From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

 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 with timber and workmen for his palace ( 2 Samuel 5:11), and Solomon with cedars of Lebaron conveyed by floats to Joppa, 74 geographical miles, after having been hewn by Hiram's Sidonian hewers unrivaled in skill ( 1 Kings 5:6). (See Hiram ; SOLOMON.) The Tyrian skill in copper work appears in the lilies, palms, oxen, lions, and cherubim which they executed for Solomon.

Tyrian colonists founded Carthage 143 years and eight months after the founding of Solomon's temple. (Josephus, contra Apion 1:18). Asher never possessed Tyre; though commanded to exterminate the Sidonians along with the other Canaanites, Israel never had war with them ( Judges 1:31-32). The census takers in going to Tyre under David seem merely to have counted the Israelites resident in Tyre ( 2 Samuel 24:7). Joshua ( Joshua 11:8;  Joshua 19:28) designates Sidon "great." In David's time Tyre assumes the greatness above Sidon. So secular history represents Sidon as mother city of Phoenicia, which see (Justin, Hist. xviii. 3; Strabo Geegr. 1:2, section 33). (See Phoenicia .) Old Egyptian inscriptions give Sidon the first place. Homer often mentions Sidon, never Tyre. The reason for his and the Pentateuch's silence as to Tyre is, Tyre, though existing, was as yet subordinate. Secular history accords with the Bible in dating the accession of Tyre to greatness just before David's reign.

Unlike other independent commercial cities Tyre was a monarchy, not a republic ( Jeremiah 25:22;  Jeremiah 27:3). The friendly relations between Tyre and Israel (Solomon supplying grain and oil in return for Hiram's timber, metals, and workmen) were again renewed when Ahab married the Sidonian king Ethbaal's (or Ithobal king of Tyre, according to Menander, in Josephus Ant. 8:13, section 2) daughter. Joel ( Joel 3:4-8) denounces Tyre for selling children of Judah and Jerusalem as slaves to the Greeks, Amos threatens Tyre with devouring fire for "delivering the whole captivity (captive Israelites) to Edom, and remembering not the brotherly covenant" ( Amos 1:9-10), between David and Hiram which guaranteed safety, religious privileges, and the undisturbed exercise of their faith to the Jews sojourning in Tyre.

Hiram's successors were Baleazar, Abdrastatus (Assassinated By His Nurse'S Four Sons, The Elder Of Whom Usurped The Throne; Then Hiram'S Line After A Servile Revolt Was Restored In) , Adrastus, Aserymus, Phales (Who Slew His Brother Aserymus And Was Slain By) , Ithobaal, priest of Astarte and father of Jezebel, Ahab's unscrupulous, cruel, and idolatrous queen. Tyre's annals record the three years' drought of 1 Kings 17-18. Then Badezor, Matgen, Pygmalion; he slew Acerbas, Hercules' high priest, and the husband of Elissa or Dido. She fled with many of the aristocracy and founded Carthage. Her self immolation on a funeral pyre is essentially oriental. The next certain event after some interval is Elulaeus' reign and Shalmaneser's invasion. Shalmaneser, after taking Samaria, turned his arms against Tyre, then mistress of Sidon, and Cyprus with its copper mines ("Copper" Derives Its Name From Cyprus) , 721 B.C. Menander, the translator of the Tyrian archives into Greek (Josephus Ant. 9:14, section 2), says Elulseus king of Tyre subdued a revolt in Cyprus.

The Assyrian king then, assailed Pnoenicia; Sidon, Akko (Acre), and Palaeo-Tyrus submitted, and helped him with 60 ships and 800 rowers against 12 ships of Tyre. The Tyrians dispersed their opponent's fleet, but he besieged them for five years, apparently without success. Isaiah (Isaiah 23) refers to this siege; Sargon probably finished the siege. The reference to "the Chaldaeans" ( Isaiah 23:13) implies an ulterior prophetic reference also to its siege under Nebuchadnezzar which lasted 13 years. "Behold," says the prophet, calling Tyre's attention to the humiliating fact that upstart Chaldees, subordinate then to Assyria and only in later times about to become supreme, should first as mercenaries under the Assyrian Shalmaneser, then as Nebuchadnezzar's army, besiege the ancient city Tyre. (See Chaldees .)

Alexander the Great destroyed new Tyre after a seven months' siege. Nebuchadnezzar, having no vessels to attack the island city, besieged the mainland city, but the heart of the city was on the island. To this latter God's threat applies, "I will scrape her dust from her and make her like the top of a rock" ( Ezekiel 26:2;  Ezekiel 26:4, etc.); instead of her realizing her exulting expectation on Jerusalem's downfall, "I shall be replenished now she is laid waste," the very soil which Tyre brought together on the rock on which she built I will scrape so clean away as to leave no dust, but only the bore rock as it was; "it (island Tyre) shall be a place for spreading of nets in the midst of the sea." Ezekiel ( Ezekiel 27:10-11) informs us that, like her daughter Carthage, Tyre employed mercenaries, "of Persia (the first mention of Persia in ancient literature), Lud, Phut, and Arvad"; a frequent occurrence and weakness in commercial cities, where artisans' wages exceed a soldier's pay.

Merchants of Sheba and Raamah, i.e. Arabia. and the Persian gulf, brought Tyre gold (Ezekiel 27). (See Sheba ; Raamah Tarshish supplied Tyre with silver, iron, tin (from Cornwall), and lead; Palestine supplied Tyre with wheat, oil, and balm ( 1 Kings 5:9;  Acts 12:20); whence the two nations were always at peace. Tyre got the wine of Helbon (Aleppo), not Judah's wines though excellent ( Genesis 49:11). (See Tarshish .) The nomadic Bedouin Kedar supplied lambs, rams, and goats; Egypt, linen; the isles of Elishah (Greece, the Peloponnese, and Elis especially), blue and purple dyes; (latterly Tyre extracted her famous purple from her own shell fish the Μurex Trunculus (See Scarlet ); Pliny ix. 60-61, Pausanias iii. 21, section 6; the shell fish were crushed in round holes found still by travelers in the solid sandstone there: Wilde, Voyage along Mediterr.); and Dedan on the Persian gulf, ivory and ebony.

The exultation of Tyre at Jerusalem's overthrow by Nebuchadnezzar might seem strange; but Josiah's overthrow of Solomon's altars to Ashtoreth or Astarte, the Tyrian queen of heaven, which for 350 years had been a pledge of the goodwill between Jerusalem and Tyre ( 2 Kings 23:13), had alienated the Tyrians; the selfishness of commercial rivalry further made them regard Jerusalem's fall as an opening for Tyre to turn to herself the inland traffic of which Jerusalem had hereto been the "gate"; Tyre said against Jerusalem, "Aha, she is broken that was the gates (the commercial mart) of the people, she is turned unto me" ( Ezekiel 26:2); the caravans from Petra, Palmyra and the East instead of passing through Jerusalem, will be transferred to me. Tyre is thus the world's representative in its phase of intense self seeking, which not so much opposes directly God's people as exults in their calamity when this subserves her schemes of gain, pride, and ambition, however ostensibly heretofore on friendly terms with them.

But Tyre experienced the truth "he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished" ( Proverbs 17:5). Nebuchadnezzar's siege of 13 years followed; "every head was made bald, and every shoulder peeled, yet had he no wages nor his army, for Tyre, for the service that he had served against it" ( Ezekiel 29:18-19). Jerome states that Nebuchadnezzar took Tyre, but had no wages for his pains since the Tyrians had removed in ships from Tyre everything precious. So God gave him Egypt in compensation; his success is implied in Tyre receiving a king from Babylon, probably one of the Tyrian hostages detained there, Merbal (Josephus, Apion 1:21, on the authority of Phoenician annals). Tyre probably submitted on mild terms, for no other authors mention its capture. Josephus quotes Phoenician records as stating that "Nebuchadnezzar besieged Tyre 13 years under their king Ithobal." Its capture accords with Pharaoh Hophra's expedition against Tyre not long after, probably in self defense, to prevent Tyre's navy becoming Babylon's weapon against Egypt.

