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November 16    Scripture



Bible Cities: Tyre
Ancient Tyre

Map of Ancient Tyre

TYRE, one of the most famous cities of ancient times, was the capital of Phoenicia, and the seat of enormous wealth and power. It was situated on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, within the limits assigned the tribe of Asher by Joshua (Josh. 19:29). It was originally a colony of Zidon, but rapidly became the most powerful and opulent city of the East. It possessed large fleets, and controlled the trade of the Mediterranean. Tyre does not begin to figure in the Bible until the reign of David, who formed a close alliance with the famous Tyrian monarch Hiram, which was continued by Solomon. The Tyrians rendered important aid in the construction of David's Palace, and Solomon's Temple and royal residence at Jerusalem. The Tyrians were gross idolaters, and the marriage of Ahab King of Israel with a princess of this nation brought many woes upon Israel. The prophecies of the Old Testament abound in denunciations of Tyre for her wickedness, and predictions of her punishment. The city was taken and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, as had been foretold; but the great body of the inhabitants fled from the mainland to an island opposite, and about thirty stadia from the old city, and which had served as a sort of suburb or port to it. Here a new Tyre was founded, which at length rivaled its predecessor in riches, magnificence, and power. It was strongly fortified, and when Alexander the Great summoned it to yield to him, B.C. 332, it was able to resist him in a siege of seven months' duration. Alexander built a causeway of the ruins of the old city from the mainland to the island, and the city was taken. After various changes, Tyre at length became a possession of the Romans. It was taken by the Christians during the Crusades, and subsequently recaptured by the Turks. It began to decline as a commercial point after the city of Alexandria was founded. Our Saviour once journeyed into the region of Tyre and Sidon (Matt. 15:21). Modern Tyre is a place of no importance, is poorly built, and contains about 3000 inhabitants. It lies on the east side of what was once the island, one mile long, and half a mile from the shore, thus enclosing two so-called harbors separated by Alexander's causeway, which is now a broad isthmus. The true harbor lies to the north of the town, but it is shallow, and will accommodate only the smallest vessels. - Ancient Geography

Ancient Tyre - Kids Bible maps This map shows the cities known as Tyre and Sidon in the land of Phoenicia near ancient Israel.

The Bible says that when Jesus travelled to the region of Tyre and Sidon, a Canaanite woman came to him and begged him to save her daughter from a demon. The woman pleaded and pleaded with Jesus until Jesus turned to her and said, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed at that very moment.

Jesus also referred to Tyre and Sidon when he was addressing the cities of Israel: Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. Jesus performed many miracles in these cities but they still did not believe he was the Son of God. Jesus said if he had done the same miracles in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented of their sins and believed in him! That statement would have really gotten their attention, because they believed that the Messiah would only be for the Jewish people not the Phoenicians or any other people. Thankfully for you and me, Jesus came and died for everyone!


Ancient Tyre - Kids Bible maps This map shows the cities known as Tyre and Sidon in the land of Phoenicia near ancient Israel.

The Bible says that when Jesus travelled to the region of Tyre and Sidon, a Canaanite woman came to him and begged him to save her daughter from a demon. The woman pleaded and pleaded with Jesus until Jesus turned to her and said, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed at that very moment.

Jesus also referred to Tyre and Sidon when he was addressing the cities of Israel: Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum. Jesus performed many miracles in these cities but they still did not believe he was the Son of God. Jesus said if he had done the same miracles in Tyre and Sidon they would have repented of their sins and believed in him! That statement would have really gotten their attention, because they believed that the Messiah would only be for the Jewish people not the Phoenicians or any other people. Thankfully for you and me, Jesus came and died for everyone!


