Isaiah 23:1-18

Isaiah 23:1-4-17-18 The Message (MSG)

Wail, ships of Tarshish, your strong seaports all in ruins! When the ships returned from Cyprus, they saw the destruction. Hold your tongue, you who live on the seacoast, merchants of Sidon. Your people sailed the deep seas, buying and selling, Making money on wheat from Shihor, grown along the Nile— multinational broker in grains! Hang your head in shame, Sidon. The Sea speaks up, the powerhouse of the ocean says, “I’ve never had labor pains, never had a baby, never reared children to adulthood, Never gave life, never worked with life. It was all numbers, dead numbers, profit and loss.” When Egypt gets the report on Tyre, what wailing! what wringing of hands! Visit Tarshish, you who live on the seacoast. Take a good, long look and wail—yes, cry buckets of tears! Is this the city you remember as energetic and alive, bustling with activity, this historic old city, Expanding throughout the globe, buying and selling all over the world? And who is behind the collapse of Tyre, the Tyre that controlled the world markets? Tyre’s merchants were the business tycoons. Tyre’s traders called all the shots. GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies ordered the crash to show the sordid backside of pride and puncture the inflated reputations. Sail for home, O ships of Tarshish. There are no docks left in this harbor. GOD reached out to the sea and sea traders, threw the sea kingdoms into turmoil. GOD ordered the destruction of the seacoast cities, the centers of commerce. GOD said, “There’s nothing left here to be proud of, bankrupt and bereft Sidon. Do you want to make a new start in Cyprus? Don’t count on it. Nothing there will work out for you either.” Look at what happened to Babylon: There’s nothing left of it. Assyria turned it into a desert, into a refuge for wild dogs and stray cats. They brought in their big siege engines, tore down the buildings, and left nothing behind but rubble. Wail, ships of Tarshish, your strong seaports all in ruins! * * * For the next seventy years, a king’s lifetime, Tyre will be forgotten. At the end of the seventy years, Tyre will stage a comeback, but it will be the comeback of a worn-out whore, as in the song: “Take a harp, circle the city, unremembered whore. Sing your old songs, your many old songs. Maybe someone will remember.” At the end of the seventy years, GOD will look in on Tyre. She’ll go back to her old whoring trade, selling herself to the highest bidder, doing anything with anyone—promiscuous with all the kingdoms of earth—for a fee. But everything she gets, all the money she takes in, will be turned over to GOD. It will not be put in banks. Her profits will be put to the use of GOD-Aware, GOD-Serving-People, providing plenty of food and the best of clothing.

Isaiah 23:1-18 New American Standard Bible - NASB 1995 (NASB1995)

The oracle concerning Tyre. Wail, O ships of Tarshish, For Tyre is destroyed, without house or harbor; It is reported to them from the land of Cyprus. Be silent, you inhabitants of the coastland, You merchants of Sidon; Your messengers crossed the sea And were on many waters. The grain of the Nile, the harvest of the River was her revenue; And she was the market of nations. Be ashamed, O Sidon; For the sea speaks, the stronghold of the sea, saying, “I have neither travailed nor given birth, I have neither brought up young men nor reared virgins.” When the report reaches Egypt, They will be in anguish at the report of Tyre. Pass over to Tarshish; Wail, O inhabitants of the coastland. Is this your jubilant city, Whose origin is from antiquity, Whose feet used to carry her to colonize distant places? Who has planned this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, Whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of the earth? The LORD of hosts has planned it, to defile the pride of all beauty, To despise all the honored of the earth. Overflow your land like the Nile, O daughter of Tarshish, There is no more restraint. He has stretched His hand out over the sea, He has made the kingdoms tremble; The LORD has given a command concerning Canaan to demolish its strongholds. He has said, “You shall exult no more, O crushed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, pass over to Cyprus; even there you will find no rest.” Behold, the land of the Chaldeans—this is the people which was not; Assyria appointed it for desert creatures—they erected their siege towers, they stripped its palaces, they made it a ruin. Wail, O ships of Tarshish, For your stronghold is destroyed. Now in that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years like the days of one king. At the end of seventy years it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the harlot: Take your harp, walk about the city, O forgotten harlot; Pluck the strings skillfully, sing many songs, That you may be remembered. It will come about at the end of seventy years that the LORD will visit Tyre. Then she will go back to her harlot’s wages and will play the harlot with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. Her gain and her harlot’s wages will be set apart to the LORD; it will not be stored up or hoarded, but her gain will become sufficient food and choice attire for those who dwell in the presence of the LORD.