Under Persia Tyre supplied cedar wood to the Jews for building the second temple ( Ezra 3:7). Alexander the Great, in order not to have his communications with Greece cut off, wished to have the Phoenician fleet at command; the other Phoenician cities submitted. Tyre stood a "seven months'" siege, the Cyprians blockading the northern harbour, and the Phoenicians the southern harbour, so that Alexander was enabled to join the island to the mainland by a vast artificial mole constructed of the ruins of mainland Tyre remaining after Nebuchadnezzar's siege; while Carthage, through internal commotions, was unable to help the mother city. The conqueror slew 8,000 of the brave defenders, crucified 2,000 in revenge for the murder of some Macedonians, and sold into slavery 30,000 of the inhabitants. Ezekiel ( Ezekiel 26:11-12) says: "Nebuchadnezzar shall slay, ... They shall break down thy walls, and shall lay thy stones and timber and dust in the midst of the water." The overthrow of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar was the first link in the long chain of evil, and the earnest of its final doom.

The change from "he" to "they" marks that what he did was not the whole, but paved the way for other's completing what he began. It was to be a progressive work until Tyre was utterly destroyed. Alexander did exactly as  Ezekiel 26:12 foretells; with the "stones, timber," and rubbish of mainland Tyre he made the causeway to island Tyre (Q. Curtius iv. 2), 322 B.C. "Thou shalt be built (re-established as a commercial queen and fortress of the seas) no more." Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, Antigonus, the crusaders in A.D. 1124, and the Saracens in the 13th century, A.D. 1291 (before whom the Tyrians vacated their city, fulfilling  Isaiah 23:7), all contributed to make Tyro what she is, her harbours choked up, her palaces and fortresses in ruins and "built no more," only a few fishermen's humble abodes, Tyre only "a place to spread nets upon." In Hasselquist's day (Voyages in Levant, A.D. 1751) there were "about ten inhabitants, Turks and Christians, living by fishing." Its present population is 3,000 or 4,000.

It was for long a Christian bishopric. Ithobaal was king at the beginning of Nebuchadnezzar's siege, and Baal his son at its close. Then the form of government changed to that of judges (Suffetes, Hebrew Shophetim ). Tyre is a vivid illustration of vicissitudes of fortune, so that Lucan calls her "unstable Tyre." During Tyre's existence Thebes, Nineveh, Babylon, and Jerusalem have fallen, and Carthage and Rome have risen and fallen; she "whose antiquity is, of ancient days" ( Isaiah 23:7), who heaped up silver as dust and fine gold as the mire of the streets" ( Zechariah 9:2), is now bore and poverty stricken. Greed of gain was her snare, to which she sacrificed every other consideration; this led her to join the wicked confederacy of seven nations constituting the main body, with three accessories, which sought to oust Jehoshaphat and God's people out of their inheritance ( Psalms 83:7).

 Psalms 87:4 foretells that Tyre personified as an ideal man shall be in Messianic days spiritually born in Jerusalem. Her help to Solomon's temple foretypified this, and the Syrophoenician woman's faith ( Mark 7:26) is the firstfruit and earnest. Isaiah's ( Isaiah 23:18) prophecy that "her merchandise shall be holiness to the Lord ... it shall be for them that dwell before the Lord to eat sufficiently and for durable clothing," was fulfilled in the consecration by the church at Tyre of much of its wealth to God and the support of Christ's ministry (Eusebius Hist. 10:4). Paul found disciples there ( Acts 21:3-6), a lively instance of the immediate and instinctive communion of saints, though previously strangers to one another. What an affecting picture of brotherly love, all bringing Paul's company on their way "with wives and children until they were out of the city, then kneeling down on the shore" under the canopy of heaven and praying!

 Psalms 45:12, "the daughter of Tyre shall entreat thy favor (so supply the omission) with a gift, even the rich (which Tyre was preeminently) among the people shall entreat thy favor," begging admission into the kingdom of God from Israel ( Isaiah 44:5;  Isaiah 60:6-14;  Psalms 72:10). When Israel "hearkens" to Messiah and "forgets her own people (Jewish ritualism) and her father's house (her boast of Abrahamic descent), the King shall greatly desire her beauty," and Messiah shall become "the desire of all nations," e.g. Tyre ( Haggai 2:7). On the other hand Tyre is type of (See Antichrist ) (Ezekiel 28) in her self deifying pride. "I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas ... yet thou art a man and not God. Though thou set thine heart as the heart of God, behold thou art wiser than Daniel ... no secret, can they hide from thee; with thy wisdom thou hast gotten riches" (compare  Daniel 7:1-25;  Daniel 11:36-37;  2 Thessalonians 2:4;  Revelation 13:1;  Revelation 13:6;  2 Timothy 3:1-9).

The "seas" answer to the political disturbed sea of nations out of which antichrist emerges. Tyre's "holy island," sacred to Melkart (Sanchoniathon) answers to antichrist's mimicry of God's throne in the temple of God. Her self-vaunted wisdom ( Zechariah 9:2) answers to the "eyes of a man" in the little horn ( Daniel 7:8;  1 Corinthians 1:19-31) and the second beast's "great wonders." Man in our days by discoveries in science hopes to be so completely lord of the elements as to be independent of God, so that "no secret can be hidden from him" in the natural world, which is the only world that self-willed fools recognize. When just at the summit of blasphemous self glorification, God shall bring these self deceivers with their masters, antichrist, the false prophet, and Satan, "down to the pit," as. Tyre ( Ezekiel 28:8; Revelation 16; 17;  Revelation 19:20;  Revelation 20:10).

In Tyre's king another example was given of man being put on his trial under most favorable circumstances, with all that beauty, sagacity, and wealth could do for man, like Adam and Eve in Eden ( Ezekiel 28:13-14). No "precious stone" was withheld from Tyre; like the overshadowing cherubim, its king overshadowed Tyre; as the beau ideal of humanity he walked up and down "in the midst of the stones of fire" like "the paved work of sapphire" ( Exodus 24:10;  Exodus 24:17) under the feet of the God of Israel. But, whereas Hiram feared the God of Israel and helped forward His temple, "iniquity" even pride was found in Tyre. Therefore, God "cast her to the ground" ( Ezekiel 28:17;  Isaiah 23:9), "sacred and inviolate" ( Hiera Kai Asulos ) though she calls herself on coins. The Lord Jesus entered the coasts of Tyre, but it is uncertain whether He entered Tyre itself ( Matthew 15:21;  Mark 7:24;  Mark 7:26).

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [2]

or TYRUS, was a famous city of Phenicia. Its Hebrew name is ציר or צר , which signifies a rock. The city of Tyre was allotted to the tribe of Asher,  Joshua 19:29 , with the other maritime cities of the same coast; but it does not appear that the Asherites ever drove out the Canaanites.  Isaiah 23:12 , calls Tyre the daughter of Sidon, that is, a colony from it. Homer never speaks of Tyre, but only of Sidon. Josephus says, that Tyre was built not above two hundred and forty years before the temple of Solomon; which would be in A.M. 2760, two hundred years after Joshua. Tyre was twofold, insular and continental. Insular Tyre was certainly the most ancient; for this it was which was noticed by Joshua: the continental city, however, as being more commodiously situated, first grew into consideration, and assumed the name of Palaetyrus, or Old Tyre. Want of sufficient attention to this distinction, has embarrassed both the Tyrian chronology and geography. Insular Tyre was confined to a small rocky island, eight hundred paces long, and four hundred broad, and could never exceed two miles in circumference. But Tyre, on the opposite coast, about half a mile from the sea, was a city of vast extent, since many centuries after its demolition by Nebuchadnezzar, the scattered ruins measured nineteen miles round, as we learn from Pliny and Strabo. Of these, the most curious and surprising are, the cisterns of Roselayne, designed to supply the city with water; of which there are three still entire; about one or two furlongs from the sea, so well described by Maundrell, for their curios construction and solid masonry. Old Tyre withstood the mighty Assyrian power, having been besieged in vain, by Shalmaneser, for five years; although he cut off their supplies of water from the cisterns; which they remedied by digging wells within the city. it afterward held out thirteen years against Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and was at length taken; but not until the Tyrians had removed their effects to the insular town, and left nothing but the bare walls to the victor, which he demolished. What completed the destruction of the city was, that Alexander afterward made use of these materials to build a prodigious causeway, or isthmus, above half a mile long, to the insular city, which revived, as the phoenix, from the ashes of the old, and grew to great power and opulence, as a maritime state; and which he stormed after a most obstinate siege of five months. Pococke observes, that "there are no signs of the ancient city; and as it is a sandy shore, the face of every thing is altered, and the great aqueduct is in many parts almost buried in the sand." Thus has been fulfilled the prophecy of Ezekiel: "Thou shalt be built no more: though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again,"  Ezekiel 26:21 . The fate of insular Tyre has been no less remarkable. When Alexander stormed the city, he set fire to it. This circumstance was foretold. "Tyre did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea, and she shall be devoured with fire,"  Zechariah 9:3-4 . After this terrible calamity, Tyre again retrieved her losses. Only eighteen years after, she had recovered such a share of her ancient commerce and opulence, as enabled her to stand a siege of fourteen months against Antigonus, before he could reduce the city; but after this, Tyre fell alternately under the dominion of the kings of Syria and Egypt, and then of the Romans, until it was taken by the Saracens, about A.D. 639, retaken by the Crusaders. A.D. 1124; and at length sacked and razed by the Mamelukes of Egypt, with Sidon, and other strong towns, that they might no longer harbour the Christians, A.D. 1289.

