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Isaiah 23Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

God’s Message About Tyre

23 This is a message[a] about Tyre:

Ships traveling from Cyprus heard this message:
    “Cry, you ships from Tarshish[b]!
    Your harbor has been destroyed.”

You people living near the sea, mourn in silence.
    The merchants of Sidon sent traders across the sea
    and filled the city with riches.
They traveled the seas looking for grain.
    The men from Tyre bought grain that grows near the Nile River
    and sold it to other nations.

Sidon, you should be very sad,
    because now the Sea and the Fort of the Sea[c] say,
“I have no children.
    I have never felt the pain of birth;
I have never given birth to children.
    I have never raised young men and women.”

When Egypt hears the news about Tyre,
    it will feel the pain of sorrow.
You ships, try to escape to Tarshish!
    Cry out, you people living near the sea!
Can this be that happy city that was founded so long ago?
    Is it that same city whose people traveled so far to settle other lands?[d]
This city produced so many leaders.
    Its merchants were like princes.
Its traders had the whole world’s respect.
    So who made these plans against Tyre?
It was the Lord All-Powerful.
    He decided to destroy the great things they were so proud of.
    He wanted to disgrace those who were so highly respected.
10 Ships from Tarshish, go back home.
    Cross the sea as if it were a river.
    No one will stop you now.
11 The Lord raised his arm over the sea
    to make the kingdoms angry enough to fight against Tyre.
He commanded Canaan
    to destroy her place of safety.[e]
12 He said, “Daughter Sidon,[f] you have been hurt badly,
    so you will no longer rejoice like a bride.
Go ahead, go to Cyprus[g] for help,
    but you will not find a place to rest there either.”
13 As for Babylon, look at the land of the Chaldeans!
    It is not even a country now.
Assyria built war towers to attack it.
    The soldiers took everything from the beautiful houses.
Assyria destroyed Babylon.
    They turned it into a pile of ruins
    and made it a place for wild animals.
14 So be sad, you ships from Tarshish.
    Your place of safety has been destroyed.

15 People will forget about Tyre for 70 years—that is, about the length of a king’s rule. After 70 years, Tyre will be like the prostitute in this song:

16 “Oh, woman who men forgot,
    take your harp and walk through the city.
Play your song well and sing it often.
    Maybe someone will remember you.”

17 After 70 years, the Lord will review Tyre’s case, and he will give her a decision. Tyre will again have trade. She will be like a prostitute for all the nations on earth. 18 But Tyre will not keep the money she earns. The profit from her trade will be saved for the Lord. Tyre will give that money to the people who serve the Lord to buy good food and nice clothes.


  1. Isaiah 23:1 message Or “burden.”
  2. Isaiah 23:1 ships from Tarshish This is probably a special type of cargo ship. Also in verse 14.
  3. Isaiah 23:4 Fort of the Sea Another name for the city of Tyre.
  4. Isaiah 23:7 traveled … other lands? Or “came from so far to live here?”
  5. Isaiah 23:11 Or “He raised his arm over the sea and shook nations. He gave a command about Canaan to destroy its fortresses.”
  6. Isaiah 23:12 Daughter Sidon Another name for the city of Sidon.
  7. Isaiah 23:12 Cyprus Literally, “Kittim.” This could also mean “Crete.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International


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