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Isaiah 23 The Voice (VOICE)

23 A message about Tyre:

For a period under David and Solomon, the Israelites live in harmony with their neighbors. But jealousy and envy are frequently under the surface. The people of Israel occupy a key location that becomes a battleground for domination by world powers because of its important trade routes. At some point, every single one of Israel’s neighbors attacks and abuses this little nation. This oracle has to do primarily with the city of Tyre, a port on the Phoenician coast famous for the people’s advanced technologies and skills in shipbuilding, sailing, and trading. But those who sail across the Mediterranean so easily are getting ready to face hard times.

Cry out in anguish, you who travel the Mediterranean from east to west!
    Cry out, Tarshishian ships, because Tyre is no more.
It is devastated—no houses, no harbor—nothing is left.
    The people from Cyprus have witnessed it.
Grieve quietly, you people along the coast,
    you merchants of Sidon, who cross the sea.
You go through great waters in boats filled with the grain of Shihor;
    the harvest of the Nile was Tyre’s revenue;
She was the marketplace of the nations.
Shame runs deep for Sidon since the sea has said,
    “I bore and raised no sons or daughters as my own.”
Egypt will be terribly upset, too,
    when they learn about Tyre’s destruction.
So you who live along the coast,
    make for Tarshish, and bewail your fate.
One wonders: could this really be the same city?
    It was so jubilant, so magnificent, so commanding for its trade.
Is this the city that’s been around longer than memory
    and her citizens have traveled to exotic, faraway places?
Tyre’s merchants and traders were princes and nobles,
    respected everywhere around the world.
Who did this to Tyre,
    a city that awards honor with crowns?
The Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, has determined,
    Tyre should be destroyed, wrecked, and disgraced
To spoil the foolish arrogance of all glory and
    to show how insignificant earthly honors are.
10 People of Tarshish, you should traverse your land as if it were the Nile.
    With Tyre out of the way, there’s nothing to stop you anymore.
11 God’s power extends across the sea;
    He has terrified the nations,
    turning Canaan loose against them to demolish their fortresses.

12 Eternal One: The celebration is over, downtrodden virgin daughter of Sidon.
        There’s nothing left of you to take pride in.
    Go ahead, pack up and move to Cyprus.
        But you still won’t find rest.

13 Just look at the land of the Chaldeans in southern Mesopotamia. There are no such people anymore. The Assyrians came along, took it over, and left it for the desert animals; they built their siege machines, stripped its palaces, and determined that it should be ruined.

14 Cry out in anguish, ships of Tarshish
    because your fortress is no more.

15 Tyre will be forgotten for 70 years—the lifespan of a king. After that Tyre’s fate will be like the song of the prostitute:

16 “O forgotten woman, yesterday’s prostitute,
    take up a harp, and walk about the city.
Play it well, and sing your melodies,
    so you will be remembered.”

17 When 70 years have passed, the Eternal will visit Tyre, and she’ll return to her wicked ways—selling herself to all the countries of the world. 18 But everything Tyre earns—her profit, her goods—won’t be stored or saved: all will be devoted to the Eternal; her stocks will supply all the food and fine clothing needed by those who serve in the presence of the Eternal One.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Isaiah 23 New International Version (NIV)

A Prophecy Against Tyre

23 A prophecy against Tyre:

Wail, you ships of Tarshish!
    For Tyre is destroyed
    and left without house or harbor.
From the land of Cyprus
    word has come to them.

Be silent, you people of the island
    and you merchants of Sidon,
    whom the seafarers have enriched.
On the great waters
    came the grain of the Shihor;
the harvest of the Nile[a] was the revenue of Tyre,
    and she became the marketplace of the nations.

Be ashamed, Sidon, and you fortress of the sea,
    for the sea has spoken:
“I have neither been in labor nor given birth;
    I have neither reared sons nor brought up daughters.”
When word comes to Egypt,
    they will be in anguish at the report from Tyre.

Cross over to Tarshish;
    wail, you people of the island.
Is this your city of revelry,
    the old, old city,
whose feet have taken her
    to settle in far-off lands?
Who planned this against Tyre,
    the bestower of crowns,
whose merchants are princes,
    whose traders are renowned in the earth?
The Lord Almighty planned it,
    to bring down her pride in all her splendor
    and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.

10 Till[b] your land as they do along the Nile,
    Daughter Tarshish,
    for you no longer have a harbor.
11 The Lord has stretched out his hand over the sea
    and made its kingdoms tremble.
He has given an order concerning Phoenicia
    that her fortresses be destroyed.
12 He said, “No more of your reveling,
    Virgin Daughter Sidon, now crushed!

“Up, cross over to Cyprus;
    even there you will find no rest.”
13 Look at the land of the Babylonians,[c]
    this people that is now of no account!
The Assyrians have made it
    a place for desert creatures;
they raised up their siege towers,
    they stripped its fortresses bare
    and turned it into a ruin.

14 Wail, you ships of Tarshish;
    your fortress is destroyed!

15 At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king’s life. But at the end of these seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute:

16 “Take up a harp, walk through the city,
    you forgotten prostitute;
play the harp well, sing many a song,
    so that you will be remembered.”

17 At the end of seventy years, the Lord will deal with Tyre. She will return to her lucrative prostitution and will ply her trade with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. 18 Yet her profit and her earnings will be set apart for the Lord; they will not be stored up or hoarded. Her profits will go to those who live before the Lord, for abundant food and fine clothes.


  1. Isaiah 23:3 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls Sidon, / who cross over the sea; / your envoys are on the great waters. / The grain of the Shihor, / the harvest of the Nile,
  2. Isaiah 23:10 Dead Sea Scrolls and some Septuagint manuscripts; Masoretic Text Go through
  3. Isaiah 23:13 Or Chaldeans
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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