The Fall of Tyre
The city of Tyre is located in the city of Lebanon, and was once the capital city of the Phoenician empire. Though they were never a strong military power, they dominated the ancient world in economic strength. For a while, they were allies of the Davidic kingdom (2 Samuel 5; 1 Kings 5), but later they took advantage of Israel's weaknesses (Amos 1:9-10) and sold Jewish slaves.
For their sins, God stated, "'Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves. They shall destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers, and I will scrape her soil from her and make her a bare rock. She shall be in the midst of the sea a place for the spreading of nets, for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD. And she shall become plunder for the nations, and her daughters on the mainland shall be killed by the sword. Then they will know that I am the LORD. For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will bring against Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, and with horsemen and a host of many soldiers. He will kill with the sword your daughters on the mainland. He will set up a siege wall against you and throw up a mound against you, and raise a roof of shields against you. He will direct the shock of his battering rams against your walls, and with his axes he will break down your towers. 10 His horses will be so many that their dust will cover you. Your walls will shake at the noise of the horsemen and wagons and chariots, when he enters your gates as men enter a city that has been breached. With the hoofs of his horses he will trample all your streets. He will kill your people with the sword, and your mighty pillars will fall to the ground. They will plunder your riches and loot your merchandise. They will break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses. Your stones and timber and soil they will cast into the midst of the waters. And I will stop the music of your songs, and the sound of your lyres shall be heard no more. I will make you a bare rock. You shall be a place for the spreading of nets. You shall never be rebuilt, for I am the LORD; I have spoken,' declares the Lord GOD" (26:3-14).
The fall of Tyre is a remarkable story and strong confirmation of Biblical prophecy. In their sweeping attack against the ancient world, the Babylonians attacked and destroyed the city from 585-573 BC, leaving it in rubble. Many Tyrians escaped to an island fortress one half mile out to sea and withstood the rest of the Babylonian efforts to destroy them. However, when Alexander the Great came in 332 BC, his men took the remains of the city the Babylonians destroyed and dumped them into the sea, creating a causeway to the once-viewed secure fortress. The Greeks made short work of the Tyrian at that point, and the people fell—in just the manner God's word said they would. They have never regained their glory, and are a shadow of what they once were.
Two lessons need to be pointed out from this text. One, that when God says something, it will come to pass. Second, neither economic strength nor military might can preserve what God has chosen to take down.