Isaiah 23

Prophecy against Phoenicia
The earth will be desolate; a shaking time; and the voice of the righteous

Find parallel prophecies in Ezekiel chapters 36-38. Imagery from this chapter appears in Revelation 17 and 18.
 1 ¶ 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.   Burden of Tyre See on is1301. The message is about divine judgment against Phoenicia. See the Palestine map. The nation has been attacked many times.
  Ships of Tarshish Phoenicia had large ocean-going vessels. Tarshish was thought to have been a colony in Spain.
 2 Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished. 
 3 And by great waters the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river, is her revenue; and she is a mart of nations.
  Be still Or, be astonished to find the home port laid waste v1.
  The isle Literally, "the coast" of Phoenicia.
  Zidon The primary city and probably here represents the whole nation. The king of Tyre was considered the King of the Sidonians 1ki1631.
  Sihor Probably the Nile or the southwestern edge of Palestine 1ch1305. The seed may be the grain of Egypt traded with the ships.
 4 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.
 5 As at the report concerning Egypt, so shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre.
  As the report ... Literally "When the report is heard in Egypt." Egypt would tremble knowing they could expect a similar invasion by Assyria.

From The Life and Epistles of St. Paul, 1871
 6 Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle.
 7 Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn. 
.8 Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth?
 9 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.
  Who hath taken counsel The answer is in the next verse.
  Merchants See re1823.
  Lord of hosts She had defied God ez2802.
 10 Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish: there is no more strength.   The flood of invasion would extend to distant place.
 11 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. 
.12 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.
  Stretched out his hand As Moses at the Nile ex0717 and the Red Sea.
  Shook Compare is0219, hg0206, he1226.
  Chittim Cypress.
 13 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.
 14 Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste.
  Chaldeans The Chaldean people had been rude jb0117.
  Towers According to G.V. Smith, "The Chaldees set up their siege-towers against Tyre, made for the attack of high walls, from which the besiegers hurled missiles, as depicted in the Assyrian sculptures." (JFB)
 15 ¶ 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.   Seventy years We do not have a date for the literal fulfillment of this prophecy. After Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, he began what became a thirteen-year siege of Tyre. That point was the beginning of the predicted seventy years of Jewish captivity 2ch3621, je2511, zc0112. Jerusalem, in ruins, may have thus forgotten.
  Sing Literally, "it will be to Tyre according to the song of the harlot." She was like the prostitute who sold herself for grain is4715, re1702, re1803.
 16 Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.   Remembered Tyre was again to prosper.
.17 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.
 18 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.
  Fornications The evil or deceptive agreements with other nations. Compare re1702 (linked above).
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