorously by deciding to conquer the entire Judeo-Persian Empire in 334 BC.


By 330 BC, Alexander was in Babylon, the greatest and wealthiest city of the world. The Judeo-Persian Empire had grown quite wealthy on the tribute they collected from the various states under their dominion. If history is our guide, the OT Jews were among the wealthiest of the wealthy and the reason Alexander the Great would be so successful, for the common Persians had no will to fight against Alexander in defense of their leaders who were enslaving and paupering them, only so as to further enrich the OT Jews and keep them in power. Ordinary Persians welcomed Alexander the Great as a liberator from the OT Jews and fought ferociously for him.


To conquer the Judeo-Persian Empire was to conquer the world, so the Years from Alexander’s invasion in 323 BC to Rome’s invasion in 146 BC, would mark the Hellenistic Period, where Greek culture would be exported to the world.


Alexander must not have known the extent of involvement which the OT Jews had behind-the-scenes in enticing the Judeo-Persians into conquering part of their lands and engaging in two massive invasions of Greece’s homeland, because the OT Jews in Jerusalem would also hail Alexander as a “Liberator” and all involved actually believed it. Or perhaps, these were indeed the righteous OT Jews and they too had felt the heavy-handed influence of the money-grubbing OT Jews who remained in the Persian capital of Susa. But I prefer to believe they were giving the same great performances displayed in the acting skills, which comes as second nature to the NT Jews of today, in order to save their skin and to begin working on bootstrapping the ascendant Greeks who gave way to the ascendant Romans.


So technically, the bootstrap of the Greeks would never occur, as it would be transferred to the conquering Romans in 146 BC.