23:1 Here is a message about Tyre:
Wail, you large ships, 1
for the port is too devastated to enter! 2
From the land of Cyprus 3 this news is announced to them.
you merchants of Sidon 5 who travel over the sea,
Grain from the Shihor region, 7
she is the trade center 10 of the nations.
23:4 Be ashamed, O Sidon,
for the sea 11 says this, O fortress of the sea:
“I have not gone into labor
or given birth;
I have not raised young men
or brought up young women.” 12
23:5 When the news reaches Egypt,
they will be shaken by what has happened to Tyre. 13
23:6 Travel to Tarshish!
Wail, you residents of the coast!
whose origins are in the distant past, 15
and whose feet led her to a distant land to reside?
whose merchants are princes,
whose traders are the dignitaries 17 of the earth?
23:9 The Lord who commands armies planned it –
to dishonor the pride that comes from all her beauty, 18
to humiliate all the dignitaries of the earth.
23:10 Daughter Tarshish, travel back to your land, as one crosses the Nile;
there is no longer any marketplace in Tyre. 19
he shook kingdoms;
he 21 gave the order
to destroy Canaan’s fortresses. 22
23:12 He said,
“You will no longer celebrate,
oppressed 23 virgin daughter Sidon!
Get up, travel to Cyprus,
but you will find no relief there.” 24
23:13 Look at the land of the Chaldeans,
these people who have lost their identity! 25
The Assyrians have made it a home for wild animals.
They erected their siege towers, 26
demolished 27 its fortresses,
and turned it into a heap of ruins. 28
for your fortress is destroyed!
23:15 At that time 30 Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, 31 the typical life span of a king. 32 At the end of seventy years Tyre will try to attract attention again, like the prostitute in the popular song: 33
23:16 “Take the harp,
go through the city,
Play it well,
play lots of songs,
so you’ll be noticed!” 34
23:17 At the end of seventy years 35 the Lord will revive 36 Tyre. She will start making money again by selling her services to all the earth’s kingdoms. 37 23:18 Her profits and earnings will be set apart for the Lord. They will not be stored up or accumulated, for her profits will be given to those who live in the Lord’s presence and will be used to purchase large quantities of food and beautiful clothes. 38
[23:1] 2 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “for it is destroyed, from a house, from entering.” The translation assumes that the mem (מ) on בַּיִת (bayit) was originally an enclitic mem suffixed to the preceding verb. This assumption allows one to take בַּיִת as the subject of the preceding verb. It is used in a metaphorical sense for the port city of Tyre. The preposition min (מִן) prefixed to בּוֹא (bo’) indicates negative consequence: “so that no one can enter.” See BDB 583 s.v. מִן 7.b.
[23:3] 6 tc The Hebrew text (23:2b-3a) reads literally, “merchant of Sidon, the one who crosses the sea, they filled you, and on the deep waters.” Instead of מִלְאוּךְ (mil’ukh, “they filled you”) the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa reads מלאכיך (“your messengers”). The translation assumes an emendation of מִלְאוּךְ to מַלְאָכָו (mal’akhav, “his messengers”), taking the vav (ו) on וּבְמַיִם (uvÿmayim) as improperly placed; instead it should be the final letter of the preceding word.
[23:4] 11 tn J. N. Oswalt (Isaiah [NICOT], 1:430-31) sees here a reference to Yam, the Canaanite god of the sea. He interprets the phrase מָעוֹז הַיָּם (ma’oz hayyam, “fortress of the sea”) as a title of Yam, translating “Mighty One of the Sea.” A more traditional view is that the phrase refers to Sidon.
[23:4] sn The sea is personified here as a lamenting childless woman. The foreboding language anticipates the following announcement of Tyre’s demise, viewed here as a child of the sea, as it were.
[23:7] 14 tn Heb “Is this to you, boisterous one?” The pronoun “you” is masculine plural, like the imperatives in v. 6, so it is likely addressed to the Egyptians and residents of the coast. “Boisterous one” is a feminine singular form, probably referring to the personified city of Tyre.
[23:8] 16 tn The precise meaning of הַמַּעֲטִירָה (hamma’atirah) is uncertain. The form is a Hiphil participle from עָטַר (’atar), a denominative verb derived from עֲטָרָה (’atarah, “crown, wreath”). The participle may mean “one who wears a crown” or “one who distributes crowns.” In either case, Tyre’s prominence in the international political arena is in view.
[23:10] 19 tc This meaning of this verse is unclear. The Hebrew text reads literally, “Cross over your land, like the Nile, daughter of Tarshish, there is no more waistband.” The translation assumes an emendation of מֵזַח (mezakh, “waistband”) to מָחֹז (makhoz, “harbor, marketplace”; see Ps 107:30). The term עָבַר (’avar, “cross over”) is probably used here of traveling over the water (as in v. 6). The command is addressed to personified Tarshish, who here represents her merchants. The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has עבדי (“work, cultivate”) instead of עִבְרִי (’ivri, “cross over”). In this case one might translate “Cultivate your land, like they do the Nile region” (cf. NIV, CEV). The point would be that the people of Tarshish should turn to agriculture because they will no longer be able to get what they need through the marketplace in Tyre.
[23:18] sn The point of this verse, which in its blatant nationalism comes precariously close to comparing the Lord to one who controls or manages a prostitute, is that Tyre will become a subject of Israel and her God. Tyre’s commercial profits will be used to enrich the Lord’s people.