Tyre in Easton's Bible Dictionary a rock, now es-Sur; an ancient Phoenician city, about 23 miles, in a direct line, north of Acre, and 20 south of Sidon. Sidon was the oldest Phoenician city, but Tyre had a longer and more illustrious history. The commerce of the whole world was gathered into the warehouses of Tyre. "Tyrian merchants were the first who ventured to navigate the Mediterranean waters; and they founded their colonies on the coasts and neighbouring islands of the AEgean Sea, in Greece, on the northern coast of Africa, at Carthage and other places, in Sicily and Corsica, in Spain at Tartessus, and even beyond the pillars of Hercules at Gadeira (Cadiz)" (Driver's Isaiah). In the time of David a friendly alliance was entered into between the Hebrews and the Tyrians, who were long ruled over by their native kings (2 Sam. 5:11; 1 Kings 5:1; 2 Chr. 2:3). Tyre consisted of two distinct parts, a rocky fortress on the mainland, called "Old Tyre," and the city, built on a small, rocky island about half-a-mile distant from the shore. It was a place of great strength. It was besieged by Shalmaneser, who was assisted by the Phoenicians of the mainland, for five years, and by Nebuchadnezzar (B.C. 586-573) for thirteen years, apparently without success. It afterwards fell under the power of Alexander the Great, after a siege of seven months, but continued to maintain much of its commercial importance till the Christian era. It is referred to in Matt. 11:21 and Acts 12:20. In A.D. 1291 it was taken by the Saracens, and has remained a desolate ruin ever since. "The purple dye of Tyre had a worldwide celebrity on account of the durability of its beautiful tints, and its manufacture proved a source of abundant wealth to the inhabitants of that city." Both Tyre and Sidon "were crowded with glass-shops, dyeing and weaving establishments; and among their cunning workmen not the least important class were those who were celebrated for the engraving of precious stones." (2 Chr. 2:7,14). The wickedness and idolatry of this city are frequently denounced by the prophets, and its final destruction predicted (Isa. 23:1; Jer. 25:22; Ezek. 26; 28:1-19; Amos 1:9, 10; Zech. 9:2-4). Here a church was founded soon after the death of Stephen, and Paul, on his return from his third missionary journey spent a week in intercourse with the disciples there (Acts 21:4). Here the scene at Miletus was repeated on his leaving them. They all, with their wives and children, accompanied him to the sea-shore. The sea-voyage of the apostle terminated at Ptolemais, about 38 miles from Tyre. Thence he proceeded to Caesarea (Acts 21:5-8). "It is noticed on monuments as early as B.C. 1500, and claiming, according to Herodotus, to have been founded about B.C. 2700. It had two ports still existing, and was of commercial importance in all ages, with colonies at Carthage (about B.C. 850) and all over the Mediterranean. It was often attacked by Egypt and Assyria, and taken by Alexander the Great after a terrible siege in B.C. 332. It is now a town of 3,000 inhabitants, with ancient tombs and a ruined cathedral. A short Phoenician text of the fourth century B.C. is the only monument yet recovered."

Tyre in Fausset's Bible Dictionary Joshua 19:29; 2 Samuel 24:7; Isaiah 23:1; Ezekiel 26-28. In Phoenicia, E. of the Mediterranean, 20 miles S. of Sidon. Justin says the Sidonians founded Tyre after having been defeated by the king of Ascalon, 1209 B.C. according to the Parian marble. A double city, part on the mainland, part on an island nearly one mile long, and separated from the continent by a strait half a mile broad. Justin (xi. 10) records the tradition of the inhabitants that there was a city on the mainland before there was one on the island. Ezekiel represents the mainland city as besieged by Nebuchadnezzar's horses and chariots, and its walls assailed with "engines of war, forts, and mounts," and its towers broken down with axes; but the island city as sitting "in the heart of the seas" (Ezekiel 28:2, margin). The former, Old Tyre, stretched along the shore seven miles from the river Leontes on the N. to the fountain Ras el ain on the S., the water of which was brought into the city by aqueducts. Pliny (N. H., v. 17) says the circuit of both was 19 Roman miles, the island city being only 22 stadia. The difficulty is that the name "Tyre," meaning a "rock," belongs properly to the island city, there being no "rock" in the mainland city to originate the name; yet the mainland city is called "Old Tyre." Probably the Phoenician name of the mainland city resembled in sound but not sense the Greek Palaeo-Tyrus, and the latter name was given from a misunderstanding. Tyre is not mentioned in the Pentateuch, but first in Joshua 19:29 "the strong city Tyre." From tsor came its two names, Tyre, and Sara, now Sur (Arabic). Joshua implies it was on the shore, but the city and chief temple of Hercules (Melkarth, the tutelary god of Tyre) was probably on the island. Unlike other oriental cities, space being limited on the island, the houses were built in stories. The majority of the population was on the mainland. Hiram by substructures enlarged the eastern and southern sides, so as to afford room for a public place, Eurychorus. The northern or Sidonian harbour was 900 ft. long, 700 wide, protected by walls. The southern or Egyptian was formed by a great breakwater; the barbours could be closed by a boom; a canal through the city joined the harbours. "Tyre did build herself a strong hold" (Zechariah 9:3); so Diodorus Siculus (xvii. 40), "Tyre had the greatest confidence, owing to her insular position, fortifications and abundant stores." A double wall, 150 ft. high, besides the sea, secured island Tyre. "Her merchants were princes, and her traffickers the honourable of the earth" (Isaiah 23:7-8). Hiram, as friend and ally, supplied David...

