Isaiah chapter 23

A heavy message about the fall of Tyre.





VERSE 1. The burden of Tyre. Howl, you 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.

Tyre. Tyre is a city in south Lebanon.

Howl, you ships. The merchant ships on the Mediterranean Sea will wail in distress during their trading voyages.

the land of Kittim. Modern-day Cyprus.


VERSE 2. Be still, you inhabitants of the coast, you whom the merchants of Sidon that pass over the sea, have replenished.


VERSE 3. On great waters, the seed of the Shihor, the harvest of the Nile, was her revenue. She was the market of nations.

Shihor. That was a synonym for the Nile River.

She was the market of nations. Tyre was the marketplace of the world.

Some Christians say this is speaking (in a prophetic way) of the United States.

In our day, the United States is the biggest marketplace of the world.


VERSE 4. Be ashamed, Sidon; for the sea has spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying, “I have not travailed, nor given birth, neither have I nourished young men, nor brought up virgins.”


VERSE 5. When the report comes to Egypt, they will be in anguish at the report of Tyre.


VERSE 6. Pass over to Tarshish! Wail, you inhabitants of the coast!


VERSE 7. Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days, whose feet carried her far away to travel?

NLT translation. 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.

Think of all the colonists you sent. Tyre is like Britain and Spain and other empire-nations.


VERSE 8. Who has planned this against Tyre, the giver of crowns, whose merchants are princes, whose traders are the honorable of the earth?


VERSE 9. The LORD of Hosts has planned it, to stain the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.

to stain the pride. Some Christians say God must destroy United States, due to its terrible immorality.

If the LORD God does not, some Christian say, it would be “unfair” to the other empires he destroyed previously in history.


VERSE 10. Pass through your land like the Nile, daughter of Tarshish. There is no restraint any more.


VERSE 11. He has stretched out his hand over the sea. He has shaken the kingdoms. The LORD has ordered the destruction of Canaan’s strongholds.


VERSE 12. He said, “You shall rejoice no more, you oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, pass over to Kittim. Even there you will have no rest.”

Even there you will have no rest. Some people never try to arrive at a state of spiritual rest.


VERSE 13. Behold, the land of the Kasdim. This people didn’t exist. The Assyrians founded it for those who dwell in the wilderness. They set up their towers. They overthrew its palaces. They made it a ruin.


VERSE 14. Howl, you ships of Tarshish, for your stronghold is laid waste!


VERSE 15. It will come to pass in that day that Tyre will be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king. After the end of seventy years it will be to Tyre like in the song of the prostitute.

forgotten seventy years. Those years were probably from about 700 to 630 BC, when Phoenicia’s trading was greatly restricted by the Assyrian Empire.

Jeremiah prophesied that the exile in Babylon would last for seventy years. Read more »


VERSE 16. Take a harp; go about the city, you prostitute that has been forgotten. Make sweet melody. Sing many songs, that you may be remembered.

you prostitute. That is, “forgotten harlot.” In those days, men blamed women for their own philandering. Just like still men do today.

Most men are too cowardly to take responsibility for their own actions.


VERSE 17. It will happen after the end of seventy years that the LORD will visit Tyre. She will return to her wages, and will play the prostitute with all the kingdoms of the world on the surface of the earth.


VERSE 18. Her merchandise and her wages will be holiness to the LORD. It will not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise will be for those who dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.

will be holiness to the LORD. Tyre will convert to faith in the LORD God.

NLT translation. But on 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.

provide. The LORD God makes plans to provide for his people, that they may eat choice food and wear choice attire.

good food. Some Christians say we do not glorify God if we eat junk food and destroy our health.

fine clothing. Similarly, some Christians say we do not glorify God if we wear poor clothing. Or look disheveled.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.