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Alexander, on his return from Babylon, passed through Judea, and was invited by the Sidonians to visit them, as, from their impoverished state at that time, they desired but an opportunity of throwing off the yoke of Persian bondage, under which they had remained since the Chaldean captivity, by flinging themselves into the arms of the conqueror. It is related of Alexander, that when he entered the temple of Jerusalem “he here inspected those sacred books in which were several prophecies to this effect—that Tyre should be destroyed by the Macedonians, and that Persia should be overcome by a Greek ;” no doubt the writings of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, and Zechariah. “Syria subdued,” says his historian, “the Macedonians had dominion over all Phænicia, excepting Tyre.” His track lay along the coast, and on arriving opposite that city, friendly messengers were sent to greet him ; but, on his demanding admission, that he might sacrifice to the Tyrian Hercules, whose shrine isted exthere, they, with that prudence for which they were famed, peremptorily refused his demand, but directed him to the temple still standing in the old city in the place called Palæ Tyrus. An answer such as this would but ill suit the temper of the haughty Macedonian, who resolved to take their city, and punish them for their refusal ; but having no navy with him, he constructed a causeway, two hundred feet broad, between the mainland and the island, with the stones and rubbish of the old city, and finished it in seven months. How beautifully and literally the prophecy was here fulfilled, when the very stones and timbers of the former city were used in the destruction of the island fortress, to which the inhabitants had retreated, and which they considered impregnable. * Pending the siege, the Grecian fleet arrived from Cyprus ;-may not this have been a fulfilment of one of Balaam's predictions, “ships shall come from Chittim
* It is related, that when Alexander destroyed the city, he built a castle two miles south of Tyre upon the shore, aud called it Sandalum; and it is so placed upon all the imaginary or home-constructed maps of Tyre. I found, however, a mound near the fountains of Solomon, marked in the map Tal-Habish, on which are some ancient remains, which I conceive to be those of Alexander's castle, with the account of which they correspond in site and distance.
(Cyprus), and shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall perish for ever ?” (Numbers xxiv. 24;) if not, we have no record of its fulfilment. Alexander subdued the city, (B. C. 332,) killing 8,000 men in the attack, and crucifying 2,000 more after it had been taken, and afterwards sold 30,000 of the Tyrians as slaves. The remaining portion of the inhabitants, about 15,000 persons in number, were secretly conveyed away by the Sidonians; and Diodorus Siculus and others inform us, that their wives and children had been previously sent to Carthage. The city was finally set on fire by the victorious troops of Alexander.
How truly do we see fulfilled in the destruction of Tyre, those predictions which had been declared in the sure word of prophecy concerning it—"The Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea, and she shall be devoured with fire.” Well might it be said—“Howl, ye inhabitants of the isle ; arise, pass over to Chittim ; pass ye over to Tarshish, for thou shalt have no rest.” “What city is like Tyrus, the Destroyed in the midst of the sea ?” And again, in reference to those sold into slavery, “Behold, I will return your recompense upon your own head, and will sell your sons and daughters.” All these predictions were fulfilled, still Tyre was not totally destroyed, for we read of Alexander appointing a king over it. The island now became a peninsula ; and about thirty years after this period, Antigonus again blockaded it, and, after fifteen months' siege, compelled it to receive a Grecian garrison. Afterwards, one of the Ptolemies invested and took it ; and finally it fell into the hands of the Selucides, kings of Syria, until, along with that country, it came under the Roman yoke, when, says Quintius Curtius, (probably 130, B. c.) “And now, a long peace making all its concerns flourish anew, it enjoys serenity under the mild protection of Rome.”
After this we hear little of it till the time of Christ, when many of the coast of Tyre and Sidon came to be taught of the Lord, partly accomplishing that prediction of the royal psalmist, who said that the daughter of Sidon should be there with her gifts. And in the days of Pliny, he says, that “all the glory and reputation thereof standeth upon the die of purple and crimson”-a trade which it carried on at the time of our Lord, when a Syro-Phænician woman is represented as a seller of purple.
Some years afterwards we find a community of Christians established in Tyre, whom Paul visited on his return from Macedonia ; and in the early ages of Christianity a considerable church existed there ; and Isaiah's prediction, that it should return to the knowledge of the Lord, was in some respects verified. Shortly afterwards it became a Christian bishopric, for we read that Cassius, bishop of Tyre, attended the council of Cæsarea about the year of our Lord 200; and in the fourth century St. Jerome mentions Tyre as the most commercial, the noblest, and most splendid of the cities of Phænicia. In the seventh century it was taken by the Saracens; and retaken in the twelfth by the Crusaders, some remains of whose works are still to be seen. Upon a Latin kingdom being established in Syria, it became the see of an archbishop, the first of whom was William of Tyre, the well-known chronicler of the Crusades. After this, the Venetians became the chief proprietors of Tyre, and in all probability derived their knowledge of the manufacture of glass from it. In 1289, it was again taken by the Memlooks under Alphix, who sacked and still further destroyed it. It passed from tbe sway of these conquerors, and came under that of the Turks in the year 1516; and in the remainder of the sixteenth, and the beginning of the seventeenth centuries, it is described as a complete ruin. It is mentioned by some of the earliest modern writers in the seventeenth century, Cotovius, Maundrell, Sandys, and Pococke, and even before their time by the Jesuit, Hadreanus Parvillerius, as a Babel of broken walls—the habitation of a few fishermen—and a wall whereon the fisher dries his net.
