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A Message about Phoenicia

23 (A)This is a message about Tyre.

Howl with grief, you sailors out on the ocean! Your home port of Tyre has been destroyed; its houses and its harbor are in ruins. As your ships return from Cyprus, you learn the news. Wail, you merchants of Sidon! You sent agents across the sea to buy and sell the grain that grew in Egypt and to do business with all the nations.

City of Sidon, you are disgraced! The sea and the great ocean depths disown you and say, “I never had any children. I never raised sons or daughters.”

Even the Egyptians will be shocked and dismayed when they learn that Tyre has been destroyed.

Howl with grief, you people of Phoenicia! Try to escape to Spain! Can this be the joyful city of Tyre, founded so long ago? Is this the city that sent settlers across the sea to establish colonies? Who was it that planned to bring all this on Tyre, that imperial city, whose merchant princes were the most honored men on earth? The Lord Almighty planned it. He planned it in order to put an end to their pride in what they had done and to humiliate their honored ones.

10 Go and farm the land, you people in the colonies in Spain! There is no one to protect you any more.[a] 11 The Lord has stretched out his hand over the sea and overthrown kingdoms. He has commanded that the Phoenician centers of commerce be destroyed. 12 City of Sidon, your happiness has ended, and your people are oppressed. Even if they escape to Cyprus, they will still not be safe.

13 (It was the Babylonians, not the Assyrians, who let the wild animals overrun Tyre. It was the Babylonians who put up siege towers, tore down the fortifications of Tyre, and left the city in ruins.[b])

14 Howl with grief, you sailors out on the ocean! The city you relied on has been destroyed.

15 A time is coming when Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the lifetime of a king. When those years are over, Tyre will be like the prostitute in the song:

16 Take your harp, go round the town,
    you poor forgotten whore!
Play and sing your songs again
    to bring men back once more.

17 When the seventy years are over, the Lord will let Tyre go back to her old trade, and she will hire herself out to all the kingdoms of the world. 18 The money she earns by commerce will be dedicated to the Lord. She will not store it away, but those who worship the Lord will use her money to buy the food and the clothing they need.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 23:10 Verse 10 in Hebrew is unclear.
  2. Isaiah 23:13 Verse 13 in Hebrew is unclear.

Prophecy against Tyre

26 (A)On the first day of the … month[a] of the eleventh year of our exile, the Lord spoke to me. “Mortal man,” he said, “this is what the people in the city of Tyre are cheering about. They shout, ‘Jerusalem is shattered! Her commercial power is gone! She won't be our rival any more!’

“Now then, this is what I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying: I am your enemy, city of Tyre. I will bring many nations to attack you, and they will come like the waves of the sea. They will destroy your city walls and tear down your towers. Then I will sweep away all the dust and leave only a bare rock. Fishermen will dry their nets on it, there where it stands in the sea. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. The nations will plunder Tyre, and with their swords they will kill those who live in her towns on the mainland. Then Tyre will know that I am the Lord.”

The Sovereign Lord says, “I am going to bring the greatest king of all—King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia—to attack Tyre. He will come from the north with a huge army, with horses and chariots and with cavalry. Those who live in the towns on the mainland will be killed in the fighting. The enemy will dig trenches, build earthworks, and make a solid wall of shields against you. They will pound in your walls with battering rams and tear down your towers with iron bars. 10 The clouds of dust raised by their horses will cover you. The noise of their horses pulling wagons and chariots will shake your walls as they pass through the gates of the ruined city. 11 Their cavalry will storm through your streets, killing your people with their swords. Your mighty pillars will be thrown to the ground. 12 Your enemies will help themselves to your wealth and merchandise. They will pull down your walls and shatter your luxurious houses. They will take the stones and wood and all the rubble, and dump them into the sea. 13 (B)I will put an end to all your songs, and I will silence the music of your harps. 14 I will leave only a bare rock where fishermen can dry their nets. The city will never be rebuilt. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken.”

15 The Sovereign Lord has this to say to the city of Tyre: “When you are being conquered, the people who live along the coast will be terrified at the screams of those who are slaughtered. 16 (C)All the kings of the seafaring nations will come down from their thrones. They will take off their robes and their embroidered clothes and sit trembling on the ground. They will be so terrified at your fate that they will not be able to stop trembling. 17 They will sing this funeral song for you:

The famous city is destroyed!
Her ships have been swept[b] from the seas.
The people of this city ruled the seas
And terrified all who lived on the coast.
18 Now, on the day it has fallen,
The islands are trembling,
And their people are shocked at such destruction.”

