23 The [mournful, inspired] oracle ([a]a burden to be carried) concerning [b]Tyre:
Wail, O ships of Tarshish, For Tyre is destroyed, without house, without harbor; It is reported to them from the land of Cyprus (Kittim). 2 Be silent, you inhabitants of the coastland, You [c]merchants of Sidon; [d]Your messengers crossed the sea 3 And they were on great waters. The grain of the [e]Shihor, the harvest of the Nile River, was Tyre’s revenue; And she was the market of nations. 4 Be ashamed, O Sidon [mother-city of Tyre, now like a widow bereaved of her children]; For the sea speaks, the stronghold of the sea, saying, “I have neither labored nor given birth [to children]; I have neither brought up young men nor reared virgins.” 5 When the report reaches Egypt, They will be in agony at the report about Tyre. 6 Cross over to Tarshish [to seek safety as exiles]; Wail, O inhabitants of the coastland [of Tyre]. 7 Is this your jubilant city, Whose origin dates back to antiquity, Whose feet used to carry her [far away] to colonize distant places?
8 Who has planned this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, Whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of the earth? 9 The Lord of hosts has planned it, to defile the pride of all beauty, To bring into contempt and humiliation all the honored of the earth. 10 Overflow your land like [the overflow of] the Nile, O Daughter of Tarshish; There is no more restraint [on you to make you pay tribute to Tyre]. 11 He has stretched out His hand over the sea, He has shaken the kingdoms; The Lord has given a command concerning Canaan to destroy her strongholds and her fortresses [like Tyre and Sidon].
12 He has said, “You shall never again exult [in triumph], O crushed Virgin Daughter of Sidon. Arise, cross over to Cyprus; even there you will find no rest.”
13 Now look at the land of the Chaldeans (Babylonia)—this is the people which was not; the Assyrians allocated Tyre for desert creatures—they set up their [f]siege towers, they stripped its palaces, they made it a ruin.
14 Wail, O ships of Tarshish, For your stronghold [of Tyre] is destroyed.
15 Now in that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, like the days of one king. At the end of seventy years it will happen to Tyre as in the prostitute’s song:
16 Take a harp, walk around the city, O forgotten prostitute; Play the strings skillfully, sing many songs, That you may be remembered.
17 It will come to pass at the end of seventy years that the Lord will remember Tyre. Then she will return to her prostitute’s wages and will play the [role of a] prostitute [by trading] with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. 18 But her commercial gain and her prostitute’s wages will be [g]dedicated to the Lord; it will not be treasured or stored up, but her commercial gain will become sufficient food and stately clothing for those who dwell (minister) in the presence of the Lord.
Judgment on the Earth
24 Behold, the Lord[h]lays waste to the earth, devastates it, twists and distorts its face and scatters its inhabitants. 2 And the people will be like the priest, the servant like his master, the maid like her mistress, the buyer like the seller, the lender like the borrower, the creditor like the debtor [as God’s impartial judgment of sin comes on all]. 3 The earth will be completely laid waste and utterly pillaged, for the Lord has spoken this word. 4 The earth dries up and crumbles away, the world dries out and crumbles away, the exalted of the people of the earth fade away. 5 The earth also is polluted [i]by its inhabitants, because they have transgressed laws, violated statutes, and broken the everlasting covenant.6 Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live on it suffer the punishment of their guilt. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned [under the curse of God’s wrath], and few people are left.
7 The new wine mourns, The vine decays; All the merry-hearted sigh and groan. 8 The mirth of the timbrels (tambourines) ceases, The noise of those who rejoice ends, The joy of the harp ceases. 9 They do not drink wine with a song; Strong drink is bitter to those who drink it. 10 The city of chaos is broken down; Every house is shut up so that no one may enter. 11 There is an outcry in the streets concerning the wine; All jubilation is darkened, The joy of the earth is banished. 12 Horrible desolation is left in the city, And the gate is battered into ruins. 13 For so it will be in the midst of the earth among the peoples, As the shaking of an olive tree, As the gleanings when the grape harvest is over [and only a little of the fruit remains]. 14 They [who have escaped and remain] raise their voices, they shout for joy; They rejoice from the [Mediterranean] Sea in the majesty of the Lord. 15 Therefore honor and glorify the Lord in the east [in the region of light], The name of the Lord, the God of Israel [honor His name], In the coastlands and islands of the [Mediterranean] Sea. 16 From the ends of the earth we hear songs, “Glory and honor to the Righteous One,” But I say, “I waste away, I waste away. Woe to me! The treacherous deal treacherously, Indeed, the treacherous deal very treacherously.” 17 Terror and pit [of destruction] and snare Confront you, O inhabitant of the earth. 18 Then it will be that he who flees at the sound of terror will fall into the pit, And he who comes up out of the pit will be caught in the snare; For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble. 19 The earth is broken completely apart, The earth is split apart, The earth is shaken violently. 20 The earth reels back and forth like a drunkard And sways like a shack; Its transgression lies heavily upon it, And it will fall and not rise again. 21 So it will happen in that day That the Lord will visit and punish the host (fallen angels) of heaven on high, And the kings of the earth on the earth. 22 They will be gathered together As prisoners [are gathered] in a dungeon; They will be shut up in prison, And after many days they will be visited and punished. 23 Then the full moon will be embarrassed and the sun ashamed, For the Lord of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, And His glory and brilliance will shine before His elders.
