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Isaiah 23:4

Context

23:4 Be ashamed, O Sidon,

for the sea 1  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.” 2 

1 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.

2 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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