NEBUCHADNEZZAR’S SIEGE OF TYRE

APPENDIX 5

    Ezekiel makes a rather extensive prophecy about the destruction of Tyre which would be carried out by Nebuchadnezzar. This begins in Ezek. 26 and continues for two more chapters. As explained in a footnote in chapter 26, if we think of Tyre only in terms of the walled town that was on an island just one-half mile off the coast of modern-day Lebanon, then Nebuchadnezzar was never able to breach the walls of that fortification. It was finally breached centuries later by Alexander the Great, who filled in the sea bed between the land and the island, creating a path for his troops to attack the fortification.
    On the surface, this would seem to mean that Ezekiel made a false prediction when he prophesied the total destruction of Tyre. Unfortunately, this has caused some well-meaning folks to question their religious beliefs, reasoning that if this prophecy was not fulfilled as described, then perhaps nothing in the scriptures could be considered reliable.
    Fortunately, there is a solution to this apparent predicament. As it turns out, at the time of Nebuchadnezzar, the main city of Tyre was not the fortification on the island, but rather a city on the mainland now known as Tell Mashuk. It appears that in the 15th century BC, the Tyrians built a fortress on the island so that they could flee there during times of danger. At that time, the mainland town seems to have been called Sazu. During the 12th century BC, Sidon was defeated by Ashkelon, so many of the Sidonians fled to Tyre, enlarging the town. During the time of Nebuchadnezzar most of the population was in the shore town, sometimes referred to as Palae-Tyrus, and that is what Nebuchadnezzar destroyed (as prophesied!), and it remained a ruin up to the time of Alexander.
    Additional details may be found in an article by archeologist Lynn Wood as printed in the journal Ministry, in the June issue of 1944, which is available on-line at: https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1941/06/nebuchadnezzars-siege-of-tyre