Byblos—Ezekiel 27:9

The ancient city of Byblos was located along the Mediterranean coast in ancient Phoenicia, modern Lebanon. Scholars believe that its name is related to the Greek word for papyrus, a plant material used for manuscripts exported through the port to the Aegean world (later the word Bible derived from Byblos). The Egyptians in the Old Kingdom knew the city by the name of Kebny while the Assyrians later called it Gubla. Due to its strategic location halfway between Egypt and Anatolia, as well as access to timber from the central highlands of Lebanon, Byblos became a major trading partner and growing economic center.

The Amarna letters contain more than 60 tablets from the rulers of Byblos asking the Egyptian king for assistance and complaining of the marauding Habiru. Pierre Montet (1921–24) and Maurice Dunand (1925–74) excavated Byblos. The site contains remains dating from the prehistoric periods to modern times. Particularly noteworthy are the early Phoenician texts that come primarily from Byblos during the tenth century BC. The sarcophagus of Ahiram contained an inscription written in the Phoenician alphabet that mostly resembled other Semitic languages such as Hebrew. Such inscriptions have greatly enhanced the study of the development of writing. During the Assyrian period, Byblos became a vassal to the Assyrian empire, and succeeding powers continued to dominate it. It served as an important trading center until the Crusader period. The Bible alludes to Byblos four times, associating it with shipping (Ezek. 27:9) and the transport of timber (1 Kings 5:18).