WILL BECOME A DRYING YARD FOR DRAGNETS’
An example of the astonishing accuracy of Bible prophecy concerns the ancient Phoenician seaport city of Tyre. This city grew to be very great at the expense of other people. She was a manufacturer of metal objects, glassware and purple dyes, a trading center for overland caravans, a great import-export depot. Her merchants and tradesmen boasted of being princely and honorable. (Isa. 23:8) At one time friendly relations existed between Tyre and Israel. But this did not continue, for Tyre eventually allied herself with Israel’s enemies. Because of Tyre’s treachery toward Israel, God inspired his prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others to predict that calamity would come upon this Phoenician seaport. We read, for example:
"This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘Here I am against you, O Tyre, and I will bring up against you many nations, just as the sea brings up its waves. And they will certainly bring the walls of Tyre to ruin and tear down her towers, and I will scrape her dust away from her and make her a shining, bare surface of a crag. A drying yard for dragnets is what she will become in the midst of the sea. . . . Here I am bringing against Tyre Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon from the north, a king of kings, with horses and war chariots and cavalrymen and a congregation, even a multitudinous people. And I will make you a shining, bare surface of a crag. A drying yard for dragnets is what you will become. Never will you be rebuilt; for I myself, Jehovah, have spoken,’ is the utterance of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah."—Ezek. 26:3-5, 7, 14.
Secular history reports that Nebuchadnezzar began a siege of Tyre sometime after destroying Jerusalem and the temple of Jehovah’s worship in 607 B.C.E. The Jewish historian Josephus, drawing upon Phoenician annals and other previously written history, states that Nebuchadnezzar’s siege against Tyre lasted thirteen years. The Bible indicates that Nebuchadnezzar’s forces inflicted considerable damage upon Tyre.—Ezek. 26:8-11.
Tyre recovered from this blow struck by Babylon. However, centuries later, Grecian forces under Alexander the Great moved against Tyre, which at that time was located on an island about half a mile (0.8 kilometer) from the mainland. When the inhabitants refused to capitulate to Alexander, he became enraged and had his men scrape up the ruins of the mainland city and throw them into the sea, thus building a causeway out to the island city. Then a sea battle took place in which Alexander’s forces prevailed. After a siege of seven months, Alexander’s men took the island city. When its inhabitants put up desperate resistance, the city was set on fire. It proved to be as another prophet, Zechariah, had foretold: "In the fire she herself will be devoured."—Zech. 9:4.
Though Tyre kept trying to make a comeback through the centuries, the city repeatedly fell before hostile forces, just as God’s prophet had foretold. (Ezek. 26:3) What is the present condition of Tyre, which was one of the great sea powers of the ancient world? Ruins and a small seaport, called Sour (Sur), mark the site. Nina Jidejian, in her book Tyre Through the Ages (1969), declares: "The port has become a haven today for fishing boats and a place for spreading nets," exactly as prophesied through Ezekiel.—Ezek. 26:5, 14.