Tyre in Hitchcock's Bible Names Tyrus

Tyre in Naves Topical Bible 1. Kingdom of Hiram, king of 1Ki 5:1; 2Ch 2:3 Sends material to David for his palace 2Ch 2:3 Men and materials sent from, to Solomon, for the erection of the temple and his castles 1Ki 5:1-11; 9:10,11; 2Ch 2:3-16 See HIRAM -2. City of Situated on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea On the northern boundary of the tribe of Asher Jos 19:29 Pleasant site of Ho 9:13 Fortified Jos 19:29; 2Sa 24:7 Commerce of 1Ki 9:26-28; 10:11; Isa 23; Eze 27; 28:1-19; Zec 9:2; Ac 21:3 Merchants of Isa 23:8 Antiquity of Isa 23:7 Riches of Isa 23:8; Zec 9:3 Besieged by Nebuchadnezzar Eze 26:7; 29:18 Jesus goes to the coasts of Mt 15:21 Heals the daughter of the non-Jewish, Syrophenician woman near Mt 15:21-28; Mr 7:24-31 Multitudes from, come to hear Jesus, and to be healed of their diseases Mr 3:8; Lu 6:17 The hostility of Herod Agrippa I toward Ac 12:20-23 Paul visits Ac 21:3-7 To be judged according to its opportunity and privileges Mt 11:21,22; Lu 10:13,14 Prophecies relating to Ps 45:12; 87:4; Isa 23; Jer 25:22; 27:1-11; 47:4

Tyre in Smiths Bible Dictionary (a rock), a celebrated commercial city of Phoenicia, on the coast of the Mediterranean. Its Hebrew name, Tzor, signifies a rock; which well agrees with the site of Sur, the modern town, on a rocky peninsula, formerly an island. There is no doubt that, previous to the siege of the city by Alexander the Great, Tyre was situated on an island; but, according to the tradition of the inhabitants, there was a city on the mainland before there was a city on the island; and the tradition receives some color from the name of Palaetyrus, or Old Tyre, which was borne in Greek times by a city on the continent, thirty stadia to the south. Notices in the Bible. --In the Bible Tyre is named for the first time in the of Joshua, ch. Jos 19:29 where it is adverted to as a fortified city (in the Authorized Version "the strong city") in reference to the boundaries of the tribe of Asher, But the first passages in the Hebrew historical writings, or in ancient history generally, which actual glimpses of the actual condition of Tyre are in the book of Samuel, 2Sa 6:11 in connection with Hiram king of Tyre sending cedar wood and workmen to David, for building him a palace; and subsequently in the book of Kings, in connection with the building of Solomon's temple. It is evident that under Solomon there was a close alliance between the Hebrews and the Tyrians. Hiram supplied Solomon with cedar wood, precious metals and workmen, and gave him sailors for the voyage to Ophir and India, while on the other hand Solomon gave Hiram supplies of corn and oil, ceded to him some cities, and permitted him to make use of some havens on the Red Sea. 1Ki 9:11-14, 26-28; 10:22 These friendly relations survived for a time the disastrous secession of the ten tribes, and a century later Ahab married a daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, 1Ki 16:31 who, according to Menander, was daughter of Ithobal king of Tyre. When mercantile cupidity induced the Tyrians and the neighboring Phoenicians to buy Hebrew captives from their enemies, and to sell them as slaves to the Greeks and Edomites, there commenced denunciations, and at first threats of retaliation. Joe 3:4-8; Am 1:9,10 When Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, had taken the city of Samaria, had conquered the kingdom of Israel, and carried its inhabitants into captivity, he laid siege to Tyre, which, however, successfully resisted his arms. It is in reference to this siege that the prophecy against Tyre in Isaiah, Isa 23:1 ... was uttered. After the siege of Tyre by Shalmaneser (which must have taken place not long after 721 B.C.). Tyre remained a powerful state, with its own kings, Jer 25:22; 27:3; Eze 28:2-12 remarkable for its wealth, with territory on the mainland, and protected by strong fortifications. Eze 26:4,6,8,10,12; 27:11; 28:5; Zec 9:3 Our knowledge of its condition thenceforward until the siege by...