Isaiah 23:1-18 New Living Translation (NLT)

This message came to me concerning Tyre: Wail, you trading ships of Tarshish, for the harbor and houses of Tyre are gone! The rumors you heard in Cyprus are all true. Mourn in silence, you people of the coast and you merchants of Sidon. Your traders crossed the sea, sailing over deep waters. They brought you grain from Egypt and harvests from along the Nile. You were the marketplace of the world. But now you are put to shame, city of Sidon, for Tyre, the fortress of the sea, says, “Now I am childless; I have no sons or daughters.” When Egypt hears the news about Tyre, there will be great sorrow. Send word now to Tarshish! Wail, you people who live in distant lands! Is this silent ruin all that is left of your once joyous city? What a long history was yours! Think of all the colonists you sent to distant places. Who has brought this disaster on Tyre, that great creator of kingdoms? Her traders were all princes, her merchants were nobles. The LORD of Heaven’s Armies has done it to destroy your pride and bring low all earth’s nobility. Come, people of Tarshish, sweep over the land like the flooding Nile, for Tyre is defenseless. The LORD held out his hand over the sea and shook the kingdoms of the earth. He has spoken out against Phoenicia, ordering that her fortresses be destroyed. He says, “Never again will you rejoice, O daughter of Sidon, for you have been crushed. Even if you flee to Cyprus, you will find no rest.” Look at the land of Babylonia— the people of that land are gone! The Assyrians have handed Babylon over to the wild animals of the desert. They have built siege ramps against its walls, torn down its palaces, and turned it to a heap of rubble. Wail, you ships of Tarshish, for your harbor is destroyed! For seventy years, the length of a king’s life, Tyre will be forgotten. But then the city will come back to life as in the song about the prostitute: Take a harp and walk the streets, you forgotten harlot. Make sweet melody and sing your songs so you will be remembered again. Yes, after seventy years the LORD will revive Tyre. But she will be no different than she was before. She will again be a prostitute to all kingdoms around the world. But in the end her profits will be given to the LORD. Her wealth will not be hoarded but will provide good food and fine clothing for the LORD’s priests.

Isaiah 23:1-18 King James Version (KJV)

The 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. Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished. And by great waters the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river, is her revenue; and she is a mart of nations. Be 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. As at the report concerning Egypt, so shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre. Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle. Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn. Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth? The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth. Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish: there is no more strength. He 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. And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon: arise, pass over to Chittim; there also shalt thou have no rest. Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness: they set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; and he brought it to ruin. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste. And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered. And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.

Isaiah 23:1-18 New Century Version (NCV)

This is a message about Tyre: You trading ships, cry! The houses and harbor of Tyre are destroyed. This news came to the ships from the land of Cyprus. Be silent, you who live on the island of Tyre; you merchants of Sidon, be silent. Sailors have made you rich. They traveled the sea to bring grain from Egypt; the sailors of Tyre brought grain from the Nile Valley and sold it to other nations. Sidon, be ashamed. Strong city of the sea, be ashamed, because the sea says: “I have not felt the pain of giving birth; I have not reared young men or women.” Egypt will hear the news about Tyre, and it will make Egypt hurt with sorrow. You ships should return to Tarshish. You people living near the sea should be sad. Look at your once happy city! Look at your old, old city! People from that city have traveled far away to live. Who planned Tyre’s destruction? Tyre made others rich. Its merchants were treated like princes, and its traders were greatly respected. It was the LORD All-Powerful who planned this. He decided to make these proud people unimportant; he decided to disgrace those who were greatly respected. Go through your land, people of Tarshish, like the Nile goes through Egypt. There is no harbor for you now! The LORD has stretched his hand over the sea and made its kingdoms tremble. He commands that Canaan’s strong, walled cities be destroyed. He said, “Sidon, you will not rejoice any longer, because you are destroyed. Even if you cross the sea to Cyprus, you will not find a place to rest.” Look at the land of the Babylonians; it is not a country now. Assyria has made it a place for wild animals. Assyria built towers to attack it; the soldiers took all the treasures from its cities, and they turned it into ruins. So be sad, you trading ships, because your strong city is destroyed. At that time people will forget about Tyre for seventy years, which is the length of a king’s life. After seventy years, Tyre will be like the prostitute in this song: “Oh woman, you are forgotten. Take your harp and walk through the city. Play your harp well. Sing your song often. Then people will remember you.” After seventy years the LORD will deal with Tyre, and it will again have trade. It will be like a prostitute for all the nations of the earth. The profits will be saved for the LORD. Tyre will not keep the money she earns but will give them to the people who serve the LORD, so they will have plenty of food and nice clothes.