The final desolation of Tyre was thus foretold: "I will scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock: it shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God." "I will make thee like the top of a rock: thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon: thou shalt be built no more; for I the Lord have spoken it, saith the Lord God." Nothing can be more literally and astonishingly executed than this sentence. Huetius relates of one Hadrianus Parvillerius, that "when he approached the ruins of Tyre, and beheld the rocks stretched forth to the sea, and the great stones scattered up and down on the shore, made clean and smooth by the sun and waves and wind, and useful only for the drying of fishermen's nets, many of which happened at the time to be spread thereon, it brought to his memory the prophecy of Ezekiel concerning Tyre, that such should be its fate." Maundrell, who visited the Holy Land, A.D. 1697, describes it thus: "This city, standing in the sea upon a peninsula, promises at a distance, something very magnificent; but when your come to it, you find no similitude of that glory for which it was so renowned in ancient times, and which the prophet Ezekiel describes, 26, ZEC 27:28. On the north side it has an old Turkish ungarrisoned castle; beside which, you see nothing here but a mere Babel of broken walls, pillars, vaults, &c; there being not so much as one entire house left! Its present inhabitants are only a few poor wretches harbouring themselves in the vaults, and subsisting chiefly by fishing: who seem to be preserved in this place by Divine Providence, as a visible argument how God has fulfilled his word concerning Tyre, namely, that it should be as the top of a rock; a place for fishers to dry their nets upon,  Ezekiel 26:14 ." Hasselquist, who saw it since, in A.D. 1751, observes as follows: "None of those cities which were formerly famous are so totally ruined as Tyre, now called Zur, except Troy. Zur now scarcely can be called a miserable village, though it was formerly Tyre, the queen of the sea. Here are about ten inhabitants, Turks and Christians, who live by fishing." Bruce, who visited this country about eighty years after Maundrell, says, that "passing by Tyre from curiosity, I came to be a mournful witness of the truth of that prophecy, that Tyre, the queen of nations, should be a rock for fishers to dry their nets on." Mr. Buckingham, who visited it in 1816, represents it as containing about eight hundred substantial stone-built houses, and from five to eight thousand inhabitants. But Mr. Jowett, on the authority of the Greek archbishop, reduces this number to less than four thousand; namely, one thousand two hundred Greek Catholics, one hundred Maronites, one hundred Greeks, one thousand Montonalis, and one hundred Turks. Mr. Jowett observed numerous and beautiful columns stretched along the beach, or standing in fragments half buried in the sand, that has been accumulating for ages: "the broken aqueduct, and the ruins which appear in its neighbourhood, exist as an affecting monument of the fragile and transitory nature of earthly grandeur." Mr. Joliffe states, that there now exist scarcely any traces of this once powerful city. "Some miserable cabins, ranged in irregular lines, dignified with the name of streets, and a few buildings of a rather better description, occupied by the officers of government, compose nearly the whole of the town. It still makes, indeed, some languishing efforts at commerce, and contrives to export annually to Alexandria cargoes of silk and tobacco; but the amount merits no consideration. The noble dust of Alexander, traced by the imagination till found stopping a beer barrel, would scarcely afford a stronger contrast of grandeur and debasement, than Tyre, at the period of being besieged by that conqueror, and the modern town of Tsour erected on its ashes."

As commercial cities, says Mansford, ancient Alexandria and London may be considered as approaching, the nearest to Tyre. But Alexandria, during the whole of her prosperous days, was subject to foreign rule; and London, great as are her commerce and her wealth, and possessing as she does almost a monopoly of what has in all ages been the most enviable, and most lucrative branch of trade, that with the east, does not centre in herself, as Tyre did, without a rival and without competition, the trade of all nations, and hold an absolute monopoly, not of one, but of every branch of commerce. For the long period of a thousand years, not a single production of the east passed to the west, or of the west to the east, but by the merchants of Tyre. Nor for many ages were any ships found but those of Tyre daring enough to pass the straits of the Red Sea on one side, or of the Mediterranean on the other. While the vessels of other countries were groping along their coasts, clinging to their landmarks, and frightened at a breeze, the ships of Tyre were found from Spain, if not from Britain, on the west, to the coast of Malabar and Sofala on the east and south. No wonder that her merchants were princes, and that they lived in a style of magnificence unknown in any other country in the same age; or that she should be considered a desirable prey by the conquerors of the times. But enterprise and wealth did not alone complete the character of the Tyrians; they had an undoubted claim to valour of no common order. Their city, which possessed scarcely any territory beyond their own walls, maintained a siege of thirteen years (the longest in history except that of Ashdod) against the whole power of Babylon; and another of seven months against Alexander, whose successes had afforded no instance of similar delay. And in neither case had the captors much to boast of, as the Tyrians had shipped off their most valuable property to Carthage; and in the former particularly, as has been already related, they so effectually secured or sacrificed the whole, that the soldiers of Nebuchadnezzar found nothing to reward them for their length of labour, during which, by excessive toil and heat, "their heads were made bald, and their very shoulders peeled," but vacant streets, and houses already sacked. Carthage, Utica, and Cadiz, are celebrated monuments of the power of Tyre on the Mediterranean, and in the west. She extended her navigation even into the ocean, and carried her commerce beyond England to the north, and the Canaries to the south. Her connections with the east, though less known, were not less considerable; the islands of Tyrus and Aradus, (the modern Bahrain,) in the Persian Gulf. The cities of Faran and Phoenicum Oppidum, on the Red Sea, in ruins even in the time of the Greeks, prove that the Tyrians had long frequented the coast of Arabia and the Indian Sea. But, through the vicissitudes of time, Tyre, reduced to a miserable village, has no other trade than the exportation of a few sacks of corn and raw cotton, nor any merchant, says Volney, but a single Greek factor in the service of the French Saide, (Sidon,) who scarcely takes sufficient profit to maintain his family. In allusion to Tyre in her better days, Forbes observes, when speaking of Surat, "The bazars, filled with costly merchandise; picturesque and interesting groups of natives on elephants, camels, horses, and mules; strangers from all parts of the globe, in their respective costume; vessels braiding on the stocks, others navigating the river; together with Turks, Persians, and Armenians, on Arabian chargers; European ladies in splendid carriages, the Asiatic females in hackeries drawn by oxen; and the motley appearance of the English and nabob's troops on the fortifications, remind us of the following description of Tyre, ‘O thou that art situate at the entry of the sea, which art a merchant of the people for many isles,' &c,  Ezekiel 27:3 . This in a true picture of oriental commerce in ancient times; and a very exact description of the port and the bazars of Surat, at the present day."

