Tyre is an ancient city that was known as a great seafaring kingdom. The Phoenicians were an ancient Semitic people that founded Tyre around 1200 B.C. Scholars and historians believed that they were descendants of the Canaanites. The city of Tyre started off as a small settlement and eventually grew to become a large and powerful city of commerce. Tyre was a prominent ancient kingdom that had established many different trade routes that dominated the Mediterranean Sea. It eventually was conquered by Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar. This event appears on the Biblical Timeline Chart.
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For many centuries, the city of Tyre built up its financial power and by the time that King David of Israel took the throne around 1000 B.C. Tyre had become a powerful city-state. Toward the end of his rule, King David wanted to build God a permanent home on Earth. God didn’t want him to complete the temple but he allowed David to gather the supplies he would need to get the job done. King David formed an alliance with King Hiram and they became good friends. This alliance carried over to Solomon, who used the aid of Hiram to finish the temple. King Hiram allowed King Solomon to establish a navy inside of Tyre. The two kingdoms became strong allies from this alliance.
The Bible doesn’t mention this alliance too much after the death of Solomon but the city had apparently broken its alliance with Israel and Judah. As a matter of fact, Tyre was glad when Judah and Israel were taken into captivity by Assyria and Babylon. God would punish them for this sin. The prophet Ezekiel spoke out against this city in Ezekiel 26. God said that he would encourage Nebuchadnezzar to march against Tyre and siege the city because of how it treated his people during their captivity. With Israel and Judah out of the way, the leaders of Tyre wanted to establish overland trade routes to the East. Instead of fulfilling this desire God used Nebuchadnezzar against them.
The Bible stated that Nebuchadnezzar would destroy the mainland city of Tyre and the surrounding areas and then he would destroy their offshore fortress where they would seek refuge in the event that the city would fall in battle. This offshore refuge was an island fortress that was located a few miles from the main city of Tyre. The Lord had already given Nebuchadnezzar the idea to siege the island fortress and for 13 years he was able to wreak havoc on Tyre and its inhabitants. King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed buildings, slaughtered the people and stripped the city of its wealth but he was not able to reach the people who escaped to the island fortress. God carried out the destruction of Tyre over a series of years and Babylon was the first of many nations that would be used to bring about the cities ultimate demise.
The historical accounts about how Babylon defeated Tyre lined up perfectly with scripture. In other words, everything that God said Babylon would do to Tyre was carried out under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar. The prophet Ezekiel relayed his messages from God with accuracy and clarity. He also made other prophecies concerning Babylon in the later chapters of his book. In the end, Tyre’s fall to Babylon was the beginning of God’s punishments being brought against this nation for it sins.
- Ezekiel 26: 1 – 6 God gives the prophet Ezekiel a message about the destruction of Tyre during King Jehoiachin’s captivity.
- Ezekiel 26: 7 – 14 Describes how Babylon would destroy Tyre.
- Ezekiel 27 and 28 Further prophecies concerning the downfall of Tyre.
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