Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tyre - Sidon Isaiah 23

Isaiah 23:1 "The 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."

Tyre, also Tyrus, was a rich seaport city on the Mediterranean coast. It was where Hiram of King David and Solomon's time reigned. It was later destroyed by Alexander the Great. It flourished in New Testament times but is now a small town under Turkish rule.

Although friendly to David and Solomon, Tyre became hostile toward Israel and was guilty of idolatry.

v2 "Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Sidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished."

Tyre was colonized from Sidon. Here we see the connection broken in commerce. The isle are told to be still. There is no need to send loads of cargo to Tyre for it is gone.

v7 "Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn."

And so it was that when the city was destroyed, the people were marched off to a foreign land.

v11 "He stretched out his hand over the sea, he shook the kingdoms; the LORD hath given a commandment against the merchant city, to destroy the strongholds thereof."

For seventy years Tyre is forgotten but then comes back for a time. Trade resumed but it appears that there was no profit retained.

v18 "And 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."

One of the great sins of the time was that the poor had been forgotten. That which should have gone to the poor was hoarded up by the rich. So, that has changed in the above verse.

We have seen the pronouncement of judgment on many areas of what is often called the Bible land. For a good summary of what has been happening, Jeremiah chapter 25 would be a good read.

Jeremiah 25:11 "And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years."

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