In 1766, the Metoualies repaired it, but it suffered in common with all the minor cities of this country, under the desolating reign of the Báshas ; and some years ago, it was again almost uninhabited. What little remained of its antiquities was removed by Dejezzar Básha, to decorate his famous mosque at Acre. We have thus seen, that it has had no rest not only for itself but for its colonies, which, in Europe, and Africa, in Spain, and other places, seem still to be pursued to the distant parts of the earth. Since its capture in 1825 by Ibrahim Basha, it has risen again, and will, in all probability, become the seaport of Syria, as in days of old, when it occupied a similar position, most probably, to Palmyra. There are no prophetic denunciations, of
which we are aware, that would prevent its revival, although such marked ones exist against Palæ Tyrus; and Ibrahim Basha is now (1838) repairing the wall and renewing the gates upon the land side.
Thus have we seen, through a period of upwards of 4000 years, prophecy after prophecy respecting Tyre fulfilled—all, except its final restoration, according to the original promise, to the seed of Abraham.
Where stood Palæ Tyrus is a question that has been long asked, but never satisfactorily answered. While at Jerusalem, I became acquainted with Count Jules de Bertou, to whom I stated my conjecture as to the rock of Marshuk. He afterwards visited the place, and has published in the Journal of the Geographical Society of London, many interesting particulars concerning its topography and present state. In this statement, he agrees with the opinion I have advanced on this subject, without, however, offering any proof for Marshuk being the site of ancient Tyre.
This hill, so remarkable an object in the landscape, did not escape the observant eye of Pococke ; for, speaking of the aqueduct from Ras-el-Ain, he says, “It takes its course in a different direction, but mostly northward, to a small hill called Smashook,” (evidently a corruption of Marshuk,) “on which there is a house and a mosque. This, by some, has been thought to be old Tyre; which,” he adds, “is improbable on many accounts, but more particularly, as it is a league from the sea.” This renowned traveller has here fallen into an error as to distance, that could even then have been corrected by a reference to Strabo or Pliny; but we learn from this passage, that at an early date some notion existed regarding the real site of Palæ Tyrus ; and the confirmation of an old opinion will, I feel, with many, have a greater weight than the endeavour to establish a new. In 1616, Sandys says, “We came to a village seated on a little hill in the midst of a plain ; the same by all likelihood that was formerly called Paletyrus, or old Tyrus. Now, through this town there passes a ruinous aqueduct, extending a great way toward the south, and through the champaign, seeming oft to climb above this beginning, and from thence proceedeth directly west unto Tyrus, which standeth about two miles and a half below it.”
My own conviction is, that this rock of Marshuk, which I have already described as crowned by the mosque, and represented at page 358, was the citadel or acropolis of ancient Tyre. I have been led to adopt this opinion from the derivation of the word—its name of Palæ Tyrus—its position—its vicinity to the tombs—and the direction taken by its aqueducts.
Although many conjectures have been set forth, and opinions offered, on the derivation of the word “Tyre,” its true meaning is still involved in obscurity Proper names have in every language a significant etymology, and in none more so than in the Hebrew, where not only words but letters have various and mystical meanings. Hebrew, if it was not the language of Phænicia, (as is most probable,) is, at all events, the oldest written language that bears upon the subject. The original word was 773, Tsarar, hence 78, Tsar, or Tzor, a rock ; but 78, or 7773, also signifies white or glistening ; and in the first mention of Tyre it is spoken of as 78 78an, Mibtsar Tzor, translated by the Septuagint, “The fortified city of the Tyrians,” and by the Vulgate, “The wellfortified city Tyre.” But, without supposing this to be the site of ancient Tyre, (as I believe it was,) were we to visit it, even now, and not be aware of its name, we should feel disposed to call the place whITE ROCK, for precisely the same reason that other places are called “Black Rock,” “White Cape,” “ Blue Mountain," &c.
The words, as first used, (787399, Mibtsar Tzor,) may mean a fortified rock; but as the place had a name before it was fortified, we may almost conclude that its primary name was 787778, or white rock, a name which afterwards glided into 78 7829, towards which there would be a natural tendency in the sounds, and also by the change in the place itself.
The learned Doctor Adam Clarke gives a correct opinion as to the word Tsor, which signifies a rock ; but he falls into the error common to many commentators, in making it referable to Island Tyre, a place which had attracted no notice at the time the Sidonian colony settled on this rock, from which the insular rock is distant nearly a mile and a half. Others have confounded it with the present Arabic name of Sour, which signifies an island ; while again, Scott and some other commentators have translated it, merchandise. Dr. Shaw gives to it a double etymology, as 77 Tsor,