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23. Prophecy About Tyre

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. 2Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished. 3And by great waters the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river, is her revenue; and she is a mart of nations. 4Be 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. 5As at the report concerning Egypt, so shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre. 6Pass 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. 8Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth? 9The Lord of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth. 10Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish: there is no more strength. 11He 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. 12And 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. 13Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, til 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. 14Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste. 15And 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. 16Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.

17And 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. 18And 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.

11. He stretched out his hand over the sea. It is thought that the prediction which the Prophet uttered, about the destruction of Tyre, is here confirmed by examples; namely, that the Lord has given so many examples of his power in overturning the greatest kingdoms, that we ought not to think it strange if he now overturn Tyre, however flourishing and wealthy it may be. And indeed this manner of speaking is frequently employed in Scripture, if it be not made plain by manifest examples and by actual demonstration. It is therefore believed that the Prophet here calls to remembrance the deliverance from Egypt, when the Lord divided the sea, (Exodus 14:21,22,) and again, when he drove out seven kings, and brought his people into the land of Canaan. (Joshua 6:1-27; 8:1-35; 10:1-43.) But when I take a closer view of the words of the Prophet, I am more disposed to explain them as referring to the present state of matters; for he speaks here of Tyre, whose riches covered the whole sea.

He shook the kingdoms. What he says about the kingdoms is, because she could not perish alone, but must at the same time involve many kingdoms in her ruin. Thus the whole world must have undergone some change, as appears from history; and finally, the Prophet himself draws the conclusion, that the Lord commanded that this mart of nations should be overthrown.

Jehovah hath given commandment concerning Canaan. 111111    {Bogus footnote} The word כנען (chĕnāăn) has led commentators to think that the Prophet here speaks of the Canaanites, and refers to the proof which God gave of his vengeance against them. But there is little force in that argument; for כנען (chĕnāăn) is often taken for a common noun, just as, a little before, (verse 8,) he used the word כנעניה (chinyāneihā) to mean her factors. The riches of Tyre having consisted of merchandise and trading, Isaiah described it by naming the principal part. By the expression, hath given commandment, he extols the providence of God, that the Jews may know that all that appears to be permanent in the world stands and falls according to the will of God, and that there is no need of the instruments of war for overturning the best fortified place, but the mere expression of the will of God is enough.


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