Although the Phoenicians became successful merchants, they could be ruthless. Reportedly, they sometimes lured people aboard ship on the pretense of showing them their wares, only to enslave them. In time, they even turned on their former trading partners, the Israelites, and sold them into slavery. Hence, Hebrew prophets predicted the destruction of the Phoenician city of Tyre. These prophecies were finally fulfilled by Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.E. (Joel 3:6; Amos 1:9, 10) This destruction marked the end of the Phoenician era.
Isaiah 23 & Ezekiel 27
1The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.
2Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished.
3And by great waters the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river, is her revenue; and she is a mart of nations.
4Be thou ashamed, O Zidon: for the sea hath spoken, even the strength of the sea, saying, I travail not, nor bring forth children, neither do I nourish up young men, nor bring up virgins.
5As at the report concerning Egypt, so shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre.
6Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle.
7Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn.
8Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth?
9The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.
10Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish: there is no more strength.
11He stretched out his hand over the sea, he shook the kingdoms: the LORD hath given a commandment against the merchant city, to destroy the strong holds thereof.
26Thy rowers have brought thee into great waters: the east wind hath broken thee in the midst of the seas.
27Thy riches, and thy fairs, thy merchandise, thy mariners, and thy pilots, thy calkers, and the occupiers of thy merchandise, and all thy men of war, that are in thee, and in all thy company which is in the midst of thee, shall fall into the midst of the seas in the day of thy ruin.
28The suburbs shall shake at the sound of the cry of thy pilots.
29And all that handle the oar, the mariners, and all the pilots of the sea, shall come down from their ships, they shall stand upon the land;
30And shall cause their voice to be heard against thee, and shall cry bitterly, and shall cast up dust upon their heads, they shall wallow themselves in the ashes:
31And they shall make themselves utterly bald for thee, and gird them with sackcloth, and they shall weep for thee with bitterness of heart and bitter wailing.
32And in their wailing they shall take up a lamentation for thee, and lament over thee, saying, What city is like Tyrus, like the destroyed in the midst of the sea?
33When thy wares went forth out of the seas, thou filledst many people; thou didst enrich the kings of the earth with the multitude of thy riches and of thy merchandise.
34In the time when thou shalt be broken by the seas in the depths of the waters thy merchandise and all thy company in the midst of thee shall fall.
35All the inhabitants of the isles shall be astonished at thee, and their kings shall be sore afraid, they shall be troubled in their countenance.
36The merchants among the people shall hiss at thee; thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt be any more.