Alexander the Great Siege on Tyre: The Fallen City of Trade

And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water.
-Ezekiel 26:12

During the reign of Solomon, king of Israel, he found a friend in the land of Phoenicia. He was Hiram the king of the port city of Tyre, who became his supporter in building the first Hebrew Temple. Centuries later, however, that old ties that bind Israel and Tyre slowly started to wane.  Tyre in many circumstances raised against Israel, thus, the Lord remember its wickedness and promised to destroy the kingdom (Ezekiel 26:2).

The prophetic revelation against Tyre was recorded by the prophet Ezekiel, during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon (Ezekiel chapter 26). The prophecy seems to be narrated as one event only but was actually divided and fulfilled into two separate era.

Make a Spoil of Thy Riches and Prey of Thy Merchandise

The port city of Tyre in ancient times was known as the leading trading center of Phoenicia because of its abounding natural resources and economic strategic location. Cedars from Lebanon and Tyre were highly valued. King Solomon in his glory made a covenant to the king of Tyre in order to have these timbers to be used for building the Hebrew Temple (1 Kings 9:11). Tyre also gained fame from its purple dye, glassware, jewelry, wine and perfume. However, all these glory that they enjoyed was finally ended  when Nebuchadnezzar II (Ezekiel 26:7) siege the city in 573 B.C.

Break Down Thy Walls and Pleasant Houses

The Babylonian Empire during 6th century, became the world greatest power that rise in the known world. They have conquered much of Tyre’s neighboring nations  and also made a campaign against the city. However, Tyrians did not made it easy for the Babylonian to take away their city. They have succeeded to repulse the invading army from several major assaults. The siege took about 13 years before the whole city was captured by the Babylonian forces and finally destroyed it. Seeing that the city cannot anymore hold the overwhelming power of the enemies, some people of Tyre escaped to the nearby island city to take refuge.

Tyre Alexander the Great

Laid Thy Stones, Timbers and Dust in the Midst of the Water

For more than 200 years later, in 332 B.C., the prophetic fall of Tyre was finally fulfilled when Alexander the Great conquered it in his 7 month-siege against the city. This time, however, Tyre was now moved out from its city port in the mainland to the nearby island (modern day Sur, Lebanon) where the remnants of the people took refuge after Nebuchadnezzar II ravaged the city. The people learned their lessons from the previous siege, knowing that they were greatly exposed to enemy invasions in the mainland shores. Thus, they used the water that surrounded the whole city as their natural barrier and their fortified defense against marauders and invaders.

Modern Day Tyre

Alexander the Great, who was known for his excellent military strategies took up the challenge of invading the impregnable defense of Tyre. Since the water barrier slows down his infantry troops from conquering the island city, he ordered to use the remains of the former city of Tyre that was destroyed by the Babylonians centuries ago. They took the stones and lumber and threw them away to the seas. Furthermore, they also covered it with soil and made a bridge out of it that connected the mainland to the offshore island. Thus, the siege became easier for the more superior Greek soldiers in  destroying the city. Killing a quarter of its inhabitants due to their stubborn resistance.

Prophetic Status: Fulfilled
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