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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.

13. Behold, the land of the Chaldeans. He now confirms by an example what he predicted about the taking of Tyre; for those things could scarcely obtain credit, especially among the inhabitants of Tyre, who thought that they were very far from such ruin. I am aware that this passage is explained in various ways, but I shall not spend time in refuting the opinions of others. It will be enough if I shall state, as far as I am able to form a judgment of it, the Prophet’s real meaning.

The people of the Chaldeans was not; that is, they had no name; for, if we inquire into their origin, they were descended from the Assyrians, as is evident from Genesis 10:11. He therefore says truly, that they were not at first a nation, but were concealed under the name of another, so that they did not form a separate body.

Ashur founded it for the inhabitants of the wilderness. The words which we have rendered “inhabitants of the wilderness” others translate ships, but we do not approve of that exposition. What we at first stated is preferable, namely, that the Assyrians gave a settled condition to the Chaldeans, who formerly led a wandering life in the deserts under skins, 113113    {Bogus footnote} but were collected into cities, and trained to higher civilization, by the Assyrians. This is also the meaning of the word עוררו (gnōrĕrū,) namely, that they erected and built cities; for we cannot agree with those who render it “to destroy.” 114114    {Bogus footnote} What happened?

He brought it to ruin. That is, to use a common expression, “The daughter has devoured the mother;” for the Assyrian monarchy was overturned by the Chaldeans, though it was more powerful and flourishing than all the others. It will be said, what has this to do with Tyre? We answer, it is because Tyre will be overthrown by the Assyrians and Chaldeans. Since therefore the Chaldeans, who formerly were no people, could conquer the Assyrians and subject them to their power, why should we wonder if both united should conquer Tyre? Since the Lord gave such a display of his power in the case of the Assyrians, why should Tyre rely on her riches? She will undoubtedly be made to feel the hand of God, and her power will be of no avail to her.

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