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Isaiah 23 Living Bible (TLB)

23 This is God’s message to Tyre:

Weep, O ships of Tyre,[a] returning home from distant lands! Weep for your harbor, for it is gone! The rumors that you heard in Cyprus are all true. 2-3 Deathly silence is everywhere. Stillness reigns where once your hustling port was full of ships from Sidon, bringing merchandise from far across the ocean, from Egypt and along the Nile. You were the merchandise mart of the world. Be ashamed, O Sidon,* stronghold of the sea. For you are childless now! When Egypt hears the news, there will be great sorrow. Flee to Tarshish, men of Tyre, weeping as you go. This silent ruin is all that’s left of your once joyous land. What a history was yours! Think of all the colonists you sent to distant lands!

Who has brought this disaster on Tyre, empire builder and top trader of the world? The Commander of the armies of heaven has done it to destroy your pride and show his contempt for all the greatness of mankind. 10 Sail on, O ships of Tarshish, for your harbor is gone. 11 The Lord holds out his hand over the seas; he shakes the kingdoms of the earth; he has spoken out against this great merchant city, to destroy its strength.

12 He says, “Never again, O dishonored virgin, daughter of Sidon, will you rejoice, will you be strong. Even if you flee to Cyprus, you will find no rest.”

13 It will be the Babylonians, not the Assyrians, who consign Tyre to the wild beasts. They will lay siege to it, raze its palaces, and make it a heap of ruins. 14 Wail, you ships that ply the oceans, for your home port is destroyed!

15-16 For seventy years Tyre will be forgotten. Then, in the days of another king, the city will come back to life again; she will sing sweet songs as a harlot sings who, long absent from her lovers, walks the streets to look for them again and is remembered. 17 Yes, after seventy years, the Lord will revive Tyre, but she will be no different than she was before; she will return again to all her evil ways around the world. 18 Yet the distant time will come when[b] her businesses will give their profits to the Lord! They will not be hoarded but used for good food and fine clothes for the priests of the Lord!


  1. Isaiah 23:1 Tyre. Tyre was originally a colony of the mother city, Sidon. Also in v. 4.
  2. Isaiah 23:18 the distant time will come when, implied.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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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