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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
A Message about Phoenicia
1 # Ezek 26.1—28.19; Joel 3.4–8; Amos 1.9–10; Zech 9.1–4; Mt 11.21–22; Lk 10.13–14 This is a message about Tyre.
Howl with grief, you sailors out on the ocean! Your home port of Tyre has been destroyed; its houses and its harbour are in ruins. As your ships return from Cyprus, you learn the news. 2Wail, you merchants of Sidon! You sent men 3across the sea to buy and sell the corn that grew in Egypt and to do business with all the nations.
4City of Sidon, you are disgraced! The sea and the great ocean depths disown you and say, “I never had any children. I never brought up sons or daughters.”
5Even the Egyptians will be shocked and dismayed when they learn that Tyre has been destroyed.
6Howl with grief, you people of Phoenicia! Try to escape to Spain! 7Can this be the joyful city of Tyre, founded so long ago? Is this the city that sent settlers across the sea to establish colonies? 8Who was it that planned to bring all this on Tyre, that imperial city, whose merchant princes were the most honoured men on earth? 9The LORD Almighty planned it. He planned it in order to put an end to their pride in what they had done and to humiliate their honoured ones.
10Go and farm the land, you people in the colonies in Spain! There is no one to protect you any more.#23.10 Verse 10 in Hebrew is unclear. 11The LORD has stretched out his hand over the sea and overthrown kingdoms. He has ordered the Phoenician centres of commerce to be destroyed. 12City of Sidon, your happiness has ended, and your people are oppressed. Even if they escape to Cyprus, they will still not be safe.
13(It was the Babylonians, not the Assyrians, who let the wild animals overrun Tyre. It was the Babylonians who put up siege towers, tore down the fortifications of Tyre, and left the city in ruins.#23.13 Verse 13 in Hebrew is unclear.)
14Howl with grief, you sailors out on the ocean! The city you relied on has been destroyed.
15A time is coming when Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the lifetime of a king. When those years are over, Tyre will be like the prostitute in the song:
16Take your harp, go round the town,
you poor forgotten whore!
Play and sing your songs again
to bring men back once more.
17When the seventy years are over, the LORD will let Tyre go back to her old trade, and she will hire herself out to all the kingdoms of the world. 18The money she earns by commerce will be dedicated to the LORD. She will not store it away, but those who worship the LORD will use her money to buy the food and the clothing they need.