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Isaiah 23English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

An Oracle Concerning Tyre and Sidon

23 The oracle concerning Tyre.

Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
    for Tyre is laid waste, without house or harbour!
From the land of Cyprus[a]
    it is revealed to them.
Be still, O inhabitants of the coast;
    the merchants of Sidon, who cross the sea, have filled you.
And on many waters
your revenue was the grain of Shihor,
    the harvest of the Nile;
    you were the merchant of the nations.
Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken,
    the stronghold of the sea, saying:
“I have neither laboured nor given birth,
    I have neither reared young men
    nor brought up young women.”
When the report comes to Egypt,
    they will be in anguish[b] over the report about Tyre.
Cross over to Tarshish;
    wail, O inhabitants of the coast!
Is this your exultant city
    whose origin is from days of old,
whose feet carried her
    to settle far away?
Who has purposed this
    against Tyre, the bestower of crowns,
whose merchants were princes,
    whose traders were the honoured of the earth?
The Lord of hosts has purposed it,
    to defile the pompous pride of all glory,[c]
    to dishonour all the honoured of the earth.
10 Cross over your land like the Nile,
    O daughter of Tarshish;
    there is no restraint any more.
11 He has stretched out his hand over the sea;
    he has shaken the kingdoms;
the Lord has given command concerning Canaan
    to destroy its strongholds.
12 And he said:
“You will no more exult,
    O oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon;
arise, cross over to Cyprus,
    even there you will have no rest.”

13 Behold the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people that was not;[d] Assyria destined it for wild beasts. They erected their siege towers, they stripped her palaces bare, they made her a ruin.

14 Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
    for your stronghold is laid waste.

15 In that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, like the days[e] of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute:

16 “Take a harp;
    go about the city,
    O forgotten prostitute!
Make sweet melody;
    sing many songs,
    that you may be remembered.”

17 At the end of seventy years, the Lord will visit Tyre, and she will return to her wages and will prostitute herself with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Her merchandise and her wages will be holy to the Lord. It will not be stored or hoarded, but her merchandise will supply abundant food and fine clothing for those who dwell before the Lord.


  1. Isaiah 23:1 Hebrew Kittim; also verse 12
  2. Isaiah 23:5 Hebrew they will have labour pains
  3. Isaiah 23:9 The Hebrew words for glory and hosts sound alike
  4. Isaiah 23:13 Or that has become nothing
  5. Isaiah 23:15 Or lifetime
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.


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