Dave Burnette's Commentary

Isaiah Chapter 23

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Isaiah
Date Penned: (700-681 BC)
Overview: To Tell of God's Salvation through the Messiah (c 1-66)
Theme: Words of Judgment (c 1-39)
Message: Prophecy Against Tyre (v 1-18)

Isaiah 23 Commentary 

(23:1) Tyre - Isaiah's prophecies against other nations began in the east with Babylon (Isaiah 13) and ended in the west with Tyre in Phenicia. Tyre was one of the most famous cities in the ancient world. A major trading center with a large seaport, Tyre was very wealthy and very evil. Tyre (Tyrus) was rebuked by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:22, 27; 47:4), Ezekiel (Ezekiel 26-28), Joel (Joel 3:4-8), Amos (Amos 1:9-10), and Zechariah (Zechariah 9:3=4). This warning against political alliances with unstable neighbors applies to nations and also to us. We must carefully choose our closest partners and friends. 

(23:5) Egypt's Parter - Why would Egypt be "sorely pained" when Tyre fell? Egypt depended on Tyre's shipping expertise to promote and carry their products around the world. Egypt would lose an important trading partner with the fall of Tyre. 

(23:9) Pride - God would destroy Tyre because of its people's pride. Pride separates people from God, and he will not tolerate it. As we examine our lives, we must remember that all true accomplishment comes with the help of our creator, who gave us our gifts and talents. We have no reason to take pride in ourselves. 

(23:13) A Babylonian Prophecy - Assyria invaded Tyre in 705 BC and again in 681-669 BC. This message is astounding, however, because it prophesies that the Chaldeans (Babylonians), not yet a world power, would destroy Tyre. They did so in 572 BC, a century after Isaiah made this prophecy. 

(23:15-16) 70 Year Captivity - Some believe this is a literal 70 years; some say it is symbolic of a long period of time. If it is literal, this may have occurred between 700 and 630 BC, during the Assyrian captivity of Israel, or it may have been during the 70-year captivity of the Jews in Babylon (605-536 BC). During the 70 years, the Jews would forget about Tyre. But when they returned from captivity, they would once again trade with this city.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

The Lord Hates Pride

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today, we continue in the Book of Isaiah with Chapter 23. In our text today, we see the final prophecies of Isaiah and the prophecy of Tyre. God destroyed Tyre because of its people's pride. God hates pride because it separates us from a Holy God. Today, we see society embracing pride. From sports to business to our social lives, pride is celebrated in the world, but God Hates a Proud Look. How about you? Are you a Proud Person? Let us learn from our text today and the Prophesy of Tyre to remember that our Lord hates pride because it is a form of self-worship and separates us from the Lord.


Isaiah 23

Isaiah 23

 1The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.

 2Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished.

 3And by great waters the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river, is her revenue; and she is a mart of nations.

 4Be thou ashamed, O Zidon: for the sea hath spoken, even the strength of the sea, saying, I travail not, nor bring forth children, neither do I nourish up young men, nor bring up virgins.

 5As at the report concerning Egypt, so shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre.

 6Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle.

 7Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn.

 8Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth?

 9The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.

 10Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish: there is no more strength.

 11He stretched out his hand over the sea, he shook the kingdoms: the LORD hath given a commandment against the merchant city, to destroy the strong holds thereof.

 12And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon: arise, pass over to Chittim; there also shalt thou have no rest.

 13Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness: they set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; and he brought it to ruin.

 14Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste.

 15And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot.

 16Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.

 17And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth.

 18And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.