Dr. Vincent has given the following able illustration of the trade of Tyre as described in Ezekiel 27, which must be considered as one of the most ample and early accounts extant. The learned author has rendered the Hebrew names into others better known in the geography of more recent times;—Tyre produced from Hermon, and the mountains near it, fir for planking; and from Libanus, cedars for masts. From Bashan, east of the sea of Galilee, oaks for oars. From Greece, or the Grecian isles, ivory to adorn the benches or the waists of the galleys. From Egypt, linen, ornamented with different colours for sails, or flags, or ensigns. From Peloponnesus, blue and purple cloths for awnings. From Sidon and Aradus, mariners; but Tyre itself furnished pilots and commanders. From Gebal, or Biblos, on the coast between Tripolis and Berytus, caulkers. From Persia and Africa, mercenary troops. From Aradus, the troops that garrisoned Tyre with the Gamadim. From Tarshish, or by distant voyages toward the west, and toward the east, great wealth, iron, tin, lead, and silver. Tin implies Britain or Spain, or at least a voyage beyond the Straits of Hercules. From Greece, and the countries bordering on Pontus, slaves, and brass ware. From Armenia, horses, horsemen, and mules. From the Gulf of Persia, and the isles within that gulf, horns, (tusks) of ivory, and ebony. The export to these isles was the manufacture of Tyre. From Syria, emeralds, purple, broidered work, fine linen, coral, and agate. The exports to Syria were the manufactures of Tyre in great quantities. From Judah and Israel, the finest wheat, honey, oil, and balsam. From Damascus, wine of Chalybon, (the country bordering on the modern Aleppo,) and wool in the fleece. The exports to Damascus were costly and various manufactures. From the tribe of Dan, situated nearest to the Philistines, the produce of Arabia, bright or wrought iron, cassia or cinnamon, and the calamus aramaticus. In conducting the transport of these articles, Dan went to and fro, that is, formed or conducted the caravans. By one interpretation, they are said to come from Uzal; and Uzal is said to be Sana, the capital of Yemen, or Arabia Felix. From the Gulf of Persia, rich cloth for the decoration of chariots or horsemen. From Arabia Petraea and Hedjaz, lambs, and rams, and goats. From Sabea and Oman, the best of spices. From India, gold, and precious stones. From Mesopotamia, from Carrhae and Babylonia, the Assyrians brought all sorts of exquisite things; that is, fine manufacture, blue cloth, and broidered work, or fabric of various colours, in chests of cedar bound with cords, containing rich apparel. If these articles were obtained farther from the east, may they not be the fabrics of India, first brought to Assyria by the Gulf of Persia, or by caravans from Karmania, and the Indus, and then conveyed by the Assyrians, in other caravans, to Tyre and Syria? In this view, the care of package, the chests of cedar, and the cording of the chests, are all correspondent to the nature of such a transport. From Tarshish the ships came that rejoiced in the markets of Tyre: they replenished the city, and made it glorious in the midst of the sea,  Ezekiel 27:5-25 . Dr. Vincent observes, that from the Tarshish last mentioned the ships returned to the ports in the Red Sea; as from the nineteenth to the twenty-fourth verse every particular relates to the east, while that referred to in the twelfth implies the west—Spain, or beyond. We have here some light thrown on the obscurity which surrounds the situation of this distant and unknown place. There is, indeed, a clear reference to two distinct places, or parts of the world, denominated Tarshish; perhaps from those very circumstances, their distance, and the little that was known respecting them. That one was situated westward, and reached by a passage across the Mediterranean, is certain from other parts of Scripture; that the other was eastward, or southward, on the coast of Arabia, India, or Africa, is equally certain. See Tarshish , and See Ophir .

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [3]

TYRE ( Tsôr ‘rock,’   Joshua 19:29 ) was situated on the coast of Palestine about half-way between Carmel and Beyrout. The narrow strip of land between the sea and the background of mountains was almost inaccessible owing to massive rocky promontories (the most famous being ‘the Ladder of Tyre’), which barred the approach of invaders. The date of the foundation of Tyre is unknown. That given by Herodotus is b.c. 2740, by Josephus about b.c. 1217. Isaiah (  Isaiah 23:7 ) calls her ‘the joyous city whose antiquity is of ancient days’; Strabo, ‘the most ancient of all PhÅ“nicla.’ Her original inhabitants probably came from the Semitic homeland near the Persian Gulf. But Tyre was not ‘the most ancient.’ Isaiah (  Isaiah 23:2;   Isaiah 23:12 ) calls her ‘daughter of Sidon ’ (cf.   Genesis 10:15 ); Homer mentions ‘Sidonian wares,’ but ignores Tyre. Justin says Sidon suffered so severely at the hands of Ascalon that her trade passed to her daughter Tyre. The Tell el-Amarna letters ( c [Note: circa, about.] . b.c. 1430) reveal Abi-milki, king of Tyre, sending appeals to his lord Amenhotep iv. for assistance against the swarms of Khabiri, who were ravaging the land, while the citizens were dying of want on the islets off the coast. At the conquest of Canaan, Joshua assigned the Tyrian territory to Asher, though it was perhaps never occupied (  Joshua 19:29 , but cf.   2 Samuel 24:7 ).

For the next 430 years the city’s history is a blank. It was Hiram , David’s contemporary, who raised Tyre to fame. Old Tyre (Palætyrus), on the mainland, he strongly fortified, its walls being 15 miles in circumference. Hiram now built New Tyre by uniting the scattered islands, half a mile out to sea, till they enclosed an area 2 1 / 2 miles in circumference. At the N. end, two stone piers, about 100 ft. apart, extended E. and W. for 700 ft. These with the shore line embraced an area (the ‘Zidon Harbour’) of 70,000 sq. yds. At the S. end a similar harbour (the ‘Egyptian’), 80,000 sq. yds. In area, was enclosed by a vast pier 200 yds. long, and a breakwater 35 ft. wide and nearly 2 miles in length. The two harbours were united by a canal across the island. The city rose up in tiers of houses, gardens, orchards, and vineyards, and was embellished by a new and splendid temple of Melkarth, a royal palace, and a great piazza (the ‘Eurychorus’) for national assemblies. The city’s wealth was furnished largely from the trade in purple dye, the secret of the extraction of which from two species of murex the Tyrians possessed. The gradual failure of the supply of these shellfish on their own shores led the citizens to become great explorers. Every island and coastline were searched for these precious molluscs. Trade naturally followed. They trafficked up the Nile as far as Memphis; worked copper mines in Cyprus and Crete (cf. Phenice,   Acts 27:12 ); erected stations on the Bosporus, the Euxine, and the Crimea; established colonies on the N. African shores, Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, Marseilles, etc., and exploited the gold, silver, lead, and other mines of Spain from their emporium Tartessus (prob. the Tarshish of   Genesis 10:4 ,   Psalms 72:10 ,   Isaiah 66:19 ). Even the Atlantic was braved, and they worked the tin deposits of Cornwall, and had depôts in the Scilly Isles and the Isle of Wight. Hiram co-operated with David in the erection of the latter’s palace in Jerusalem, sending cedars from Lebanon (  1 Chronicles 14:1 ). Under Solomon, Tyrian artizans built the Temple on PhÅ“nician models (  2 Chronicles 2:1-18 ). Hiram and Solomon had joint maritime adventures, Jewish ships with Tyrian seamen trading to Ophlr every three years (  1 Kings 9:26;   1 Kings 10:22 ). ‘Hiram’s Tomb,’ a massive limestone sarcophagus, is still shown on the shore 6 miles S. of Tyre.

The years following Hiram’s death were very troubled, changes of dynasty occurring through repeated assassinations. At length Eth-baal, by the murder of his brother, seized the throne, and married his daughter Jezebel to Ahab ( 1 Kings 16:31 ). Some time after the death of Eth-baal a domestic rebellion led to the emigration of the Tyrian princess Elissa, who is said to have fled from Tyre with her murdered husband’s riches and to have founded Carthage, thereby winning fame for herself as the Dido of Virgil’s Æneid . About b.c. 880 Assyria began to interfere with Western politics. Tyre purchased her liberty from Assur-nazir-pal by a heavy indemnity. In d.c. 726 Shalmaneser iv. came against the city, but, having no ships, could not reach the island fortress till he had bribed Sidon to furnish 60 vessels. These the Tyrians, with only 12 ships, easily routed. Shalmaneser retired, leaving a garrison in Old Tyre, which kept up a fruitless blockade for five years. At the next attack, under Sennacherib, Elulæus, the king, fled in despair to Cyprus, the Assyrians appointing a tributary king, Tubaal, in his stead (b.c. 705). Under Esarhaddon, Tyre rebelled. The Assyrians held the shore, and captured Sidon, but Tyre again escaped. In b.c. 664 it submitted to Ashurbanipal on honourable terms. On the decline of Nineveh, Tyre again proclaimed her independence (b.c. 630), and after Nineveh fell (b.c. 606) she reached the zenith of her glory. Ezekiel (27 28) gives a marvellously vivid picture of the island city at this period, yet prophesies her fall on account of her colossal sins.

