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The City of Tyre Will Be Punished

23 This is a message
from distant islands
    about the city of Tyre:[a]
Cry, you seagoing ships![b]
Tyre and its houses
    lie in ruins.[c]
Mourn in silence,
you shop owners of Sidon,[d]
    you people on the coast.
Your sailors crossed oceans,
    making your city rich.
Your merchants sailed the seas,
making you wealthy
by trading
    with nation after nation.
They brought back grain
    that grew along the Nile.[e]
Sidon, you are a mighty fortress
    built along the sea.
But you will be disgraced
like a married woman
    who never had children.[f]

When Egypt hears about Tyre,
    it will tremble.
All of you along the coast
had better cry
and sail
    far across the ocean.[g]
Can this be the happy city
    that has stood for centuries?
Its people have spread
    to distant lands;
its merchants were kings
    honored all over the world.
Who planned to destroy Tyre?
The Lord All-Powerful planned it
    to bring shame and disgrace
to those
who are honored
    by everyone on earth.
10 People of Tyre,[h]
    your harbor is destroyed!
You will have to become farmers
    just like the Egyptians.[i]

Tyre Will Be Forgotten

11 The Lord’s hand has reached
across the sea,
    upsetting the nations.
He has given a command
to destroy fortresses
    in the land of Canaan.
12 The Lord has said
    to the people of Sidon,
“Your celebrating is over—
    you are crushed.
Even if you escape to Cyprus,
    you won’t find peace.”

13 Look what the Assyrians have done to Babylonia! They have attacked, destroying every palace in the land. Now wild animals live among the ruins.[j] 14 Not a fortress will be left standing, so tell all the seagoing ships[k] to mourn.

15 The city of Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, which is the lifetime of a king. Then Tyre will be like that evil woman in the song:

16 You’re gone and forgotten,
    you evil woman!
So strut through the town,
    singing and playing
your favorite tune
    to be remembered again.

17 At the end of those seventy years, the Lord will let Tyre get back into business. The city will be like a woman who sells her body to everyone of every nation on earth, 18 but none of what is earned will be kept in the city. That money will belong to the Lord, and it will be used to buy more than enough food and good clothes for those who worship the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. 23.1 Tyre: A fortress city built on an island in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of what is now Lebanon.
  2. 23.1 seagoing ships: See the note at 2.16.
  3. 23.1 Tyre. . . ruins: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. 23.2 Sidon: A coastal city just north of Tyre.
  5. 23.3 along the Nile: The Hebrew text has “grain of Shihor, the harvest of the Nile,” but Shihor is probably a name for a region near the lower part of the Nile.
  6. 23.4 children: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  7. 23.6 far across the ocean: The Hebrew text has “to Tarshish,” probably meaning a long distance.
  8. 23.10 People of Tyre: The Hebrew text has “the people of Tarshish,” which stands for the colonies of Tyre.
  9. 23.10 Egyptians: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
  10. 23.13 ruins: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13.
  11. 23.14 seagoing ships: See the note at 2.16.