Isaiah 23

1The sad message about Tyre: You ships from Tarshish, be sad! Your harbor has been destroyed. (The people on these ships were told this news while on their way from the land of Kittim.) 2You people living near the sea should stop and be sad. Tyre was the “Merchant of Sidon.” That city by the sea sent businessmen across the seas, and those men filled you with riches. 3Those men traveled the seas looking for grain. Those men from Tyre bought the grain that grows near the Nile River, and they sold the grain to other nations. 4Sidon, you should be very sad. Why? Because now the Sea, and the Fort of the Sea say: I have no children. I have not felt the pain of birth. I have not given birth to children. I have not raised young men and women. 5Egypt will hear the news about Tyre. This news will make Egypt hurt with sorrow. 6You ships should return to Tarshish. You people living near the sea should be sad. 7In the past, you enjoyed the city of Tyre. That city has been growing since the beginning. People from that city have traveled far away to live. 8The city of Tyre has produced many leaders. Businessmen from that city are like princes. The people that buy and sell things are honored everywhere. So who made plans against Tyre? 9It was the Lord All-Powerful. He decided to make them not important. 10You ships from Tarshish should go back to your country. Cross the sea like it is a small river. No person will stop you now. 11The Lord has stretched his arm over the sea. The Lord is gathering kingdoms to fight against Tyre. The Lord commands Canaan to destroy ˻Tyre˼, her place of safety. 12The Lord says, ”Virgin Daughter of Sidon, you will be destroyed. You will not rejoice any more.” ˻But the people of Tyre say,˼ ”Cyprus will help us!” But if you cross the sea to Cyprus, you will not find a place to rest. 13˻So the people of Tyre say,˼ ”The people of Babylon will help us!” But look at the land of the Chaldeans! Babylon is not a country now. Assyria attacked Babylon and built war towers around it. The soldiers took everything from the beautiful houses. Assyria made Babylon a place for wild animals. They changed Babylon into a place of ruins. 14So, be sad, you ships from Tarshish. Your place of safety ˻(Tyre)˼ will be destroyed. 15People will forget about Tyre for 70 years. (That is, about the length of a certain king’s rule.) After 70 years, Tyre will be like the prostitute in this song: 16Oh woman that men forgot, take your harp and walk through the city. Play your song well. Sing your song often. Then maybe people will remember you. 17After 70 years, the Lord will review Tyre’s case, and he will give her a decision. Tyre will again have trade. Tyre will be like a prostitute for all the nations on earth. 18But Tyre will not keep the money she earns. Tyre’s profit from her trade will be saved for the Lord. Tyre will give that profit to the people that serve the Lord. So the Lord’s servants will eat until they are full, and they will wear nice clothes.

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