Isaiah 23:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Take up a harp, walk through the city, you forgotten prostitute; play the harp well, sing many a song, so that you will be remembered."

King James Bible
Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.

Darby Bible Translation
Take a harp, go about the city, thou forgotten harlot! Make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.

World English Bible
Take a harp; go about the city, you prostitute that has been forgotten. Make sweet melody. Sing many songs, that you may be remembered.

Young's Literal Translation
Take a harp, go round the city, O forgotten harlot, play well, Multiply song that thou mayest be remembered.

Isaiah 23:16 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

According to the days of one king - What is, of one kingdom; see Daniel 7:17, Daniel 8:20. Nebuchadnezzar began his conquests in the first year of his reign; from thence to the taking of Babylon by Cyrus are seventy years, at which time the nations subdued by Nebuchadnezzar were to be restored to liberty. These seventy years limit the duration of the Babylonish monarchy. Tyre was taken by him towards the middle of that period; so did not serve the king of Babylon during the whole period, but only for the remaining part of it. This seems to be the meaning of Isaiah; the days allotted to the one king or kingdom, are seventy years; Tyre, with the rest of the conquered nations, shall continue in a state of subjection and desolation to the end of that period. Not from the beginning and through the whole of the period; for, by being one of the latest conquests, the duration of that state of subjection in regard to her, was not much more than half of it. "All these nations," saith Jeremiah, Jeremiah 25:11, "shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years." Some of them were conquered sooner, some later; but the end of this period was the common term for the deliverance of them all.

There is another way of computing the seventy years, from the year in which Tyre was actually taken to the nineteenth of Darius Hystaspis; whom the Phoenicians, or Tyrians, assisted against the Ionians, and probably on that account might then be restored to their former liberties and privileges. But I think the former the more probable interpretation. - L.

Sing as a harlot - Fidicinam esse meretricum est. says Donatus in Terent. Eunuch. 3:2, 4.

Nec meretrix tibicina, cujus Ad strepitum salias.

Hor. 1:Epist. 14:25.

"Nor harlot minstrel sings, when the rude sound

Tempts you with heavy heels to thump the ground."


Sir John Chardin, in his MS. note on this place, says: -

C'est que les vielles prostituees, -

ne font que chanter quand les jeunes dancent, et les animer par l'instrument et par la voix.

"The old prostitutes do nothing but sing, while the young ones dance; and animate them both by vocal and instrumental music."

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Proverbs 7:10-12 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart...

Jeremiah 30:14 All your lovers have forgotten you; they seek you not; for I have wounded you with the wound of an enemy...

The Agony, and the Consoler
Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? Isaiah xxiii. 7. It is difficult to describe the agony of terror which fell on the wretched inhabitants of the gayest city of the East when they awoke to a sense of the folly into which they had been driven. These soft Syrians had no real leaders and no settled purpose of rebellion. They had simply yielded to a childish impulse of vexation. They had rebelled against an increase of taxation which might be burdensome, but was by no means
Frederic William Farrar—Gathering Clouds: A Tale of the Days of St. Chrysostom

On the Interpretation of Scripture
IT is a strange, though familiar fact, that great differences of opinion exist respecting the Interpretation of Scripture. All Christians receive the Old and New Testament as sacred writings, but they are not agreed about the meaning which they attribute to them. The book itself remains as at the first; the commentators seem rather to reflect the changing atmosphere of the world or of the Church. Different individuals or bodies of Christians have a different point of view, to which their interpretation
Frederick Temple—Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World

Cross References
Isaiah 23:15
At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king's life. But at the end of these seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute:

Isaiah 23:17
At the end of seventy years, the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her lucrative prostitution and will ply her trade with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth.

Ezekiel 26:13
I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more.

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