Isaiah 23
The city of Tyre will be punished
1This is a message#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.
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
honoured all over the world.
Who planned to destroy Tyre?
9The LORD All-Powerful planned it
to bring shame and disgrace
to those who are honoured
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 harbour 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 seventy 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 favourite tune
to be remembered again.
17At the end of those seventy 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.