Isaiah 23

The City of Tyre Will Be Punished

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

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

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. 14 Not a fortress will be left standing, so tell all the seagoing ships 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.

The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary