What Was Tyre in the Bible?
The word “tyre” comes from the Greek word for “spread,” which means “to stretch.” The city of Tyre in the bible was a great city that once thrived. As late as the 19th century, visitors reported it as a place where fishermen spread their nets.
Corinth, the capital of ancient Greece, was a large mercantile city located on an isthmus between the AEgean and the Ionian Seas. It served as the seat of the Roman proconsul and was an important center of commerce for both East and West. In addition, it had a large Jewish population. In fact, it was much larger than the normal number of Jews at this time, largely due to the banishment of Jews from Rome by Claudius Caesar. As such, Corinth was an ideal field for the Gospel to diffuse itself.
The Bible is filled with references to the mercantile city. The ancient Greeks had a vast trading network, stretching from the Levantine coast to the Iberian Peninsula. Many of their cities were centered in coastal areas and were connected by inland rivers and seaports.
Capital of Phoenicia
Phoenicia in the Bible was the capital of a large sea-faring nation. While there was no centralized government, Phoenician cities shared a common culture and language. Some consolidated their power, and others were under the control of neighboring empires. While a federation of Phoenician cities was not common, it did occur in some places.
Phoenicia was dominated by two major cities: Sidon and Tyre. Joshua called Sidon “Great Sidon,” and the Greek poet Homer mentions it often. Tyre was also a large, fortified city during the time of Joshua. As a result, when the Askelons attacked Sidon, many of its inhabitants escaped to Tyre.
Phoenicia was subject to Babylon until 538 BC, but it was able to accept the Persian yoke in Cambyses’ day. Although the Persian king did not use force to gain adherence from the Phoenicians, he did need their fleets in case of an attack on Egypt.
Phoenicia’s rivers are small and shallow. The Litany river originates in the Buka’ region, between Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon. It then passes through the gorge of Mt. Hermon, eventually reaching Tyre. Another river, called Kasimiyeh, flows westward to the coast of Tyre.
The religious practices of Phoenicia varied, but the common deities included Baal, Baalat, and Melqart. The cities also had female deities. These deities were often associated with sexual traits, resulting in licentious rites.
Home of king Hiram
King Hiram (also known as Huram) ruled Tyre on the Mediterranean coast, 140 miles north of Jerusalem. During his rule, Tyre became a major Phoenician city, and his kingdom expanded throughout the Mediterranean. The Phoenicians grew prosperous thanks to Hiram’s trade, and he made many trips to Ophir, an ancient city in either East Africa or Palestine. As a result, Tyre became one of the richest Phoenician cities and the holder of a vast trading empire.
Hiram was a great king, and he had close ties with King Solomon. After sending a congratulatory mission to Tyre, Solomon established closer contact with Hiram, and they wrote each other letters. Hiram and Solomon signed an agreement that was later paraphrased in Eupolemos’ Praeparatio Evangelica.
The story of Hiram’s conquest of Israel is a great example of the mysterious ways in which God works. King Solomon and David wanted to build an exalted house for God. In response to a pagan foreigner, they sought help from Hiram of Tyre.
Josephus states that Solomon had correspondence with Hiram about the construction of the Temple and the public records of Tyre. Hiram gave his daughter to Solomon. In addition, he sent many men to Lebanon. This included woodworkers and burden-bearers.
Many Bible students are familiar with the city of Tyre. Its history goes back to the time of Christ, who visited Tyre and was received by many people from the area. It is also mentioned in the New Testament several times. Jesus cured a demon-possessed child from a Phoenician woman. Tyre was also troubled by Herod Agrippa I, and a deputation from Tyre visited him in Caesarea. The city was also visited by Paul during his journey from Asia to Jerusalem.
Ancient historians refer to Tyre as an ancient city in Israel. There is evidence of an alliance between the two nations, and the biblical stories about Tyre refer to it in many ways. King David used the services of Tyre carpenters and stonemasons to build his palace, and King Solomon’s temple used many materials and labor from Tyre.
Tyre is located on the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon. It was an important ancient trading city and influenced Mediterranean shipping lanes. It was also an important trading center between the coast and Arabia. Originally, Tyre was an island, but the city was later built on a peninsula and became an important center for commercial trade. Its most valuable export was purple dye.
According to the Book of Daniel, the king of Tyre was Alexander’s uncle. He fought for Alexander against the Assyrians and defeated them, but they did not take Tyre by force. They must have negotiated a surrender with the Tyreians after thirteen years of siege. King Ithobal of Tyre died during the siege, and his son Baal became a puppet ruler. The biblical account also records a king from Tyre who died in battle and was replaced by another Babylonian.
Connection with Israel
The Connection of Tyre with Israel dates back to ancient times. The city was originally inhabited by Greeks and was as far north as the promontory of Cni. The city also had a Christian population and was persecuted by the Jews at Jerusalem. The region is located near the city of Sidon, which is also a city along the Appian Way.
Destruction by Alexander the Great
The Achaemenid Persian Empire was the largest of its time. Founded in 525 bce by Cyrus the Great, it included the Median and Lydian kingdoms, as well as Egypt. It controlled the Near East for two centuries until its destruction by Alexander the Great in 330 bce.