Isaiah 23:1-18

A message about Tyre

1 This is a message about Tyre.

Weep aloud, you people in the great ships of Tarshish. An enemy has destroyed the port and the houses of Tyre. They heard this news in Cyprus.

2 Weep quietly, you people who live on the coast of the sea. Yes, weep, you traders of Sidon city. Your sailors travelled across the sea and you became rich. 3 They brought grain to you from Shihor region in Egypt. You received crops that had grown beside the Nile river. Tyre became an important city where traders from many nations came.

4 Be ashamed, you people in Sidon. You have become strong because of the sea. But the sea now speaks against you! It says, ‘I have not given birth to any children. I have not taken care of any sons or daughters as a parent should do.’

5 When the people in Egypt hear the news about Tyre, they will be very sad and upset.

6 Travel to Tarshish! Weep aloud, you people who live on the coast of the sea. 7 Tyre is a city where you had many parties. It has been there since long ago. People from this city went to live in foreign countries far away. 8 It is a royal city and its traders are princes. They are famous everywhere on earth. So who decided to destroy it?

9 The Lord Almighty did that! He decided to show that the pride of those people is useless. He decided to bring all those famous people down low.

10 People of Tarshish, now you will have to grow your own crops. Grow them like they do beside the Nile river. Traders no longer come to Tyre to sell their things.

11 The Lord has lifted his hand up over the sea. He has made kingdoms shake with fear. He has given his command against Canaan, to destroy all its strong places.

23:11‘Canaan’ or ‘Phoenicia’.

12 He says to Sidon's people, ‘Your parties have finished! Now it will be a time of pain for you. Move away, if you can! Travel to Cyprus. But you will still not be safe there.’

13 Look at what happened in Babylonia. Its people have disappeared! The Assyrian army has made it a place for wild animals to live in. Their soldiers built hills of earth against the city's walls. They climbed over and they destroyed its strong buildings. Babylon's buildings became heaps of stones.

14 So weep aloud, you great ships of Tarshish. Enemies have destroyed your strong place.

15 At that time people will forget Tyre for 70 years. That is how long one king lives. At the end of 70 years, there will be a change in Tyre. It will happen to them like the song about the prostitute:

16 ‘Prostitute that people have forgotten,

walk about the city with your harp.

Play it well. Sing many songs.

Then people will remember you again.’

17 At the end of 70 years, the Lord will be kind to Tyre. People from all the nations of the world will come to Tyre to buy things. Tyre will receive their money, like the prostitute in the song. 18 But the money that Tyre receives will belong to the Lord. Tyre's traders will not hide their riches or store them. Their money will buy plenty of food and beautiful clothes for people who worship the Lord.