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. 2 Grieve quietly, you people along the coast, you merchants of Sidon, who cross the sea. 3 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. 4 Shame runs deep for Sidon since the sea has said, “I bore and raised no sons or daughters as my own.” 5 Egypt will be terribly upset, too, when they learn about Tyre’s destruction. 6 So you who live along the coast, make for Tarshish, and bewail your fate. 7 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? 8 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? 9 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.
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