19 The Sovereign Lord says: “I will make you as desolate as ruined cities where no one lives. I will cover you with the water of the ocean depths. 20 I will send you down to the world of the dead to join the people who lived in ancient times. I will make you stay in that underground world among eternal ruins, keeping company with the dead. As a result you will never again be inhabited and take your place[c] in the land of the living. 21 (D)I will make you a terrifying example, and that will be the end of you. People may look for you, but you will never be found.” The Sovereign Lord has spoken.

A Funeral Song for Tyre

27 The Lord said to me, “Mortal man, sing a funeral song for Tyre, that city which stands at the edge of the sea and does business with the people living on every seacoast. Tell her what the Sovereign Lord is saying:

“Tyre, you boasted of your perfect beauty.
Your home is the sea.
Your builders made you like a beautiful ship;
They used fir trees from Mount Hermon for timber
And a cedar from Lebanon for your mast.
They took oak trees from Bashan to make oars;
They made your deck out of pine from Cyprus
And inlaid it with ivory.
Your sails were made of linen,
Embroidered linen from Egypt,
Easily recognized from afar.
Your awnings were made of finest cloth,
Of purple from the island of Cyprus.
Your oarsmen were from the cities of Sidon and Arvad.
Your own skillful men were the sailors.
The ship's carpenters
Were well-trained men from Byblos.
Sailors from every seagoing ship
Did business in your shops.

10 “Soldiers from Persia, Lydia, and Libya served in your army. They hung their shields and their helmets in your barracks. They are the men who won glory for you. 11 Soldiers from Arvad guarded your walls, and troops from Gamad guarded your towers. They hung their shields on your walls. They are the ones who made you beautiful.

12 “You did business in Spain and took silver, iron, tin, and lead in payment for your abundant goods. 13 You did business in Greece, Tubal, and Meshech and traded your goods for slaves and for articles of bronze. 14 You sold your goods for workhorses, war-horses, and mules from Beth Togarmah. 15 The people of Rhodes[d] traded with you; people of many coastal lands gave you ivory and ebony in exchange for your goods. 16 The people of Syria bought your merchandise and your many products. They gave emeralds, purple cloth, embroidery, fine linen, coral, and rubies in payment for your wares. 17 Judah and Israel paid for your goods with wheat,[e] honey, olive oil, and spices. 18-19 The people of Damascus bought your merchandise and your products, paying for them with wine from Helbon and wool from Sahar.[f] They traded wrought iron and spices for your goods. 20 The people of Dedan traded saddle blankets for your goods. 21 The Arabians and the rulers of the land of Kedar paid for your merchandise with lambs, sheep, and goats. 22 For your goods the merchants of Sheba and Raamah traded jewels, gold, and the finest spices. 23 The cities of Haran, Canneh, and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, the cities of Asshur and Chilmad—they all traded with you. 24 They sold you luxurious clothing, purple cloth, and embroidery, brightly colored carpets, and well-made cords and ropes. 25 (E)Your merchandise was carried in fleets of the largest cargo ships.

“You were like a ship at sea
Loaded with heavy cargo.
26 When your oarsmen brought you out to sea,
An east wind wrecked you far from land.
27 All your wealth of merchandise,
All the sailors in your crew,
Your ship's carpenters and your merchants,
Every soldier on board the ship—
All, all were lost at sea
When your ship was wrecked.
28 The shouts of the drowning sailors
Echoed on the shore.

29 “Every ship is now deserted,
And every sailor has gone ashore.
30 They all mourn bitterly for you,
Throwing dust on their heads and rolling in ashes.
31 They shave their heads for you
And dress themselves in sackcloth.
Their hearts are bitter as they weep.
32 They chant a funeral song for you:
‘Who can be compared to Tyre,
To Tyre now silent in the sea?
33 When your merchandise went overseas,
You filled the needs of every nation.
Kings were made rich
By the wealth of your goods.
34 Now you are wrecked in the sea;
You have sunk to the ocean depths.
Your goods and all who worked for you
Have vanished with you in the sea.’

35 “Everyone who lives along the coast is shocked at your fate. Even their kings are terrified, and fear is written on their faces. 36 You are gone, gone forever, and merchants all over the world are terrified, afraid that they will share your fate.”