In the early unsettled days of the New Babylonian Empire the Tyrians entered into a league with Pharaohnecho of Egypt. They were invited to make a canal from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, and even to circumnavigate Africa. The latter feat they accomplished in three years, the voyagers sailing down the E. coast, and reaching the Pillars of Hercules after a feat of unheard-of daring. Nebuchadnezzar II. attacked Tyre, and besieged it for 13 years. Old Tyre was destroyed ( Ezekiel 26:7-12 ), but the Babylonian army in vain wearied itself in trying to subdue the island (  Ezekiel 29:18 ). It is probable that the city finally capitulated on favourable terms. The long siege, however, had ruined her commerce, and for 50 years Tyre was a poverty-stricken town. An attempt at a republic did not improve her fortunes. She was involved in the struggle between Nebuchadnezzar II. and Pharaoh-hophra (  Jeremiah 44:30 ). was for a time under Egypt, but finally fell to Babylon, and remained a dependency until the overthrow of the Babylonian Empire. Her humbled state did not change her people’s temper. Their pride (  Ezekiel 28:2 ), their contempt for the rights of man (  Amos 1:9 ), their slave-trading propensities (  Joel 3:4-8 ) are denounced by the Hebrew prophets. In b.c. 538 Cyrus II., the founder of the Persian Empire, ordered Tyrian workmen to assist with Lebanon cedars in the re-building of the Jewish Temple (  Ezekiel 3:7 ). Cambyses II. engaged the Tyrians to supply a fleet for his invasion of Egypt. On his proposing to send them to subdue Carthage they refused, on the score of their blood relationship with the daughter colony of Tyre. Under Artaxerxes Longimanus (b.c. 430) we read of Tyrian fish-merchants at the gates of Jerusalem (  Nehemiah 13:16 ). In the Persian-Greek wars Tyrian fleets fought on the Persian side, till, after the Peace of Antalkidas (b.c. 387), Tyre transferred her allegiance to Persia’s enemies. Artaxerxes III. (Ochus) took fearful vengeance. Sidon disappeared in flame and torrents of blood. Tyre in horror opened her gates, and was spared. In b.c. 332 Alexander the Great appeared in front of the city. The Tyrians declined to allow him to sacrifice personally to Melkarth in their fortress. The memorable siege began. Alexander built a mole 200 ft. wide out towards the island. It was repeatedly destroyed. The defence was desperate and successful, till Alexander invested the city with a fleet of 224 ships. Tyre was stormed, 8000 of her inhabitants massacred, 2000 crucified on the shore, and 30,000 sold into slavery. Tyre ceased to be an island, and henceforth was permanently joined to the mainland. Only a blunt headland to-day suggests the existence of the former island fortress. The mole is now 1 /2 mile broad.

Tyre was again re-peopled. She figured in the wars of the Ptolemys and Seleucldæ. In b.c. 314 Antigonus besieged her for 15 months. After 70 years’ subjection to Egypt she was under Antioch till b.c. 65, when the Romans made her a free city. Some of her citizens came to hear the preaching of Jesus ( Mark 3:8 ). Christ visited the neighbourhood (  Mark 7:24-31 ), and got a favourable reception (  Luke 10:13 ). Tyre figured in connexion with St. Paul in Apostolic times (  Acts 12:20;   Acts 21:3-7 ). Was the Church in Tyre not a fulfilment of   Psalms 87:4 ? A Christian church was built on the site of the Melkarth temple. Origen found refuge in Tyre, and died there. Jerome (4th cent.) speaks of it as the ‘most noble and beautiful city of PhÅ“nicia.’ Captured by the Saracens (a.d. 638), it was recovered (a.d. 1124), and William of Tyre celebrates its fame under the Crusaders. Here was burled Frederick Barbarossa. Saladin was repelled in 1187, but the spot was abandoned in 1291, and the Moslems took possession of it. Tyre has since sunk to a miserable stagnant village, where the waves mournfully crash amid the ruins of her former magnificence.

G. A. Frank Knight.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]

Tyre. (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 Book of Joshua,  Joshua 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,  2 Samuel 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.  1 Kings 9:11-14;  1 Kings 26-28;  1 Kings 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,  1 Kings 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.  Joel 3:4-8;  Amos 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,  Isaiah 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,  Jeremiah 25:22;  Jeremiah 27:3;  Ezekiel 28:2-12, remarkable for its wealth, with territory on the mainland, and protected by strong fortifications.  Ezekiel 26:4;  Ezekiel 26:6;  Ezekiel 26:8;  Ezekiel 26:10;  Ezekiel 26:12;  Ezekiel 27:11;  Ezekiel 28:5;  Zechariah 9:3.

Our knowledge of its condition, thenceforward, until the siege by Nebuchadnezzar, depends entirely on various notices of it, by the Hebrew prophets; but some of these notices are singularly full, and especially the twenty-seventh chapter of Ezekiel furnishes us, on some points, with details such as have scarcely come down to us, respecting any one city of antiquity, excepting Rome and Athens.

Siege by Nebuchadnezzar. - In the midst of great prosperity and wealth, which was the natural result of extensive trade,  Ezekiel 28:4, Nebuchadnezzar, at the head of an army of the Chaldees, invaded Judea, and captured Jerusalem. As Tyre was so near to Jerusalem, and as the conquerors were a fierce and formidable race,  Habakkuk 1:6, it would naturally be supposed that this event would have excited alarm, and terror, amongst the Tyrians.

Instead of this, we may infer from Ezekiel's statement,  Ezekiel 26:2, that their predominant feeling was one of exultation. At first sight, this appears strange, and almost inconceivable; but it is rendered intelligible, by some previous events in Jewish history. Only 34 years before the destruction of Jerusalem, commenced the celebrated reformation of Josiah, B.C. 622.

This momentous religious revolution,  2 Kings 22:1;  2 Kings 23:1, fully explains the exultation and malevolence of the Tyrians. In that reformation, Josiah had heaped insults on the gods, who were the objects of Tyrian veneration, and love. Indeed, he seemed to have endeavored, to exterminate their religion.  2 Kings 23:20.

These acts must have been regarded, by the Tyrians, as a series of sacrilegious, and abominable, outrages; and we can scarcely doubt that the death in battle of Josiah at Megiddo, and the subsequent destruction of the city, and Temple of Jerusalem, were hailed by them with triumph, and retribution, in human affairs. This joy, as instances of divine retribution in human affairs.

This joy, however, must soon have given way to other feelings, when Nebuchadnezzar invaded Phoenicia, and laid siege to Tyre. That siege lasted thirteen years, and it is still a disputed point whether Tyre was actually taken by Nebuchadnezzar on this occasion. However this may be, it is probable that, on some terms or other, Tyre submitted to the Chaldees. The rule of Nebuchadnezzar over Tyre, though real, may have been light, and in the nature of an alliance.

Attack by the Persians; Capture by Alexander. - During the Persian domination, the Tyrians were subject in name to the Persian king, and may have given him tribute. With the rest of Phoenicia, they had submitted to the Persians, without striking a blow. Toward the close of the following century, B.C. 332, Tyre was assailed, for the third time, by a great conqueror.

At that time, Tyre was situated on an island nearly half a mile from the mainland; it was completely surrounded by prodigious walls, the loftiest portion of which on the side fronting the mainland, reached a height of not less than 150 feet; and, notwithstanding the persevering efforts of Alexander, he could not have succeeded in his attempt, if the harbor of Tyre to the north had not been blockaded by the Cyprians, and that to the south by the Phoenicians, thus affording an opportunity to Alexander, for uniting the island to the mainland by an enormous artificial mote. (The materials for this, he obtained from the remains of old Tyre, scraping the very dust from her rocks into the sea, as prophesied by Ezekiel,  Ezekiel 26:3-4;  Ezekiel 12;  Ezekiel 21, more than 250 years before).

The immediate results of the capture by Alexander, were most disastrous to Tyre, as its brave defenders were put to death; and in accordance with the barbarous policy of ancient times, 30,000 of its inhabitants, including slaves, free females and free children, were sold as slaves. It gradually, however, recovered its prosperity through the immigration of fresh settlers, though its trade is said to have suffered by the vicinity, and rivalry, of Alexandria. Under the Macedonian successors of Alexander, it shared the fortunes of the Seleucidae.