Song of Praise for God’s Favor
25 O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will praise and give thanks to Your name; For You have done miraculous things, Plans formed long, long ago, [fulfilled] with perfect faithfulness. 2 For You have made a city into a heap [of trash], A fortified city into a ruin; A palace of [j]foreigners is no longer a city, It will never be rebuilt. 3 Therefore a strong people will honor You; Cities of terrible and violent nations will fear You. 4 For You have been a stronghold for the helpless, A stronghold for the poor in his distress, A shelter from the storm, a shade from the heat; For the breath of tyrants Is like a rainstorm against a wall. 5 Like heat in a dry land, You will subdue the noise of foreigners [rejoicing over their enemies]; Like heat in the shadow of a cloud, the song of the tyrants is [k]silenced.
6 On this mountain [Zion] the Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples [to welcome His reign on earth], A banquet of aged wines—choice pieces [flavored] with marrow, Of refined, aged wines. 7 And on this mountain He will destroy the covering that is [cast] over all peoples, And the veil [of death] that is woven and spread over all the nations. 8 He will swallow up death [and abolish it] for all time. And the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, And He will take away the disgrace of His people from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken. 9 It will be said in that day, “Indeed, this is our God for whom we have waited that He would save us. This is the Lord for whom we have waited; Let us shout for joy and rejoice in His salvation.” 10 For the hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain [Zion], And Moab will be trampled down in his place As straw is trampled down in the [filthy] water of a manure pile. 11 And Moab will spread out his hands in the middle of the filth As a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim, But the Lord will humiliate his pride in spite of the [skillful] movements of his hands. 12 The high fortifications of your walls He will bring down, Lay low, and cast to the ground, to the dust.
Song of Trust in God’s Protection
26 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:
“We have a strong city; He sets up salvation as walls and ramparts. 2 “Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, The one that [l]remains faithful and trustworthy. 3 “You will keep in [m]perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both [n]inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation]. 4 “Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner], For the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages]. 5 “For He has thrown down the [arrogant] ones who dwell on high, the lofty and inaccessible city; He lays it low, He lays it low to the ground, He hurls it to the dust. 6 “The foot will trample it, Even the feet of the suffering, and the steps of the helpless.”
7 The way of the righteous [those in right-standing with God—living in moral and spiritual integrity] is smooth and level; O Upright One, make a level path for the just and righteous. 8 Indeed, in the path of Your judgments, O Lord, We have waited expectantly for You; Your name, even Your memory, is the desire and deep longing of our souls. 9 In the night my soul longs for You [O Lord], Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For [only] when Your judgments are experienced on the earth Will the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. 10 Though the wicked is shown compassion and favor, He does not learn righteousness; In the land of uprightness he deals unjustly, And refuses to see the majesty of the Lord.
11 Though Your hand is lifted up [to strike], O Lord, the wicked do not see it. Let them see Your zeal for Your people and be put to shame; Indeed, let the fire reserved for Your enemies consume them. 12 Lord, You will establish peace for us, Since You have also performed for us all that we have done. 13 O Lord our God, other masters besides You have ruled over us; But through You alone we confess Your name. 14 The [wicked] dead will not live [again], the spirits of the dead will not rise and return; Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, And You have wiped out every memory of them [every trace of them]. 15 You have increased the nation, O Lord; You have increased the nation, You are glorified; You have extended all the borders of the land. 16 O Lord, they sought You in distress; They managed only a prayerful whisper When Your discipline was upon them. 17 As a woman with child approaches the time to give birth, She is in pain and struggles and cries out in her labor, So we were before You, O Lord. 18 We have been with child, we have twisted and struggled in labor; We gave birth, as it seems, only to wind. We could not accomplish salvation for the earth, Nor were inhabitants of the world [o]born. 19 Your dead will live; [p]Their dead bodies will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy! For your dew is a dew of [celestial] light [heavenly, supernatural], And the earth will give birth to the spirits of the dead.
