Isaiah 23 – “Lamenting Tyre”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
The people of Tyre are urged to lament their city’s demise. They are told that God planned the destruction and that he will rebuild the city in 70 years.

II. Photo
The Tyrinians are forced to move inland: “Traverse your land like the Nile, fair Tarshish; This is a harbor no more!” (v. 10)

III. Important Verses
1b: Howl, you ships of Tarshish! For havoc has been wrought, not a house is left; As they came from the land of Kittim, This was revealed to them.
7-9: Was such your merry city In former times, of yore? Did her feet carry her off To sojourn far away? Who was it that planned this For crown-wearing Tyre, Whose merchants were nobles, Whose traders the world honored? The LORD of Hosts planned it — To defile all glorious beauty, To shame all the honored of the world.
15-17:  In that day, Tyre shall remain forgotten for seventy years, equaling the lifetime of one king. After a lapse of seventy years, it shall go with Tyre as with the harlot in the ditty: Take a lyre, go about the town, Harlot long forgotten; Sweetly play, make much music, To bring you back to mind.  For after a lapse of seventy years, the LORD will take note of Tyre, and she shall resume her “fee-taking” and “play the harlot” with all the kingdoms of the world, on the face of the earth.

IV. Outline
1a. Introduction: the Tyre pronouncement
1b-6. Calls to lament
7-9. God’s plan
10-14. Lament for Tyre
15-18. Tyre will be prosper after 70 years

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Blenkinsopp, Joseph. “Isaiah 1-39” The Anchor Bible vol. 19 (New York: Doubleday, 2000).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Sweeney, Marvin A. “Isaiah 1-39 with an Introduction to Prophetic Literature” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 16 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1996).
Photo taken from