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Isaiah 23

23
XXIII
1THE ORACLE CONCERNING TYRE.
Howl, ye ships of Tarshish,
For she is laid waste; so that there is no house, no entering in:
From the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.
2Be silent, ye inhabitants of the sea-coast:
Thou whom the merchants of Sidon, that pass over the sea, crowded.
3And upon the mighty waters the seed of Sihor,
The harvest of the river, was her revenue;
And she was the mart of nations.
4Be thou ashamed, O Zidon; for the sea hath spoken.
Even the fortress of the sea, saying:
I have travailed not, nor brought forth children;
Neither have I nourished youths, nor reared up virgins.
5When the tidings shall reach Egypt,
They shall be seized with anguish at the tidings of Tyre.
6Pass ye over to Tarshish;
Howl, ye inhabitants of the sea-coast!
7Is this your joyous city;
Whose antiquity is of ancient days?
Her own feet bear her far away to sojourn.
8Who hath purposed this against Tyre, the dispenser of crowns;
Whose merchants are princes,
Her traders the honourable of the earth!
9 Jehovah of hosts hath purposed it,
To defile the pride of all beauty;
To bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth,
10Pass through thy land, like the river, O daughter of Tarshish!
There is now no defence left
11He hath stretched his hand over the sea,
He hath caused the kingdoms to tremble:
Jehovah hath issued a command concerning Canaan,
To destroy her strong holds.
12And he hath said: Thou shalt no more rejoice,
O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon:
Arise, pass over to Chittim; even there thou shalt have no rest.
13Behold the land of the Chaldeans!
This people was not,
Till the Assyrian founded it for the inhabitants of the desert.
They have raised their watch-towers,
They have demolished the palaces thereof;
Reduced her to a ruin.
14Howl, ye ships of Tarshish:
For your strong hold is destroyed.
15And it shall come to pass in that day,
That Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years,
According to the days of one king:
At the end of seventy years,
There shall be unto Tyre as it were the song of an harlot.
16Take an harp, go about the city,
Thou harlot that hast been forgotten;
Touch skilfully the strings, sing many songs, that thou mayest again be remembered.
17And it shall come to pass at the end of seventy years, That Jehovah will visit Tyre,
And she shall return to her hire;
And she shall play the harlot with all the kingdoms of the world,
That are upon the face of the earth.
18But her merchandise and her hire shall be holy to Jehovah:
It shall not be treasured up, nor shall it be kept in store;
For her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before Jehovah,
To eat sufficiently; and for beautiful clothing.

Isaiah 23

23
The City of Tyre Will Be Punished
1 # Ez 26.1—28.19; Jl 3.4-8; Am 1.9,10; Zec 9.1-4; Mt 11.21,22; Lk 10.13,14. This is a message from distant islands about the city of Tyre:#23.1 Tyre: A fortress city built on an island in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of what is now Lebanon.
Cry, you seagoing ships!#23.1 seagoing ships: See the note at 2.16.
Tyre and its houses
lie in ruins.#23.1 Tyre … ruins: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
2Mourn in silence,
you shop owners of Sidon,#23.2 Sidon: A coastal city just north of Tyre.
you people on the coast.
Your sailors crossed oceans,
making your city rich.
3Your merchants sailed the seas,
making you wealthy by trading
with nation after nation.
They brought back grain
that grew along the Nile.#23.3 along the Nile: The Hebrew text has “grain of Shihor, the harvest of the Nile,” but Shihor is probably a name for a region near the lower part of the Nile.
4Sidon, you are a mighty fortress
built along the sea.
But you will be disgraced
like a married woman
who never had children.#23.4 children: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
5When Egypt hears about Tyre,
it will tremble.
6All of you along the coast
had better cry and sail
far across the ocean.#23.6 far across the ocean: The Hebrew text has “to Tarshish,” probably meaning a long distance.
7Can this be the happy city
that has stood for centuries?
Its people have spread
to distant lands;
8its merchants were kings
honored all over the world.
Who planned to destroy Tyre?
9The Lord All-Powerful planned it
to bring shame and disgrace
to those who are honored
by everyone on earth.
10People of Tyre,#23.10 People of Tyre: The Hebrew text has “the people of Tarshish,” which stands for the colonies of Tyre.
your harbor is destroyed!
You will have to become farmers
just like the Egyptians.#23.10 Egyptians: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
Tyre Will Be Forgotten
11The Lord's hand has reached
across the sea,
upsetting the nations.
He has given a command
to destroy fortresses
in the land of Canaan.
12The Lord has said
to the people of Sidon,
“Your celebrating is over—
you are crushed.
Even if you escape to Cyprus,
you won't find peace.”
13Look what the Assyrians have done to Babylonia! They have attacked, destroying every palace in the land. Now wild animals live among the ruins.#23.13 ruins: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13. 14Not a fortress will be left standing, so tell all the seagoing ships#23.14 seagoing ships: See the note at 2.16. to mourn.
15The city of Tyre will be forgotten for 70 years, which is the lifetime of a king. Then Tyre will be like that evil woman in the song:
16You're gone and forgotten,
you evil woman!
So strut through the town,
singing and playing
your favorite tune
to be remembered again.
17At the end of those 70 years, the Lord will let Tyre get back into business. The city will be like a woman who sells her body to everyone of every nation on earth, 18but none of what is earned will be kept in the city. That money will belong to the Lord, and it will be used to buy more than enough food and good clothes for those who worship the Lord.