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Be ashamed, O Sidon,
for the sea[a] says this, O fortress of the sea:
“I have not gone into labor
or given birth;
I have not raised young men
or brought up young women.”[b]

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Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 23:4 tn J. N. Oswalt (Isaiah [NICOT], 1:430-31) sees here a reference to Yam, the Canaanite god of the sea. He interprets the phrase מָעוֹז הַיָּם (maʿoz hayyam, “fortress of the sea”) as a title of Yam, translating “Mighty One of the Sea.” A more traditional view is that the phrase refers to Sidon.
  2. Isaiah 23:4 tn Or “virgins” (KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB).sn The sea is personified here as a lamenting childless woman. The foreboding language anticipates the following announcement of Tyre’s demise, viewed here as a child of the sea, as it were.

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