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Isaiah 23:2-4

Context

23:2 Lament, 1  you residents of the coast,

you merchants of Sidon 2  who travel over the sea,

whose agents sail over 23:3 the deep waters! 3 

Grain from the Shihor region, 4 

crops grown near the Nile 5  she receives; 6 

she is the trade center 7  of the nations.

23:4 Be ashamed, O Sidon,

for the sea 8  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.” 9 

Isaiah 23:12

Context

23:12 He said,

“You will no longer celebrate,

oppressed 10  virgin daughter Sidon!

Get up, travel to Cyprus,

but you will find no relief there.” 11 

1 tn Or “keep quiet”; NAB “Silence!”

2 map For location see Map1 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

3 tc The Hebrew text (23:2b-3a) reads literally, “merchant of Sidon, the one who crosses the sea, they filled you, and on the deep waters.” Instead of מִלְאוּךְ (milukh, “they filled you”) the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa reads מלאכיך (“your messengers”). The translation assumes an emendation of מִלְאוּךְ to מַלְאָכָו (malakhav, “his messengers”), taking the vav (ו) on וּבְמַיִם (uvÿmayim) as improperly placed; instead it should be the final letter of the preceding word.

4 tn Heb “seed of Shihor.” “Shihor” probably refers to the east branch of the Nile. See Jer 2:18 and BDB 1009 s.v. שִׁיחוֹר.

5 tn Heb “the harvest of the Nile.”

6 tn Heb “[is] her revenue.”

7 tn Heb “merchandise”; KJV, ASV “a mart of nations”; NLT “the merchandise mart of the world.”

8 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 (maoz 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.

9 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.

10 tn Or “violated, raped,” the point being that Daughter Sidon has lost her virginity in the most brutal manner possible.

11 tn Heb “[to the] Kittim, get up, cross over; even there there will be no rest for you.” On “Kittim” see the note on “Cyprus” at v. 1.



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