Tyre in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE tir (tsowr. tsor, "rock"' Turos, "Tyrus"; modern Sur): 1. Physical Features: The most noted of the Phoenician cities situated on the coast, lat. 33 17 minutes, about 20 miles South of Sidon and about 35 North of Carmel. The date of its foundation is uncertain, but it was later than that of Sidon. It is mentioned in the travels of the Egyptian Mohar, dating probably from the 14th century BC, and in the Tell el-Amarna Letters of about the same period. Herodotus describes the temple of Hercules at Tyre and says it was built 2,300 years before his time, which would carry back the beginning of the city to more than 2700 BC. It was a double city, one part on an island, a short distance from the shore, and the other on the mainland opposite. The island city had two harbors, connected by a canal, one looking North and the other South. The island was rocky and the city was fortitled on the land side by a wall 150 ft. high, the wall being of less elevation on the other sides. It was an exceedingly strong position, and is referred to in the Bible as the "strong" or "fortitled" city (Josh 19:29). The space within the walls was crowded with buildings, and is said to have contained 40,000 inhabitants. The town on the mainland was situated in a plain extending from the Ras el-`Abyad, on the South to Sarepta on the North, a distance of about 20 miles. It was fertile and well watered, the river Leontes (Litany) passing through it to the sea, about 5 miles N. of Tyre, and the copious fountain of Ras el-`Ain, 3 miles to the South, furnishing an abundant supply both for the city and the gardens. 2. History: (1) Tyre was for centuries subordinate to Sidon, but when the Philistines subdued the latter city, probably in the 12th century. (see SIDON), Tyre received an accession of inhabitants from the fugitives which gave it the pre- eminence. From this time dates its great commercial and colonial activity. Its mariners pushed boldly out to the West and founded colonies in Spain and North Africa, some of which, like Gades, Abdera and Carthage, became famous. They extended their commerce more widely than Sidon had ever done and ventured into the Atlantic and reached the coasts of Britain and West Africa. They reached out to the East also, and had their ships in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, and their land routes threaded all Western Asia (see PHOENICIA). Tyre, like all the Phoenician...

Tyre Scripture - 1 Kings 5:1 And Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants unto Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram was ever a lover of David.

Tyre Scripture - 1 Kings 7:14 He [was] a widow's son of the tribe of Naphtali, and his father [was] a man of Tyre, a worker in brass: and he was filled with wisdom, and understanding, and cunning to work all works in brass. And he came to king Solomon, and wrought all his work.

Tyre Scripture - 1 Kings 9:11 ([Now] Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold, according to all his desire,) that then king Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee.

Tyre Scripture - 2 Chronicles 2:11 Then Huram the king of Tyre answered in writing, which he sent to Solomon, Because the LORD hath loved his people, he hath made thee king over them.

Tyre Scripture - 2 Chronicles 2:14 The son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father [was] a man of Tyre, skilful to work in gold, and in silver, in brass, in iron, in stone, and in timber, in purple, in blue, and in fine linen, and in crimson; also to grave any manner of graving, and to find out every device which shall be put to him, with thy cunning men, and with the cunning men of my lord David thy father.

Tyre Scripture - 2 Chronicles 2:3 And Solomon sent to Huram the king of Tyre, saying, As thou didst deal with David my father, and didst send him cedars to build him an house to dwell therein, [even so deal with me].

Tyre Scripture - Acts 12:20 And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's [country].

Tyre Scripture - Isaiah 23:5 As at the report concerning Egypt, [so] shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre.

Tyre Scripture - Joshua 19:29 And [then] the coast turneth to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turneth to Hosah; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib:

Tyre Scripture - Luke 10:13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

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