Isaiah 23:1-18 American Standard Version (ASV)

The 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 Kittim it is revealed to them. Be still, ye inhabitants of the coast, thou whom the merchants of Sidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished. And on great waters the seed of the Shihor, the harvest of the Nile, was her revenue; and she was the mart of nations. Be thou ashamed, O Sidon; for the sea hath spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying, I have not travailed, nor brought forth, neither have I nourished young men, nor brought up virgins. When the report cometh to Egypt, they shall be sorely pained at the report of Tyre. Pass ye over to Tarshish; wail, ye inhabitants of the coast. Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days, whose feet carried her afar off to sojourn? Who hath purposed this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honorable of the earth? Jehovah of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth. Pass through thy land as the Nile, O daughter of Tarshish; there is no restraint any more. He hath stretched out his hand over the sea, he hath shaken the kingdoms: Jehovah hath given commandment concerning Canaan, to destroy the strongholds thereof. And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon: arise, pass over to Kittim; even there shalt thou have no rest. Behold, the land of the Chaldeans: this people was not; the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness; they set up their towers; they overthrew the palaces thereof; they made it a ruin. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for your stronghold is laid waste. And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years it shall be unto Tyre as in the song of the harlot. Take a harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered. And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that Jehovah will visit Tyre, and she shall return to her hire, and shall play the harlot with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to Jehovah: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before Jehovah, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.

Isaiah 23:1-18 New International Version (NIV)

A prophecy against Tyre: Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For Tyre is destroyed and left without house or harbor. From the land of Cyprus word has come to them. Be silent, you people of the island and you merchants of Sidon, whom the seafarers have enriched. On the great waters came the grain of the Shihor; the harvest of the Nile was the revenue of Tyre, and she became the marketplace of the nations. Be ashamed, Sidon, and you fortress of the sea, for the sea has spoken: “I have neither been in labor nor given birth; I have neither reared sons nor brought up daughters.” When word comes to Egypt, they will be in anguish at the report from Tyre. Cross over to Tarshish; wail, you people of the island. Is this your city of revelry, the old, old city, whose feet have taken her to settle in far-off lands? Who planned this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, whose merchants are princes, whose traders are renowned in the earth? The LORD Almighty planned it, to bring down her pride in all her splendor and to humble all who are renowned on the earth. Till your land as they do along the Nile, Daughter Tarshish, for you no longer have a harbor. The LORD has stretched out his hand over the sea and made its kingdoms tremble. He has given an order concerning Phoenicia that her fortresses be destroyed. He said, “No more of your reveling, Virgin Daughter Sidon, now crushed! “Up, cross over to Cyprus; even there you will find no rest.” Look at the land of the Babylonians, this people that is now of no account! The Assyrians have made it a place for desert creatures; they raised up their siege towers, they stripped its fortresses bare and turned it into a ruin. Wail, you ships of Tarshish; your fortress is destroyed! At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king’s life. But at the end of these seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute: “Take up a harp, walk through the city, you forgotten prostitute; play the harp well, sing many a song, so that you will be remembered.” At the end of seventy years, the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her lucrative prostitution and will ply her trade with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. Yet her profit and her earnings will be set apart for the LORD; they will not be stored up or hoarded. Her profits will go to those who live before the LORD, for abundant food and fine clothes.