Under the Romans, at first, it enjoyed a kind of freedom. Subsequently, however, on the arrival of Augustus in the East, he is said to have deprived, both Tyre and Sidon, of their liberties for seditious conduct. Still, the prosperity of Tyre, in the time of Augustus, was undeniably great. Strabo gives an account of it at that period, speaks of the great wealth, which it derived from the dyes of the celebrated Tyrian purple which, as is well known, were extracted from shell-fish found on the coast, belonging to a species of the genus Murex .

Tyre in the time of Christ and since. - When visited by Christ ,  Matthew 15:21;  Mark 7:24, Tyre was, perhaps, more populous than Jerusalem, and if so, it was, undoubtedly, the largest city which the saviour is known to have visited.

At the time of the crusades, it was still a flourishing city, when if surrendered to the Christians, on the 27th of June 1144. It continued more than a century and a half in the hands of Christians, but was deserted by its inhabitants, in A.D. 1291, upon the conquest of Acre, (Ptolemais), by the sultan of Egypt and Damascus. This was the turning-point in the history of Tyre, which has never recovered from the blow. Its present condition is a fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy,  Ezekiel 28:5. It contains, according to Volney, 50 or 60 poor families, who live in part by fishing; and is, as Bruce describes it, "rock whereon fishers dry their nets."

People's Dictionary of the Bible [5]

Tyre (Tyre ) and Tyrus ( Ty'Rus ). Heb. Tsor, "rock;" Arabic Sûr . A celebrated city of Phœnicia, on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, 21 miles south of Sidon. Tyre was originally on an island, or perhaps two islands, about one mile long, and lying parallel to the shore at the distance of half a mile. There was also a city called "Palætyrus"—"Old Tyre"—upon the mainland. The first Scripture mention of Tyre is in the time of Joshua, b.c. 1444, and it was then "a strong city."  Joshua 19:29. It was coupled with the Zidonians.  Jeremiah 47:4;  Isaiah 23:2;  Isaiah 23:4;  Isaiah 23:12;  Joshua 13:6;  Ezekiel 32:30. The two cities Tyre and Sidon, being only 21 miles apart, were intimately associated. Tyre, under king Hiram, held friendly relations with Israel, under David and Solomon. David's census extended thither to embrace the Jews.  2 Samuel 24:7. The Tyrians furnished the timber for the temple and great buildings of Jerusalem. The cedars of Lebanon were floated from Tyre to Joppa, some 85 miles, and thence taken to Jerusalem. Tyrian artists also were skilful in the fine work required. As a reward for his services, Hiram was presented with 20 cities in northern Galilee, but he was not well pleased with them and called them "Cabul"—"displeasing" or "despicable."  2 Samuel 5:11;  1 Kings 5:1;  1 Kings 7:13;  1 Kings 9:11-12;  1 Chronicles 14:1;  2 Chronicles 2:2-3;  2 Chronicles 2:11. Hiram and Solomon were also associated in commercial enterprises.  1 Kings 9:27;  1 Kings 10:11-22;  2 Chronicles 8:17-18;  2 Chronicles 9:21. From Tyre came the many fatal influences toward idolatry which corrupted the chosen people. At a later period the friendly relations were changed to hostility. Tyre rejoiced in the distress of Israel, and God's prophet predicted the terrible overthrow of the proud heathen city.  Isaiah 23:1;  Isaiah 23:5;  Isaiah 23:8;  Isaiah 23:15-17;  Jeremiah 25:22;  Jeremiah 27:3;  Jeremiah 47:4;  Ezekiel 26:2-15;  Ezekiel 27:2-8;  Ezekiel 27:32;  Ezekiel 29:18;  Hosea 9:13;  Joel 3:4;  Amos 1:9-10;  Zechariah 9:2-3; comp.  Psalms 45:12;  Psalms 83:7;  Psalms 87:4. The prophecies were notably fulfilled. Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, besieged Tyre in b.c. 721. The siege lasted for five years, but the city was not taken. Nebuchadnezzar besieged it for 13 years. But Tyre came under the Persian dominion and furnished that power with a large fleet. This excited the hostility of Alexander the Great, who determined to destroy the power of the city. Not being able to reach the walls with his engines, he collected together all the remains of the ancient city Palætyrus-stones, timber, rubbish—and threw them into the narrow channel. Thus was fulfilled in a most remarkable manner the prophecy of  Ezekiel 26:3-4;  Ezekiel 26:12;  Ezekiel 26:21. After a siege of seven months the city was taken. Rome 8000 men were slain in the massacre, which followed; 2000 were crucified, and 30,000 men, women, and children were sold into slavery. The city was also set on fire by the victors.  Zechariah 9:4;  Joel 3:7. Insular Tyre afterwards came under the Romans, and for ages continued a flourishing trading city.  Matthew 11:21;  Matthew 15:21;  Mark 3:8;  Mark 7:24;  Luke 6:17;  Luke 10:13;  Acts 21:3. It fell finally in the hands of the Mohammedans, a.d. 1291; since then it has irrecoverably declined. The Hebrew prophets denounced fearful judgments against Tyre for her idolatry and wickedness.  Isaiah 23:1-18;  Ezekiel 26:7-21;  Ezekiel 27:1-36;  Ezekiel 28:1-19;  Ezekiel 29:18. And how truthfully their predictions have been accomplished may be seen in the existing ruins scattered along the shore, and the number of splendid columns lying in heaps beneath the waves. This ancient city has indeed become like the top of a rock, "a place to spread nets upon I"

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [6]


Tyre, the ancient mother of colonies and mistress of the seas, ‘the merchant of the peoples unto many isles’ ( Ezekiel 27:3), ceased to be politically important under the Greeks and Romans. But, along with the sister-city of Sidon, it still retained its commercial prosperity, though they had now a very formidable rival in Alexandria. ‘Both,’ says Strabo (XVI. ii. 22), ‘were formerly, and are at present, illustrious and splendid cities, but which of the two should be called the capital of Phœnicia is a matter of dispute among the inhabitants.’ Confined to an island-rock with a surface area of only 140 acres, in which room had to be found not only for dwelling-houses but for factories, dockyards, a canal, and a great temple, Tyre solved the problem of space in an un-Oriental manner by running up buildings of many stories, ‘of more even than at Rome’ ( ib. ). Since the time of a memorable siege by Alexander the Great (332 b.c.), the island had been connected with the mainland by a mole half a mile long, which was gradually widened by the accretion of sand-it is now ⅓; of a mile broad. In the Roman period, when ‘the great number of dyeing works’ rendered the city ‘unpleasant as a place of residence’ ( ib. ), suburbs began to rise along the coast, on or near the site of Old Tyre, Palae-Tyrus.

The Tyrians were devoted to the worship of Melkart (‘king of the city’), whom the Greeks identified with Hercules (as in CIG [Note: IG Corpus Inscrip. Graecarum.]122, c. [Note: . circa, about.]180 b.c.). The coming of Christianity to Tyre was foreshadowed when many of its inhabitants journeyed to Galilee to see the Prophet of Nazareth, and when He returned their visit ( Mark 3:8,  Luke 6:17,  Mark 7:24,  Matthew 15:21). Luke relates that the dispersion of Christians from Jerusalem, consequent upon Stephen’s death, sent preachers to Phœnicia, who confined their message to the Jews ( Acts 11:19); and, further, that the story of Paul’s first missionary journey and of ‘the conversion of the Gentiles’ was told to ‘all the brethren’ of Phœnicia before it was heard by the Council of Jerusalem ( Acts 15:3).  Acts 21:3-5, which is a ‘we-section,’ gives an indication of the measure of progress made by the new faith in Tyre by a.d. 56 (C. H. Turner in Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) i. 423a), when Paul and Luke landed there at the end of the third missionary journey. They ‘found the disciples,’ but the verb (ἀνευρότες) implies that they had to ‘look them up’- quaerendo reperire (F. Blass, Acta Apostolorum , Göttingen, 1895, p. 225)-evidently because the Christians were still numerically a feeble folk in the great heathen city. They are not called a church, yet among them were some who spoke ‘through the Spirit,’ with the rapt utterance of NT prophets. At the end of a week of fellowship, ‘they all, with wives and children,’-the language still suits a small company of converts-escorted Paul and his comrades outside the city. On the beach there was enacted a sacred and pathetic scene very similar to the one at Miletus (20:36-38), and with this the story of nascent Christianity in Tyre suddenly ends.

