2107.) Isaiah 23

Main road through the ruins of ancient Tyre, Lebanon.

Isaiah 23   (ESV)

An Oracle Concerning Tyre and Sidon

The oracle concerning Tyre.

To the north of Israel, Tyre was the leading city of Phoenicia, the great maritime power of the ancient world. Because it was such an important harbor and center for shipping, Tyre was synonymous with commerce and materialism.

Wail, O ships of Tarshish,
for Tyre is laid waste, without house or harbor!
From the land of Cyprus
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 labored 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 over the report about Tyre.

The news of the fall of Tyre will spread rapidly and cause great concern throughout the Mediterranean, from Tarshish in Spain, to Cyprus, to Egypt.

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 honored of the earth?
The Lord of hosts has purposed it,
to defile the pompous pride of all glory,
to dishonor all the honored of the earth.

“Pride, pride, pride, is that basic sin to which God is ever opposed, and man is ever expressing.”

~F. C. Jennings

God sends no one away empty except those who are full of themselves.

~Dwight L. Moody

Pride is at the bottom of a great many errors and corruptions, and even of many evil practices, which have a great show and appearance of humility.

~Matthew Henry

Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important.

~T.S. Eliot

If I had only one sermon to preach it would be a sermon against pride.

~Gilbert Keith Chesterton

10 Cross over your land like the Nile,
O daughter of Tarshish;
there is no restraint anymore.
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.”

Detail from the “Sarcophagus of the Crying Women,” from Sidon, now in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum

Detail from the “Sarcophagus of the Crying Women,” from Sidon, now in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum

13 Behold the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people that was not; 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 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,

Many commentators think this refers to the presence of Christianity in Tyre in the days of the early church.

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.

_________________________

Music:

Amid the judgment we are seeing in these chapters of Isaiah, we can remember that God loves us more than we can imagine.  He is our deliverer in every circumstance.  HERE  is Selah singing “You Are My Hiding Place.”

_________________________

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

Images courtesy of:
ancient Tyre.    https://media1.britannica.com/eb-media/03/178003-004-B19988D2.jpg
map.   http://www.bibletrack.org/notes/image/Tyre-Sidon.jpg
God opposes the proud.   http://wp.production.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/files/2015/05/God-opposes-the-proud.jpg
Sarcophagus of the Crying Women.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/sarcophagus2bcrying2bwomen.jpg
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