Tyre was founded on an offshore island. Alexander the Great constructed a causeway during his siege of the city, and the island became a peninsula. Excavations have been carried out at two sites in Tyre: al-Mina site (or City site) on the southern part of the former island, and al-Bass site where the isthmus joins the mainland.

Biblical History

King David contracted with Hiram, the king of Tyre, to supply cedar of Lebanon for David’s palace and for the Jerusalem temple (2 Sam 5:11; 1 Kgs 5:1). When the second temple was built, Joshua and Zerubbabel also imported cedar logs from Tyre and Sidon (Ezra 3:7). Tyre was the object of lengthy oracles by the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel (Isa 23; Ezek 26-28), and was one of eight nations condemned in the opening oracles of the prophet Amos (Amos 1:9-10).


The hippodrome, or Roman circus, was built in the 2nd century A.D. It is 1,575 feet (480 m) long and 525 feet (160 m) wide, making it the second largest hippodrome, after the Circus Maximus in Rome. Before excavation, the hippodrome had been buried under 20 feet (6 m) of windblown sand. It had an estimated capacity of 20,000 spectators.

Monumental Arch

The sandstone Monumental Arch dates to the 2nd century A.D. and stands 65 feet (20 m) high. Beneath it passes the main Roman road leading into the city. The road was lined by a colonnade, pedestrian sidewalks, and the aqueduct with carried water from Ras el-Ain on the mainland.

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Related Websites

See also Sidon and Zarephath. For historical images of Tyre, see Life in the Holy Land. For another Bible chapter related to Tyre, see Acts 21.

Tyre (Livius). This page offers a wealth of historical information. Click through the various tabs near the top of the page to see everything.

What Happened To Tyre? (Bible Reading Archeology). This article has interesting information, but it is perhaps most helpful in its illustrations.

“Alexander’s Isthmus, Tyre, Lebanon,” by Samir S. Patel (Archaeology Magazine). Brief summary of how Alexander the Great conquered Tyre.

“The Biblical Cities of Tyre and Sidon,” by Gary Byers (Associates for Biblical Research). Discusses the history of Tyre and Sidon and summarizes the biblical significance of these cities.

“Ezekiel 26:1-14: A Proof Text for Inerrancy or Fallibility of the Old Testament?” by Paul Ferguson (Associates for Biblical Research). Provides a history of Tyre and relates it to Ezekiel’s prophecy concerning the city.