20 Come, my people, enter your chambers And shut your doors behind you; Hide for a little while Until the [Lord’s] [q]wrath is past. 21 Listen carefully, the Lord is about to come out of His [heavenly] place To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their wickedness [their sin, their injustice, their wrongdoing]; The earth will reveal the [innocent] blood shed upon her And will no longer cover her slain.
The Deliverance of Israel
27 In that day the Lord will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent With His fierce and great and mighty sword [rescuing Israel from her enemy], Even Leviathan the twisted serpent; And He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea.
2 In that day [it will be said of the redeemed nation of Israel], “A vineyard of [r]wine, sing in praise of it! 3 “I, the Lord, am its Keeper; I water it every moment. So that no one will harm it, I guard it night and day. 4 “I have no wrath. Should anyone give Me briars and thorns in battle, I would step on them, I would set them all on fire. 5 “Or let him (Israel) cling to My strength and rely on My protection [My stronghold], Let him make peace with Me, Let him make peace with Me.” 6 [s]In the generations to come Jacob will take root; Israel will blossom and sprout, And they will fill the surface of the world with fruit.
7 Like the striking [t]by Him who has struck them, has He struck them? Or like the slaughter of His slain, have they been slain? 8 You contended with them by exile, by driving them away [from Canaan]; He has expelled them with His fierce wind on the day of the east wind. 9 Therefore through this the wickedness [the sin, the injustice, the wrongdoing] of Jacob (Israel) will be atoned for and forgiven; And this will be [u]the full price [that God requires] for taking away his sin: When Israel makes all the stones of the [pagan] altars like crushed chalk stones; When the Asherim and the incense altars will not stand. 10 For the fortified city is isolated, A settlement deserted and abandoned like the desert; There the calf will graze, And there it will lie down and [v]feed on its branches. 11 When its branches are dry, they are broken off; The women come and [w]make a fire with them. For they are not a people of understanding, Therefore He who made them will not have compassion on them, And He who created them will not be gracious to them.
12 In that day the Lord will thresh [out His grain] from the flowing stream of the River [Euphrates] to the Brook of Egypt, and you will be gathered up one by one, O sons of Israel. 13 It will come to pass in that day that a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost and perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.
Isaiah 23:1I.e. an urgent message the prophet is under compulsion to proclaim.
Isaiah 23:1Ancient Tyre was a Phoenician trading center with two separate urban areas; the major trading center was located on a fortified island and the suburban center was located on the adjacent coast. They were connected by a causeway built by Alexander the Great during his siege of Tyre.
Isaiah 23:2The DSS so read. MT reads Who crossed the sea, they replenished you.
Isaiah 23:3An Egyptian name meaning “the pond of Horus”; it is probably a branch of the Nile or an unspecified lake.
Isaiah 23:13Besieging a heavily fortified (walled) city was an ancient military tactic. The attackers would surround the city and cut off all supplies and communication to or from the inhabitants, then they would use siege towers to tear down the walls. The tower was a massive support structure for a heavy beam or log that was sharpened on one end and hung horizontally. It would be pushed against a wall and worked in such a way as to dislodge the stones that had been stacked to form the wall.
Isaiah 23:18Tyre was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 572 b.c. and lay desolate for seventy years. The new city built on the island was taken by Alexander the Great in 332 b.c. Eventually Christianity prevailed at Tyre. Jesus visited there (Matt 15:21) and so did Paul (Acts 21:3-6). In his commentary on Isaiah Eusebius says that when the church of God was founded in Tyre, much of its wealth was consecrated to God and presented for the support of ministers. This is also the testimony of Jerome, the Latin church father writing in the fourth century.
Isaiah 24:1The gradual destruction of the earth, as revealed by God to Isaiah, is prophesied in this passage. He sees both the current and the future tragedies which will befall earth.
Isaiah 26:3Lit peace, peace, a Hebrew idiom of emphasis.
Isaiah 26:3The Hebrew word for inclination became a technical term in Jewish tradition, and the rabbis frequently referred to the “evil inclination” much in the same sense as the sin nature. They also recognized a “good inclination,” which the righteous choose to follow, and urged people to make their good inclination king over the evil inclination.
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