Tyre meaning | Tyre etymology

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The name Tyre in the Bible

Tyre is the Greek/Latin name for the famous Phoenician city often mentioned together with Sidon (Joshua 10:29). It still exists today, being situated south on the coast of Lebanon, just north of Israel. Famous Biblical Tyrians (צרי) are Hiram, the builder of the temple of Solomon, and Jezebel the wife of king Ahab. Another famous Phoenician was Hannibal of Carthage, which was a Tyrian colony.

In New Testament times the city of Tyre was still a booming town (spelled in Greek as Τυρος, Turos). Jesus referred to it (Matthew 11:21), preached to visitors from it (Luke 6:17) and retreated to its region (Matthew 15:21). The apostle Paul spent seven days there while the ship he was travelling with was unloading (and probably also loading) cargo (Acts 21:3). And when a delegation of Tyrians (Τυριος) and Sidonians sang their glorious praises to Herod, the latter subitaneously succumbed to a combination of pride, worms and the smite of an angel (Acts 12:20).

Etymology of the name Tyre

The Semitic, and thus original, name for Tyre is pronounced Zor or Zur. In Biblical Hebrew this name looks exactly like words coming off the צור and צרר root-groups. More specifically, scholars assume that the Hebrew name for Tyre, צור, equals the regular word צור (sur) meaning rock (Jeremiah 21:13, Job 14:18). In Deuteronomy 32:31 the author compares the gods of the nations to the living God and says, "Indeed, their rock is not like our Rock":

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

Tyre meaning

For a meaning of the Hebrew name for Tyre, Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Rock. NOBSE Study Bible Name List does not translate.

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