Isaiah 23
Contemporary English Version

The City of Tyre Will Be Punished

1 This is a message from distant islands about the city of Tyre:+

Cry, you seagoing ships!+

Tyre and its houses

lie in ruins.+

2Mourn in silence,

you shop owners of Sidon,+

you people on the coast.

Your sailors crossed oceans,

making your city rich.

3Your merchants sailed the seas,

making you wealthy by trading

with nation after nation.

They brought back grain

that grew along the Nile.+

4Sidon, you are a mighty fortress

built along the sea.

But you will be disgraced

like a married woman

who never had children.+

5When Egypt hears about Tyre,

it will tremble.

6All of you along the coast

had better cry and sail

far across the ocean.+

7Can this be the happy city

that has stood for centuries?

Its people have spread

to distant lands;

8its merchants were kings

honored all over the world.

Who planned to destroy Tyre?

9The Lord All-Powerful planned it

to bring shame and disgrace

to those who are honored

by everyone on earth.

10People of Tyre,+

your harbor is destroyed!

You will have to become farmers

just like the Egyptians.+

Tyre Will Be Forgotten

11The Lord's hand has reached

across the sea,

upsetting the nations.

He has given a command

to destroy fortresses

in the land of Canaan.

12The 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.”

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

15The city of Tyre will be forgotten for 70 years, which is the lifetime of a king. Then Tyre will be like that evil woman in the song:

16You're gone and forgotten,

you evil woman!

So strut through the town,

singing and playing

your favorite tune

to be remembered again.

17At the end of those 70 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, 18but 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.


23.1 Tyre: A fortress city built on an island in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of what is now Lebanon.
23.1 seagoing ships: See the note at 2.16.
23.1 Tyre … ruins: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
23.2 Sidon: A coastal city just north of Tyre.
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.
23.4 children: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
23.6 far across the ocean: The Hebrew text has “to Tarshish,” probably meaning a long distance.
23.10 People of Tyre: The Hebrew text has “the people of Tarshish,” which stands for the colonies of Tyre.
23.10 Egyptians: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
23.13 ruins: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 13.
23.14 seagoing ships: See the note at 2.16.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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