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People's Dictionary of the Bible


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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"

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Tyre'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. 1893.

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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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