Isaiah 23:1-18 Reading the Passage

You Can “Have It All!” – Isaiah 23:1-18

23 The oracle concerning Tyre. Wail, O ships of Tarshish!—because Tyre is destroyed and left without house or harbor. The report has come to them from the isle of Cyprus. (2) Be silent, you inhabitants of the coastland—you who were enriched by the merchants of Sidon who crossed the seas. (3) Across the great waters came the grain of the Shihor; the harvest of the Nile was stored at Tyre, she supplied the nations. (4) Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken, and you, O fortress of the sea, for the sea declares, I have neither been in labor nor given birth; I have neither reared sons nor brought up daughters. (5) When word reaches Egypt, they will be in anguish at the report about Tyre. (6) Cross over all the way to Tarshish with the report; wail, you inhabitants of the coastlands. (7) Is this your jubilant city, whose origin goes back to ancient times, whose feet have taken her to colonize distant places? (8) Who planned this against Tyre, the city who bestows crowns, the city whose merchants are princes and whose traders are famous throughout the earth? (9) Jehovah of hosts planned it, in order to defile the splendor of every glorious thing, to humble all those who were famous throughout the earth. (10) Overflow your land like the Nile, O colony of Tarshish; for you are no longer restrained by the motherland of Tyre. (11) He has stretched out his hand over the sea, he has made the kingdoms tremble; Jehovah has issued an order concerning Canaan, namely, that her fortresses be destroyed. (12) He declared, You shall no longer rejoice, O virgin daughter of Sidon, you who are now ravaged. Get up, cross over to Cyprus; but even there you will find no rest. (13) Look at the land of the Chaldeans—those people who are now of no account. The Assyrians have made it a place for desert creatures. They erected their siege towers; they overthrew its fortresses and turned it into ruins. (14) Wail, you ships of Tarshish, because your fortress has been destroyed.

(15) When that day occurs Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king’s lifetime. After the seventy years it will happen to Tyre as in the Song of the Prostitute: (16) Take your harp, walk through the city, O prostitute who has been forgotten. Play a sweet melody on your harp; sing many songs, so that you may be remembered. (17) At the end of the seventy years Jehovah will visit Tyre. She will once again take up her profession; she will perform the role of a prostitute with all the kingdoms of the world that cover the face of the earth. (18) But her earnings and her profits will be dedicated to Jehovah. They will not be stored up or hoarded for herself; on the contrary, her earnings will purchase abundant food and fine clothing for those who dwell in the presence of Jehovah.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.