Sidon had many conquerors: Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, and finally Romans. Herod the Great visited Sidon. Both Jesus and Saint Paul are said to have visited it too (see Biblical Sidon below). The city was eventually conquered by the Arabs and then by the Ottoman Turks.
Alexander the Great
While Tyre seemed to withstand Nebuchadnezzar, it was not prepared for Alexander 250 years later. Although every Phoenician city to the north, including Sidon, welcomed Alexander, Tyre would only agree to surrender nominally to him. They would not allow him entrance to the city, which was exactly what Alexander intended to do. Not be denied, after only a seven-month siege of the island city, he did what no one else had ever considered possible. Utilizing stones, timber, dirt and debris from the mainland, Alexander constructed a causeway out into the Mediterranean. At last he reached the island, breached the city wall and slew or put into slavery the defiant Tyrians. An amazing feat, Tyre was changed forever.
Tyre was originally an island which Alexander the Great later joined to the mainland by a causeway. In time the causeway was enlarged by rubble and sand deposits washed up by waves. This 1873 map shows Tyre as it was in 322 BC, and later as a peninsula stretching out into the Mediterranean Sea. Evidence of Tyre’s ancient harbors can still be seen on the peninsula’s north and south sides.
Ezekiel referred to this event long before it happened. While also mentioning that God would send Nebuchadnezzar against the city (Ez 26:7), he spoke of the LORD’s promise to destroy Tyre, scrape her dust from her, make her smooth like the top of a rock and a good place for spreading out nets to dry (Ez 26:4, 14). Ezekiel also pointed out that Tyre’s world-wide trade would cease with this event (Ez 27 and 28). Illustrating Ezekiel’s description of Tyre’s destruction, Jidejian (1996:13–14) noted that over the past three centuries, Tyre has served as a “quarry” for the whole coast. Her stones may be found as far away as Beirut (40 mi north) and Akko (25 mi south in Israel).
Ezekiel also prophesied of God’s judgment against Sidon (Ez 28:20–24). God promised pestilence, blood in her streets and death by sword (Ez 28:23). Sidon incurred the wrath of the Persian King Artaxerxes who beat the city into submission. This may have been the event Ezekiel described.
Source of prized Tyrian Purple dye and home base of those legendary master traders, the Phoenicians, Tyre was truly a wonder of the ancient world. The city was located on a walled island just off the coast of Lebanon and managed to thwart every siege until Alexander the Great built a causeway so his soldiers could march up to the city walls.
The causeway changed the flow of the sea currents and caused the island to become permanent.