Home » Uncategorized » The Bible, Herodotus, and the Phoenicians

The Bible, Herodotus, and the Phoenicians

Taken from: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/212-herodotus-and-the-bible



Phoenicia was a small country on the Mediterranean coast northwest of Canaan. Naturally, there was frequent contact between the Phoenicians and the Hebrew people. Again, the accuracy of the biblical descriptions of these people is forcefully demonstrated by the secular historical record.

The Old Testament represents the Phoenicians as skilled in the hewing of timber (1 Kings 5:6). They were fine craftsmen in gold, silver, brass, and iron. The king of Tyre made some of the vessels and pillars for Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 7:21-23). Herodotus once visited Tyre, a leading city of Phoenicia, and he described a temple as “richly adorned with a number of offerings, among which were two pillars, one of pure gold, the other of emerald, shining with great brilliancy at night” (ii.44). The historian commented that the people of Tyre boasted that their city had stood for 2,300 years. Isaiah appears to take note of this claim: “Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days?” (23:7).

Several Old Testament prophets foretold Tyre’s subjection to the Babylonians (see Jeremiah 25:22; 27:1-11; Ezekiel 26:1-28:19; 29:18-20; Zechariah 9:2ff). Isaiah declared that Tyre would be “forgotten seventy years,” but that after that period (likely the era of the Babylonian domination), the city would “return to her hire,” that is, her prosperity would resume (23:15-17). This is confirmed by Herodotus who notes that in the time of the Persian rulers, Darius Hystaspis and Xerxes, the Phoenicians were providing their ships as allies for Persian conquests (v.108; vii.89).



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