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Isaiah 23 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

A Prophecy Against Tyre

23 Here is a prophecy against Tyre that the Lord gave me.

Men in the ships of Tarshish, cry out!
    The city of Tyre is destroyed.
    Its houses and harbor are gone.
That’s the message you have received
    from the island of Cyprus.

People on the island of Tyre, be silent.
    Traders from the city of Sidon, be quiet.
    Those who sail on the Mediterranean Sea have made you rich.
Grain from Egypt
    came across the mighty waters.
The harvest of the Nile River brought wealth to Tyre.
    It became the market place of the nations.

Sidon, be ashamed. Mighty Tyre out in the sea, be ashamed.
    The sea has spoken. It has said,
“It’s as if I had never felt labor pains or had children.
    It’s as if I had never brought up sons or daughters.
    It’s as if the city of Tyre had never existed.”
The Egyptians will hear about what has happened to Tyre.
    They’ll be very sad and troubled.

People of the island of Tyre, cry out!
    Go across the sea to Tarshish.
Just look at Tyre.
    It’s no longer the old, old city that was known for its wild parties.
It no longer sends its people out
    to make their homes in lands far away.
Tyre was a city that produced kings.
    Its traders were princes.
They were honored all over the earth.
    So who planned to destroy such a city?
The Lord who rules over all planned to do it.
    He wanted to bring down all its pride and glory.
    He wanted to shame those who were honored all over the earth.

10 People of Tarshish, farm your land
    as they do along the Nile River.
    That’s because you don’t have a harbor anymore.
11 The Lord has reached his powerful hand out over the sea.
    He has made its kingdoms tremble with fear.
He has given a command concerning Phoenicia.
    He has ordered that its forts be destroyed.
12 He said, “No more wild parties for you!
    People of Sidon, you are now destroyed!

“Leave your city. Go across the sea to Cyprus.
    Even there you will not find any rest.”
13 Look at the land of the Babylonians.
    No one lives there anymore.
The Assyrians have turned it
    into a place for desert creatures.
They built their towers in order to attack it.
    They took everything out of its forts.
    They knocked down all its buildings.

14 Men in the ships of Tarshish, cry out!
    Mighty Tyre is destroyed!

15 A time is coming when people will forget about Tyre for 70 years. That’s the length of a king’s life. But at the end of those 70 years, Tyre will be like the prostitute that people sing about. They say,

16 “Forgotten prostitute, pick up a harp.
    Walk through the city.
Play the harp well. Sing many songs.
    Then you will be remembered.”

17 At the end of the 70 years, the Lord will punish Tyre. He will let it return to its way of life as a prostitute. It will earn its living with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. 18 But the money it earns will be set apart for the Lord. The money won’t be stored up or kept for Tyre. Instead, it will go to those who live the way the Lord wants them to. It will pay for plenty of food and fine clothes for them.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Isaiah 23 New International Version (NIV)

A Prophecy Against Tyre

23 A prophecy against Tyre:

Wail, you ships of Tarshish!
    For Tyre is destroyed
    and left without house or harbor.
From the land of Cyprus
    word has come to them.

Be silent, you people of the island
    and you merchants of Sidon,
    whom the seafarers have enriched.
On the great waters
    came the grain of the Shihor;
the harvest of the Nile[a] was the revenue of Tyre,
    and she became the marketplace of the nations.

Be ashamed, Sidon, and you fortress of the sea,
    for the sea has spoken:
“I have neither been in labor nor given birth;
    I have neither reared sons nor brought up daughters.”
When word comes to Egypt,
    they will be in anguish at the report from Tyre.

Cross over to Tarshish;
    wail, you people of the island.
Is this your city of revelry,
    the old, old city,
whose feet have taken her
    to settle in far-off lands?
Who planned this against Tyre,
    the bestower of crowns,
whose merchants are princes,
    whose traders are renowned in the earth?
The Lord Almighty planned it,
    to bring down her pride in all her splendor
    and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.

10 Till[b] your land as they do along the Nile,
    Daughter Tarshish,
    for you no longer have a harbor.
11 The Lord has stretched out his hand over the sea
    and made its kingdoms tremble.
He has given an order concerning Phoenicia
    that her fortresses be destroyed.
12 He said, “No more of your reveling,
    Virgin Daughter Sidon, now crushed!

“Up, cross over to Cyprus;
    even there you will find no rest.”
13 Look at the land of the Babylonians,[c]
    this people that is now of no account!
The Assyrians have made it
    a place for desert creatures;
they raised up their siege towers,
    they stripped its fortresses bare
    and turned it into a ruin.

14 Wail, you ships of Tarshish;
    your fortress is destroyed!

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:

16 “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.”

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. 18 Yet her profit and her earnings will be set apart for the Lord; they will not be stored up or hoarded. Her profits will go to those who live before the Lord, for abundant food and fine clothes.


  1. Isaiah 23:3 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls Sidon, / who cross over the sea; / your envoys are on the great waters. / The grain of the Shihor, / the harvest of the Nile,
  2. Isaiah 23:10 Dead Sea Scrolls and some Septuagint manuscripts; Masoretic Text Go through
  3. Isaiah 23:13 Or Chaldeans
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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