Summary: A study of chapter 23 verses 1 through 18
Isaiah 23: 1 – 18
Go’In Down Da Shore
The burden against Tyre. Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no harbor; From the land of Cyprus it is revealed to them. 2 Be still, you inhabitants of the coastland, you merchants of Sidon, whom those who cross the sea have filled. 3 And on great waters the grain of Shihor, the harvest of the River, is her revenue; And she is a marketplace for the nations. 4 Be ashamed, O Sidon; For the sea has spoken, the strength of the sea, saying, “ I do not labor, nor bring forth children; Neither do I rear young men, nor bring up virgins.” 5 When the report reaches Egypt, they also will be in agony at the report of Tyre. 6 Cross over to Tarshish; Wail, you inhabitants of the coastland! 7 Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is from ancient days, whose feet carried her far off to dwell? 8 Who has taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traders are the honorable of the earth? 9 The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to bring to dishonor the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth. 10 Overflow through your land like the River, O daughter of Tarshish; There is no more strength. 11 He stretched out His hand over the sea, He shook the kingdoms; The LORD has given a commandment against Canaan to destroy its strongholds. 12 And He said, “You will rejoice no more, O you oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, cross over to Cyprus; There also you will have no rest.” 13 Behold, the land of the Chaldeans, this people which was not; Assyria founded it for wild beasts of the desert. They set up its towers, they raised up its palaces, and brought it to ruin. 14 Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For your strength is laid waste. 15 Now it shall come to pass in that day that Tyre will be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king. At the end of seventy years it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the harlot: 16 “ Take a harp, go about the city, you forgotten harlot; Make sweet melody, sing many songs, that you may be remembered.” 17 And it shall be, at the end of seventy years, that the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her hire, and commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Her gain and her pay will be set apart for the LORD; it will not be treasured nor laid up, for her gain will be for those who dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for fine clothing.
Yeh, you heard me right. As we say in the Northeast, ‘I’m go’in down the shore’. Or perhaps, you would like me to say, ‘I am going down to the beach’. Many nations in ancient times wanted to go down the shore, that is, down to the rich island city of Tyre. For today study this will be our Holy Lord’s version of a road trip.
The prophet Isaiah message is against the nation of Tyre, which we know today as the nation of Lebanon. Isaiah’s prophecy of this nation’s destruction would come into play over some 300 years from his proclamation.
Some biblical scholars might comment that the Lord had it in for this nation. After all, besides using his prophet Isaiah to address this place, our Sovereign Ruler also had these prophets also speak to the leaders of this island metropolis;
Jeremiah 25: “15 For thus says the LORD God of Israel to me: “Take this wine cup of fury from My hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send you, to drink it. 16 And they will drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them.” 17 Then I took the cup from the LORD’s hand, and made all the nations drink, to whom the LORD had sent me: 18 Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and its princes, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, a hissing, and a curse, as it is this day; 19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his princes, and all his people; 20 all the mixed multitude, all the kings of the land of Uz, all the kings of the land of the Philistines (namely, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod); 21 Edom, Moab, and the people of Ammon; 22 all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the coastlands which are across the sea.”