The Elder Pliny refers to the prosperity of Tyre, in the middle of the 1st cent., and indicates its staple trade in the words: ‘Nunc omnis ejus nobilitas conchylio atque purpura constat’ ( Historia Naturalis (Pliny) v. 17). Jerome, at the end of the 4th cent., calls it still the first commercial city of the East, ‘an emporium for the commerce of the whole world’ ( Com. ad Ezk on 26:7, 27:2). Septimins Severus made it a Roman colony, and among its illustrious citizens were Origen and Porphyry. From 1124 to 1291 it was an impregnable stronghold of the Crusaders. Deserted by the Christians after the fall of Acre, it was destroyed by the Muslims. It is now an unimportant town among scattered fragments of ruins (see Phœnicia).

Literature.-A. P. Stanley, Sinai and Palestine , new ed., London, 1877, p. 270; W. M. Thomson, The Land and the Book , do., 1910, pp. 155-172; C. Baedeker, Palestine and Syria 4, do., 1906, pp. 267-269.

James Strahan.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [7]

 2 Samuel 5:11 1 Kings 5:1 2 Chronicles 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  Matthew 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 Chronicles 2:7,14 ).

The wickedness and idolatry of this city are frequently denounced by the prophets, and its final destruction predicted ( Isaiah 23:1;  Jeremiah 25:22;  Ezekiel 26;  28:1-19;  Amos 1:9,10;  Zechariah 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."

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [8]

Along the Mediterranean coast north of Palestine lay the ancient land of Phoenicia, whose chief cities were the ports of Tyre and Sidon. The Bible rarely uses the name Phoenicia, preferring to refer to the country by the names of its chief cities, either separately or together ( 1 Kings 5:1;  Ezra 3:7;  Jeremiah 47:4;  Ezekiel 28:2;  Ezekiel 28:21;  Zechariah 9:2;  Mark 7:24;  Luke 6:17;  Acts 12:20). Other Phoenician towns along the Mediterranean coast were Zarephath and Byblos ( 1 Kings 17:9).

The Phoenicians were among the great sailors of the ancient world and had large shipping fleets working the trade routes of the Mediterranean Sea ( Isaiah 23:5;  Isaiah 23:7). This brought much wealth to Phoenicia, particularly to Tyre, since it was the chief port ( Ezekiel 27:3;  Ezekiel 27:25). But with wealth came arrogance, and this brought judgment from God ( Ezekiel 28:5;  Ezekiel 28:9;  Ezekiel 28:16). The judgment on Phoenicia was usually pictured in the overthrow of Tyre or the downfall of its king ( Ezekiel 27:2;  Ezekiel 28:2;  Ezekiel 28:12). (For map and other details of Tyre, including its important rulers, commercial power and colourful history, see Phoenicia .)

Webster's Dictionary [9]

(1): ( n. & v.) Attire. See 2d and 3d Tire.

(2): ( v. i.) To prey. See 4th Tire.

(3): Curdled milk.

Holman Bible Dictionary [10]

Sidon And Tyre

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

Copyright StatementThese files are public domain. Bibliography InformationMcClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Tyre'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/t/tyre.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [12]

tı̄r ( צר , cowr . חר , cōr , "rock"' Τύρος , túros , "Tyrus"; modern Sur):

1. Physical Features:

The most noted of the Phoenician cities situated on the coast, lat. 33ø 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 (  Joshua 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 - ‛Abyaḍ , 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 cities, became subject to Egypt under Thothmes 3 in the first half of the 15th century BC, and remained so for some 300 years, but it enjoyed practical autonomy under native kings, being only subject to tribute and to furnishing contingents of ships when the Egyptian kings made their expeditions to the North. In the Tell el-Amarna Letters , dating from the first half of the 14th century, we find a certain Abi-melek (or Abi-milki) writing from Tyre to the king of Egypt asking for aid against the Amorite leader, Aziru, and the king of Sidon, who had joined the rebels. The name is Phoenician, and we know that it was the policy of the Egyptian kings to leave the native dynasts on the throne.

(2) After the decline of Egypt, Tyre regained her independence and exercised the hegemony over most of the Phoenician towns, at least as far North as Gebal (Byblus), as appears in the control that Hiram had over the Lebanon forests in the time of David and Solomon. Hiram was evidently desirous of an alliance with Israel, since he sent messengers to David and furnished cedar and workmen to build him a house, apparently without solicitation. The friendly connection between the two kingdoms was advantageous to both, since David and Solomon needed the timber and the skilled artisans that Hiram could furnish, and Hiram needed the food products of the land of Israel ( 1 Kings 5 ). Tyre was at this time noted for the skill of its artificers, and its manufactured products were famous throughout the world (see Phoenicia , 4.). The purple dye and works in bronze were especially famous, and Hiram, the Tyrian artisan, was engaged by Solomon to cast the bronzes required for the temple ( 1 Kings 7:13 ff). Hiram, the king, enlarged and beautified his capital. He united the two small islands on which the city was built by filling up the space between, where he made an open square and built a splendid temple to Melkarth and Astarte. He engaged in commercial enterprises with Solomon (  1 Kings 9:26-28;  1 Kings 10:22 ), both in pursuance of the friendly alliance and also for the advantage of having the use of the port of Ezion-geber on the Red Sea. His brilliant reign lasted 43 years.

(3) The list of kings who succeeded him contains the names of Baal-azar, Abd-ashtoreth, murdered by his brothers, the eldest of whom succeeded him, followed by Astartus and Aserymus murdered by his brother, Pheles, who was overthrown by the high priest Eth-baal, showing how disturbed the period was. Eth-baal, or Ithobal, was the king who made an alliance with Ahab and gave him Jezebel, his daughter, in marriage, which proved most disastrous both to her and the country because of the introduction of the Baal-worship into Israel. Eth-baal was an energetic monarch, and is said to have rounded Botrys (Batrun). He reigned 32 years, and was followed by Badezor and Mattan, who gave his daughter, Elissa (Dido), in marriage to her uncle Sicharbas and transferred the throne to them; but they were set aside by an uprising of the people, and Pygmalion, son of Mattan, was placed on the throne, and Sicharbas put to death. Elissa fled with a party of nobles, by sea, to Africa and founded the city of Carthage. This happened about the middle of the 9th century BC, Josephus putting it at 860 BC.

(4) In the first half of this century Tyre became subject to Assyria, and her hegemony in Phoenicia came to an end, but her prosperity was not seriously checked as we may infer from  Isaiah 23:8 , which was written a century or so later. Assyria was satisfied with the payment of tribute until the time of Tiglath-pileser Iii (745-727), who laid a heavier hand upon her, and this led Elulaeus, king of Tyre, to form a confederacy of the Phoenician cities against Assyria. Shalmaneser Iv subdued all except Tyre, which he distressed by cutting off her water-supply. But the people dug wells and obtained enough to subsist upon for five years, when Shalmaneser was killed and Elulaeus recovered control of his territory. He was not molested by Sargon, but Sennacherib advanced against him with 200,000 men, and Elulaeus fled to Cyprus. The citizens made a successful resistance and Sennacherib did not take Tyre, but it submitted to Esar-haddon, and its king, Baal, obtained the special favor of the Assyrian king, who made him ruler of all the coast cities from Dor to Gebal, and the Lebanon was placed under his control (680-673 BC). It is rather surprising that Baal refused to assist him in his attack upon Egypt and that Esar-haddon did not punish him, probably because he was too much occupied with Egypt. Ashur-banipal, however, did compel him to submit and to give him his daughter, and those of his brothers, as secondary wives, but left him as king of Tyre.

(5) On the decline of Assyria, Tyre regained its independence, and its greatness is indicated by the fact that it resisted Nebuchadnezzar 13 years (598-585); it is uncertain whether the island city was taken, but it evidently came to terms with the king of Babylon (compare  Ezekiel 27:26; Josephus, Ant. , X, xi, 1 and see The Expository Times , 1899, pp. 378, 430, 475, 520). After this siege Sidon took the lead and Tyre was in a disturbed state: the monarchy was overthrown and suffetes, or judges, took its place for six years, when the old order was restored. The decline of Babylon enabled Tyre to regain her independence for a short period until its submission to the Persians about 525 BC, and thenceforth it was a vassal state during the continuance of the Persian empire.

