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(ch. 23:1 - 18)
This chapter concerns Tyre.
is one of two coastal cities along the Mediterranean Sea in what would
be present day Lebanon. The other town is
Sidon. Both of these towns are
mentioned in the New Testament gospel accounts. Both of these towns are
dates back to at least 2000 B. C. and Tyre a little bit after 2000 B.
C.. These two cities were
was noted for its export of purple die. It
is said that
are the gateway to
. It is also said that
Europe was discovered from leaving the ports of
Verse 1 says, "Woe
to the ships of Tarshish". Just where Tarshish is located is
debatable. Some say its one
of a number of Islands in the
Mediterranean Sea. Others say it is
, and yet others say it is as far away as Great Britain. The point the Old
Testament seems to make about Tarshish that concerns its location is
that it is as far west in the known world back then as can be.
You might remember that Jonah tried to escape from God by
boarding a ship to Tarshish. The
implication is that he was trying to run as far away from God and the
place where he was to be as possible.
God wanted him east so he went far west.
Tarshish appears to be a
trading partner with the
Middle East. Shipping was something the
people of Tarshish was noted for. So,
when the text states that
is destroyed, that would certainly affect the ships of Tarshish.
Verse 1 also specifically
tells us how those in Tarshish knew that
was destroyed. Those in
told them. This might well
have taken place while a ship from Tarshish was at one of the ports of Cyprus.
The people of the island
in verse 2 are probably in reference to the people of
was just mentioned in verse 1.
It might be debatable
what destruction of Tyre Isaiah is talking about.
Shalmanesar was an Assyrian king who defeated the Northern
Kingdom of Israel in 722 B. C.. He
also attacked Tyre. Nebuchadnezzar attacked
Tyre as well when he invaded that part of the middle east, and when he
took Daniel and other Israelis off toe Babylon in 586 B. C.
It's most probable that Isaiah might be thinking of Alexander the
Great. He caused the most
destruction of Tyre
in 332 B. C..
From 1187 B. C. to 724 B.
C. Tyre was attacked 8 times, but of course the attack prior to Isaiah's
time wouldn't be what this prophecy is about.
Verses 2 and 3 simply
show how important Tyre
became to all the known world.
Shihor in verse 2 is an
in verse 4. It was just a
few miles north of
Tyre. The two towns were both
seaports. It appears that
is connected in this judgment as well.
is in fear of what is happening in
Tyre, as stated in verse 5. This
would only make sense because
is economically important to the whole region, and really, the whole
known world at the time.
You might view
as twin cities, especially in light of the fact that when they are
mentioned in the Newt Testament, they're mentioned together.
Note the word
"island" in verse 6. When
Alexander the Great attacked
, most people from Tyre
fled to an island just off shore. This
is what Isaiah might be referring to. It
took about three years, but Alexander the Great actually built a mile
long causeway from the mainland to this island.
was subdued by Alexander, this was during his short 13 year reign where
he took the
away from the Persians and replaced it with his Greek Empire.
Alexander lived from 356 B. B. to 323 B. C..
In verse 7 we see that
in the last chapter was a city of "revelry".
It was a party city. One
reason why we see God judging nations in the Bible is due to the spirit
of revelry that penetrates the land.
I would suggest that the western world today is comprised of the
same kind of revelry and thus can expect the same judgment as we see
here in Isaiah 22 and elsewhere.
Again in verse 8 we see
the renown of the great city of Tyre. It doesn't matter how
great a city or nation is; it will fall to God's judgment when it
refuses to submit to God's will.
Verse 8 asks the
question, "Who planned the attack on
Tyre"? People would think
in terms of other national leaders attacking the city, but verse 9 says
differently. It is the Lord
Almighty who planned the attack. Of
course the Lord uses men like Alexander the Great to carry out His will,
even though men like Alexander don't know they're being used by God.
The reason stated in
verse 9 for the attack is "pride".
So we have a couple reasons for judgment stated in this chapter.
One is revelry and the other is pride.
Pride is another fact of life for western nations these days.
The west will have its turn at judgment.
You can count on that.
Verse 10 speaks of the
daughter of Tarshish. I
believe that is in reference to Tyre.
might be the daughter of Tarshish because Tarshish does so much trading
with her and derives much of her income and commerce.
in verse 11. This is the
ethnic area where
are located in. People in
this area of the
were called Phoenicians.
Verse 11 seems to suggest
an area wide devastation. As
I've said earlier, this might well be in reference to Alexander the
Great's conquest of the whole area.
He is one of histories most highly respected warriors.
When it was all said and done, he conquered from western Africa
, as well as the northern shore of the
before he died at the age of 33.
Verse 12 speaks of those
crossing over the sea to Cyprus. As I've also said earlier,
when Alexander the Great invaded this part of the Middle East those
along the Mediterranean coast line fled to islands in the sea, one of
which would have been Cyprus.
Verse 13 speaks of
and Assyria. It appears that Isaiah is
as an example of destruction. That
being said, it's important to know that some manuscripts actually have
the word Cadlean instead of
which would make more sense.
the empire was overtaken by the Medes and Persians, not the Assyrians.
the city would have fallen to the Assyrian empire, but not the empire of
Canaan or the Caldeans however, did fall to the Assyrians.
Verse 14 speaks of the
association again that Tarshish has with Tyre. These two cities depend on each other when it comes to trade and
Verse 15 speaks of the
destruction of Tyre
lasting 70 years. At the
moment I have no historical evidence of this taking place, but you can
be sure it did. We know that
came back to life because we see it mentioned in the New Testament.
Verse 16 appears to be a
song sung by a forgotten prostitute.
is compared to a prostitute who has long sense been forgotten but
returns to the street with her harp and song.
The reason why Isaiah
to a prostitute is seen in verse 17.
is a seaport, her wealth is made from trade with many nations.
In fact she prostitutes herself in order to make her wealth.
She is willing to trade with anyone and everyone, no matter if
she has to compromise by doing so.
Verse 18 ends this
chapter. It speaks to a
future time when Tyre
is seen serving the Lord. We
have to take this to mean after Jesus returns to this earth and rules
hasn't served the Lord as yet. We
need to remember, in that day, as it is now;
will be part of Israel.
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