Isaiah 23

God’s Message to Lebanon

23 This is a message about Tyre:

You trading ships, cry!
The houses and harbor of Tyre are destroyed.
This news came to the ships
from the land of Cyprus.
2 Be silent, you who live on the island of Tyre;
you merchants of Sidon, be silent.
Sailors have made you rich.
3 They traveled the sea to bring grain from Egypt;
the sailors of Tyre brought grain from the Nile Valley
and sold it to other nations.

4 Sidon, be ashamed.
Strong city of the sea, be ashamed, because the sea says:
“I have not felt the pain of giving birth;
I have not reared young men or women.”
5 Egypt will hear the news about Tyre,
and it will make Egypt hurt with sorrow.

6 You ships should return to Tarshish.
You people living near the sea should be sad.
7 Look at your once happy city!
Look at your old, old city!
People from that city have traveled
far away to live.
8 Who planned Tyre’s destruction?
Tyre made others rich.
Its merchants were treated like princes,
and its traders were greatly respected.
9 It was the Lord All-Powerful who planned this.
He decided to make these proud people unimportant;
he decided to disgrace those who were greatly respected.
10 Go through your land, people of Tarshish,
like the Nile goes through Egypt.
There is no harbor for you now!
11 The Lord has stretched his hand over the sea
and made its kingdoms tremble.
He commands that Canaan’s
strong, walled cities be destroyed.
12 He said, “Sidon, you will not rejoice any longer,
because you are destroyed.
Even if you cross the sea to Cyprus,
you will not find a place to rest.”
13 Look at the land of the Babylonians;
it is not a country now.
Assyria has made it a place for wild animals.
Assyria built towers to attack it;
the soldiers took all the treasures from its cities,
and they turned it into ruins.
14 So be sad, you trading ships,
because your strong city is destroyed.

15 At that time people will forget about Tyre for seventy years, which is the length of a king’s life. After seventy years, Tyre will be like the prostitute in this song:

16 “Oh woman, you are forgotten.
Take your harp and walk through the city.
Play your harp well. Sing your song often.
Then people will remember you.”

17 After seventy years the Lord will deal with Tyre, and it will again have trade. It will be like a prostitute for all the nations of the earth. 18 The profits will be saved for the Lord. Tyre will not keep the money she earns but will give them to the people who serve the Lord, so they will have plenty of food and nice clothes.

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