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Isaiah 23 - An Oracle concerning Tyre

The oracle concerning Tyre.

Wail, O ships of Tarshish, for your fortress is destroyed.[a] When they came in from Cyprus they learned of it. 2 Be still, O inhabitants of the coast, O merchants of Sidon, your messengers crossed over the sea[b] and were on the mighty 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 fortress 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. 6 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 planned this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of the earth? 9 The Lord of hosts has planned it— to defile the pride of all glory, to shame all the honored of the earth. 10 Cross over to your own land, O ships of[c] Tarshish; this is a harbor[d] no more. 11 He has stretched out his hand over the sea, he has shaken the kingdoms; the Lord has given command concerning Canaan to destroy its fortresses. 12 He said: You will exult no longer, O oppressed virgin daughter Sidon; rise, cross over to Cyprus— even there you will have no rest.

13 Look at the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people; it was not Assyria. They destined Tyre for wild animals. They erected their siege towers, they tore down her palaces, they made her a ruin.[e]

14 Wail, O ships of Tarshish, for your fortress is destroyed.

15 From that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the lifetime of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song about the prostitute:

16 Take a harp, go about the city, you forgotten prostitute! Make sweet melody, sing many songs, that you may be remembered.

17 At the end of seventy years, the Lord will visit Tyre, and she will return to her trade, and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Her merchandise and her wages will be dedicated to the Lord; her profits[f] will not be stored or hoarded, but her merchandise will supply abundant food and fine clothing for those who live in the presence of the Lord.


a. Isaiah 23:1 Cn Compare verse 14: Heb for it is destroyed, without houses

b. Isaiah 23:2 Q Ms: MT crossing over the sea, they replenished you

c. Isaiah 23:10 Cn Compare Gk: Heb like the Nile, daughter

d. Isaiah 23:10 Cn: Heb restraint

e. Isaiah 23:13 Meaning of Heb uncertain

f. Isaiah 23:18 Heb it

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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