Isaiah 23:1-18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The [mournful, inspired] oracle (a burden to be carried) concerning Tyre: Wail, O ships of Tarshish, For Tyre is destroyed, without house, without harbor; It is reported to them from the land of Cyprus (Kittim). Be silent, you inhabitants of the coastland, You merchants of Sidon; Your messengers crossed the sea And they were on great waters. The grain of the Shihor, the harvest of the Nile River, was Tyre’s revenue; And she was the market of nations. Be ashamed, O Sidon [mother-city of Tyre, now like a widow bereaved of her children]; For the sea speaks, the stronghold of the sea, saying, “I have neither labored nor given birth [to children]; I have neither brought up young men nor reared virgins.” When the report reaches Egypt, They will be in agony at the report about Tyre. Cross over to Tarshish [to seek safety as exiles]; Wail, O inhabitants of the coastland [of Tyre]. Is this your jubilant city, Whose origin dates back to antiquity, Whose feet used to carry her [far away] to colonize distant places? Who has planned this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, Whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of the earth? The LORD of hosts has planned it, to defile the pride of all beauty, To bring into contempt and humiliation all the honored of the earth. Overflow your land like [the overflow of] the Nile, O Daughter of Tarshish; There is no more restraint [on you to make you pay tribute to Tyre]. He has stretched out His hand over the sea, He has shaken the kingdoms; The LORD has given a command concerning Canaan to destroy her strongholds and her fortresses [like Tyre and Sidon]. He has said, “You shall never again exult [in triumph], O crushed Virgin Daughter of Sidon. Arise, cross over to Cyprus; even there you will find no rest.” Now look at the land of the Chaldeans (Babylonia)—this is the people which was not; the Assyrians allocated Tyre for desert creatures—they set up their siege towers, they stripped its palaces, they made it a ruin. Wail, O ships of Tarshish, For your stronghold [of Tyre] is destroyed. Now in that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, like the days of one king. At the end of seventy years it will happen to Tyre as in the prostitute’s song: Take a harp, walk around the city, O forgotten prostitute; Play the strings skillfully, sing many songs, That you may be remembered. It will come to pass at the end of seventy years that the LORD will remember Tyre. Then she will return to her prostitute’s wages and will play the [role of a] prostitute [by trading] with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. But her commercial gain and her prostitute’s wages will be dedicated to the LORD; it will not be treasured or stored up, but her commercial gain will become sufficient food and stately clothing for those who dwell (minister) in the presence of the LORD.

Isaiah 23:1-18 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

The oracle concerning Tyre. Wail, O ships of Tarshish, for Tyre is laid waste, without house or harbor! From the land of Cyprus it is revealed to them. Be still, O inhabitants of the coast; the merchants of Sidon, who cross the sea, have filled you. And on many waters your revenue was the grain of Shihor, the harvest of the Nile; you were the merchant of the nations. Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying: “I have neither labored nor given birth, I have neither reared young men nor brought up young women.” When the report comes to Egypt, they will be in anguish over the report about Tyre. Cross over to Tarshish; wail, O inhabitants of the coast! Is this your exultant city whose origin is from days of old, whose feet carried her to settle far away? Who has purposed this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of the earth? The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to defile the pompous pride of all glory, to dishonor all the honored of the earth. Cross over your land like the Nile, O daughter of Tarshish; there is no restraint anymore. He has stretched out his hand over the sea; he has shaken the kingdoms; the LORD has given command concerning Canaan to destroy its strongholds. And he said: “You will no more exult, O oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon; arise, cross over to Cyprus, even there you will have no rest.” Behold the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people that was not; Assyria destined it for wild beasts. They erected their siege towers, they stripped her palaces bare, they made her a ruin. Wail, O ships of Tarshish, for your stronghold is laid waste. In that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, like the days of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute: “Take a harp; go about the city, O forgotten prostitute! Make sweet melody; sing many songs, that you may be remembered.” At the end of seventy years, the LORD will visit Tyre, and she will return to her wages and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. Her merchandise and her wages will be holy to the LORD. It will not be stored or hoarded, but her merchandise will supply abundant food and fine clothing for those who dwell before the LORD.