Prophecy against the King of Tyre

28 The Lord spoke to me. “Mortal man,” he said, “tell the ruler of Tyre what I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying to him: Puffed up with pride, you claim to be a god. You say that like a god you sit on a throne, surrounded by the seas. You may pretend to be a god, but, no, you are mortal, not divine. You think you are wiser than Danel,[g] that no secret can be kept from you. Your wisdom and skill made you rich with treasures of gold and silver. You made clever business deals and kept on making profits. How proud you are of your wealth!

“Now then, this is what I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying: Because you think you are as wise as a god, I will bring ruthless enemies to attack you. They will destroy all the beautiful things you have acquired by skill and wisdom. They will kill you and send you to a watery grave. When they come to kill you, will you still claim that you are a god? When you face your murderers, you will be mortal and not at all divine. 10 You will die like a dog at the hand of godless foreigners. I, the Sovereign Lord, have given the command.”

The Fall of the King of Tyre

11 The Lord spoke to me again. 12 “Mortal man,” he said, “grieve for the fate that is waiting for the king of Tyre. Tell him what I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying: You were once an example of perfection. How wise and handsome you were! 13 You lived in Eden, the garden of God, and wore gems of every kind: rubies and diamonds; topaz, beryl, carnelian, and jasper; sapphires, emeralds, and garnets. You had ornaments of gold. They were made for you[h] on the day you were created. 14 I put a terrifying angel there to guard you.[i] You lived on my holy mountain and walked among sparkling gems. 15 Your conduct was perfect from the day you were created until you began to do evil. 16 You were busy buying and selling, and this led you to violence and sin. So I forced you to leave my holy mountain, and the angel who guarded you drove you away from the sparkling gems. 17 You were proud of being handsome, and your fame made you act like a fool. Because of this I hurled you to the ground and left you as a warning to other kings. 18 You did such evil in buying and selling that your places of worship were corrupted. So I set fire to the city and burned it to the ground. All who look at you now see you reduced to ashes. 19 You are gone, gone forever, and all the nations that had come to know you are terrified, afraid that they will share your fate.”

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 26:1 month; the Hebrew text does not specify the month.
  2. Ezekiel 26:17 Some ancient translations swept; Hebrew inhabited.
  3. Ezekiel 26:20 One ancient translation and take your place; Hebrew unclear.
  4. Ezekiel 27:15 One ancient translation Rhodes; Hebrew Dedan.
  5. Ezekiel 27:17 Hebrew has two additional words, the meaning of which is unclear.
  6. Ezekiel 27:18 Hebrew has three additional words, the meaning of which is unclear.
  7. Ezekiel 28:3 Danel; or Daniel (see 14.14).
  8. Ezekiel 28:13 Probable text They were made for you; Hebrew unclear.
  9. Ezekiel 28:14 One ancient translation I put … you; Hebrew unclear.

(A)“What are you trying to do to me, Tyre, Sidon, and all of Philistia? Are you trying to pay me back for something? If you are, I will quickly pay you back! You have taken my silver and gold and carried my rich treasures into your temples. You have taken the people of Judah and Jerusalem far from their own country and sold them to the Greeks. Now I am going to bring them out of the places to which you have sold them. I will do to you what you have done to them. I will let your sons and daughters be sold to the people of Judah; they will sell them to the far-off Sabeans. I, the Lord, have spoken.

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Judgment on Neighboring Nations

(A)This is the Lord's message:

He has decreed punishment for the land of Hadrach and for the city of Damascus. Not only the tribes of Israel but also the capital of Syria belong to the Lord. Hamath, which borders on Hadrach, also belongs to him, and so do the cities of Tyre and Sidon, with all their skill. Tyre has built fortifications for herself and has piled up so much silver and gold that it is as common as dirt! But the Lord will take away everything she has. He will throw her wealth into the sea, and the city will be burned to the ground.

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21 (A)“How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin! How terrible for you too, Bethsaida! If the miracles which were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have long ago put on sackcloth and sprinkled ashes on themselves, to show that they had turned from their sins! 22 I assure you that on the Judgment Day God will show more mercy to the people of Tyre and Sidon than to you!

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The Unbelieving Towns(A)

13 (B)“How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin! How terrible for you too, Bethsaida! If the miracles which were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, the people there would have long ago sat down, put on sackcloth, and sprinkled ashes on themselves, to show that they had turned from their sins! 14 God will show more mercy on the Judgment Day to Tyre and Sidon than to you.

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