(6) It was by no means hindered in its commercial prosperity, and its great strength is seen in the brave and energetic resistance it made to Alexander the Great. All Phoenicia submitted to him without resistance, and Tyre was willing to admit his suzerainty, but declined to receive him into the city. This so angered Alexander that he at once commenced a siege that proved the most difficult undertaking in all his wars. He had no fleet and was obliged to build a mole (causeway) from the mainland to the island, but before he could finish it the Tyrians destroyed it and beat back their assailants handily. Alexander had to do the work all over again, and since he was convinced that without a fleet he would not be able to take the city, he procured ships from the Phoenician towns that had submitted, and with the aid of these was able to blockade the port and prevent the besieged from issuing forth to destroy the new causeway. This was at length pushed up to the very wall of the city, which was finally breached, and the troops of Alexander forced their way in. But even then the defenders would not yield, and the king himself had to lead the assault upon them with his bodyguard and put them all to the sword. Those who died with arms in their hands were 8,000, and the survivors, women, children and slaves, to the number of 30,000, were sold in the open market. He placed over the ruined city, into which he introduced some colonists, a certain Abd-elonim, and left it after having spent about seven months in subduing it.

(7) After the death of Alexander, Tyre passed into the hands of Ptolemy Lagi, and when Antigonus, in 314 BC, took Phoenicia from him, Tyre resisted, and he had to blockade it 15 months before it would yield, showing how quickly it had recovered from its previous disaster. It became a part of the Seleucid kingdom when Antiochus 3 drove the Ptolemies from Syria (198 BC), and the Seleucid kings regarded it of importance and gave it the right of asylum, and it was allowed the status of a free city by the Romans, Antony recognizing the magistrates and council of Tyre as allies. When the Parthians attacked and took Syria, in 40 BC, Tyre would not submit and was left untouched, being too strong for them. Augustus deprived it of its freedom, but it was given the status of a "metropolis" by Hadrian, and this title appears on its coins.

(8) Tyre is mentioned in the New Testament several times: Christ visited its territory ( Matthew 15:21;  Mark 7:24 ), and people from there came to hear Him ( Luke 6:17 ). Herod Agrippa I had trouble with Tyre, and a deputation came to visit him at Caesarea ( Acts 12:20 ). Paul visited Tyre on his journey from Asia to Jerusalem ( Acts 21:6-7 ).

Christianity was accepted by the people of Tyre, so that the 2nd century Ad saw a bishopric established there, and in the 4th a council was held there to consider charges against Athanasius, by the party of Arius; he was condemned, a decision which brought the Tyrian church into disrepute. Tyre was already obnoxious to Christians because the anti-Christian philosopher Porphyry was from there. Tyre continued a commercial center, and Jerome says that it was the noblest and most beautiful of the Phoenician cities and an emporium of commerce for almost the whole world ( Commentary on Ezekiel ). It was of considerable importance in the Crusades and continued so until toward the end of the 13th century, when its trade declined, and it has now dwindled to a town of some 5,000 inhabitants. For "literature" see Phoenicia .

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

The original position of this famous city was on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, about midway between Egypt and Asia Minor, near the north-western frontier of Palestine. It was a colony of Zidon, and was founded before the records of history.

As early as the eleventh century before the advent of Christ, the Tyrians had become famous for skill in the arts. About 1142 B.C. , their King Hiram sent cedar-trees to Jerusalem, and workmen who built David a house. A generation later, when Solomon, preparing to build the temple, sent to the same monarch for similar assistance, he said to him , 'Thou knowest that there is not among us any that can skill to hew timber like unto the Sidonians.' He also sent and fetched Hiram out of Tyre, a widow's son, filled with cunning to work all works in brass. In subsequent ages, every king coveted a robe of Tyrian purple, and Ezekiel speaks of 'the multitude of wares of its making,'—emeralds, purple, and broidered work, and fine linen, and coral, and agate.

The commerce of Tyre was commensurate with its manufactures. Situate at the entry of the sea, it became a merchant of the people for many isles. It was inhabited by seafaring men, and was styled by way of eminence 'the merchant-city,' whose merchants were princes, whose traffickers were the honorable of the earth' . Among their other colonies, whither 'their own feet carried them afar off to sojourn,' were Cyprus, Utica, and Carthage. In Ezekiel 27, Syria, Persia, and Egypt, Spain, Greece, and every quarter of the ancient world, are portrayed hastening to lay their most precious things at the feet of Tyre, who sat enthroned on ivory, covered with blue and purple from the isles of Elishah; while the Gammadims were in her towers, hanged their shields upon her walls round about, and made her beauty perfect.

Near the close of the eighth century before the Christian era, Shalmaneser, the king of Assyria who captured Samaria, was led by cupidity to lay siege to Tyre. He cut off its supplies of water which aqueducts had furnished, but wells within the walls supplied their place; and at the end of five years he gave up his blockade as hopeless.

It was against a city such as this, so confident, and to all appearance so justifiably confident, of sitting a queen forever, that several prophets, particularly Isaiah and Ezekiel, fulminated the denunciations which Jehovah dictated. They prophesied that it should be overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar, that it should revive, but at length be destroyed and never rebuilt.

Before a generation had passed away, according to Josephus, Philostratus, and the Seder Olam, Nebuchadnezzar came up, as had been predicted , making a fort, casting a mount, and lifting up the buckler. At the end of thirteen years (about A.M. 3422) he took the city, and Tyre was forgotten seventy years, as had been foretold by Isaiah . In the year B.C. 332 Tyre, which had been rebuilt on an island half a mile from the shore, and had again become a flourishing emporium for all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth, 'and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets,' was assailed by Alexander the Great in the midst of his Oriental career of conquest. It sustained a siege of seven months, and was at length taken only by means of a mole, by which the island was turned into a peninsula, and rendered accessible by land forces. In constructing this mole Alexander made use of the ruins of the old city, and thereby fulfilled two prophecies . So utterly were the ruins of old Tyre thrown into the sea, that its exact site is confessedly undeterminable.

The mole of Alexander has prevented Tyre from becoming insulated again. The revival of the city was long retarded by the rivalship of the newly-founded Alexandria, and by other causes, but it was at length partially restored, and was often the subject of contest during the crusades. It was in the hands of the Europeans till 1291, when it was finally yielded to the Muslims. Its fortifications, which were almost impregnable, were demolished, and it has never since been a place of consequence. Travelers of every succeeding century describe it as a heap of ruins, broken arches and vaults, tottering walls and towers, with a few starveling wretches housing amid the rubbish. It was half ruined by an earthquake in 1837. One of the best accounts of its present appearance is given by Dr. Robinson, who spent a sabbath there in 1838 (Biblical Researches, iii. 395): 'I continued my walk,' says he, 'along the shore of the peninsula, part of which is now unoccupied, except as “a place to spread nets upon,” musing upon the pride and fall of ancient Tyre. Here was the little isle, once covered by her palaces and surrounded by her fleets: but alas! thy riches and thy fame, thy merchandise, thy mariners and thy pilots, thy caulkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise that were in thee—where are they? Tyre has indeed become like the “the top of a rock.” The sole tokens of her more ancient splendor—columns of red and gray granite, sometimes forty or fifty heaped together, or marble pillars—lie broken and strewed beneath the waves in the midst of the sea; and the hovels that now nestle upon a portion of her site present no contradiction of the dread decree, “Thou shalt be built no more.”'

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [14]

A famous city of ancient Phoenicia ( q. v .), about 30 m. N. of Acre; comprised two towns, one on the mainland, the other on an island opposite; besieged and captured in 332 B.C. by Alexander the Great, who connected the towns by a causeway, which, by silting sands, has grown into the present isthmus; its history goes back to the 10th century B.C., when it was held by Hiram, the friend of Solomon, and sustained sieges by Nebuchadnezzar and others; was reduced by Cæsar Augustus, but again rose to be one of the most flourishing cities of the East in the 4th century A.D.; fell into ruins under the Turks, and is now reduced to some 5000 of a population.