An important city on an island off the Phoenician coast, often associated with Sidon. Tyre enjoyed close relations with Israel when David and Solomon reigned, and cedars of Tyre were supplied for the building of the Temple (1 Kgs 5; 7: 13–46). Later, there were troubles in Israel (the northern kingdom) when Baal worship from Tyre (which controlled Sidon) was introduced by Queen Jezebel (1 Kgs. 16: 31; 2 Kgs. 9: 10).
Some of those who listened to Jesus came from Tyre (Mark 3: 8), and he is once reported to have travelled into that district (Mark 7: 24), which would have been the hinterland which supplied the necessities of food to the wealthy island. The inhabitants were poor and were often obliged to satisfy Tyre at their own expense. Jesus had a better opinion of these agricultural labourers than of some of the Galilean towns who rejected his message (Matt. 11: 21–2).