The histories of Greece and Palestine are little connected with each other. In (Genesis 10:2-5) Moses mentions the descendants of Javan as peopling the isles of the Gentiles; and when the Hebrews came into contact with the Ionians of Asia Minor, and recognized them as the long-lost islanders of the western migration, it was natural that they should mark the similarity of sound between Javan and Iones. Accordingly the Old Testament word which is Grecia, in Authorized Versions Greece, Greeks, etc., is in Javan (Daniel 8:21; Joel 3:6) the Hebrew, however, is sometimes regained. (Isaiah 66:19; Ezekiel 27:13) The Greeks and Hebrews met for the first time in the slave-market, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. The medium of communication seems to have been the Tyrian slave-merchants. About B.C. 800 Joel speaks of the Tyrians as, selling the children of Judah tot he Grecians, (Joel 3:6) and in Ezek 27:13 The Greeks are mentioned as bartering their brazen vessels for slaves. Prophetical notice of Greece occurs in (Daniel 8:21) etc., where the history of Alexander and his successors is rapidly sketched. Zechariah, (Zechariah 9:13) foretells the triumphs of the Maccabees against the Greco-Syrian empire, while Isaiah looks forward to the conversion of the Greeks, amongst other Gentiles, through the instrumentality of Jewish missionaries. (Isaiah 66:19) The name of the country, Greece occurs once in the New Testament, (Acts 20:2) as opposed to Macedonia.
Main reference: Smith's Bible Dictionary (1860s)
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