Tag Archives: Tyre

Visualizing Isaiah 23: Tyre is laid waste

Isaiah 23 is an oracle concerning the famous Phoenician port city of Tyre. The Mediterranean world of Egypt, Tarshish, Cyprus, and the neighboring city of Sidon, would be affected by the fall of Tyre.

More details about the prophecy concerning Tyre are given in Ezekiel 26-28. Nebuchadnezzar is named as one of the kings who will bring about the fall of Tyre. He besieged Tyre for 13 years (585-572 B.C.), immediately after the destruction of Jerusalem. The people of Tyre fled from their mainland city to the island about ½ mile offshore. But Tyre was to be destroyed by many nations. Alexander the Great came to Tyre in 332 B.C. Most of the cities in his path surrendered, but the people of Tyre prepared to resist him. The more powerful Greeks used the debris of the desolate mainland city to build a causeway to the island. Alexander’s army captured the island city in seven months.

Ezekiel says the city “will be built no more” (Ezekiel 26:14). The mainland city has never been rebuilt. From my first visit to Tyre in 1967, I continued to visit the city until 1975, and then again in 2002. Political and military conditions have made it impossible to visit more times.

The diagram below hopefully will help to explain what we have briefly explained here. It was prepared by my friend Steven Sebree of Moonlight Graphic Works for one of my books which is currently out of print.

The mainland has not been rebuilt since the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians (585-572 B.C.).

The mainland city has not been rebuilt since the destruction by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians (585-572 B.C.). The causeway to the island was built by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.

By 315 B.C. the island city was rebuilt, but was populated by Carians from SW Asia Minor. The present city of Tyre occupied the island and the causeway. The photo below shows a view to the west of a Roman arch built over the causeway built by the Greeks. The island city is visible beyond the arch.

A Roman arch built on the causeway built by Alexander the Great. View West. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

A Roman arch on the causeway built by Alexander the Great. The view is to the west and the modern island city. There is no city on the mainland. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The plain of Acco: Acco, Aczib, Ladder of Tyre

The coastal cities of Acco and Aczib (Achzib) were allotted to the tribe of Asher in the days of Joshua (Joshua 19:24-31). According to this text the territory reached from (Mount) Carmel on the south to Great Sidon on the north. Israel was not able to control all of the territory

Geographers describe the coastal portion of Asher as the plain of Acco.

Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon, or of Ahlab, or of Achzib, or of Helbah, or of Aphik, or of Rehob. (Judges 1:31 NAU)

The map below, intended to show the location of Aczib, shows the coastal area from Mount Carmel (where Haifa is located) to the Ladder of Tyre. The Ladder of Tyre is a natural formation that has served as a border between Israel and Lebanon during many historical periods. Within this territory you see Acco and Aczib.

Aczib, plain of Acco in Asher. BibleMapper.org.

Map showing Plain of Acco in tribe of Asher. BibleMapper.org.

In the aerial photo below you will see the view north from Acco, including the Crusader city, to the ladder of Tyre. The total distance is about 20 miles.

Aerial view north from Acco to the Ladder of Tyre. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Aerial view north from Acco to the Ladder of Tyre. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

In New Testament times the city of Acco was know as Ptolemais. The only biblical reference to the city is in the account of Paul’s return from his third journey. From Tyre to Ptolemais is a distance of about 45 miles. Paul and his companions stayed stayed seven days at Tyre, but only one day at Ptolemais.

When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and after greeting the brethren, we stayed with them for a day. On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him. (Acts 21:7-8 NAU)

In a subsequent post we plan to show you the Plain of Acco between Mount Carmel (Haifa) and Acco.