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Isaiah 23:5-7

Context

23:5 When the news reaches Egypt,

they will be shaken by what has happened to Tyre. 1 

23:6 Travel to Tarshish!

Wail, you residents of the coast!

23:7 Is this really your boisterous city 2 

whose origins are in the distant past, 3 

and whose feet led her to a distant land to reside?

Isaiah 23:10-12

Context

23:10 Daughter Tarshish, travel back to your land, as one crosses the Nile;

there is no longer any marketplace in Tyre. 4 

23:11 The Lord stretched out his hand over the sea, 5 

he shook kingdoms;

he 6  gave the order

to destroy Canaan’s fortresses. 7 

23:12 He said,

“You will no longer celebrate,

oppressed 8  virgin daughter Sidon!

Get up, travel to Cyprus,

but you will find no relief there.” 9 

1 tn Heb “they will be in pain at the report of Tyre.”

2 tn Heb “Is this to you, boisterous one?” The pronoun “you” is masculine plural, like the imperatives in v. 6, so it is likely addressed to the Egyptians and residents of the coast. “Boisterous one” is a feminine singular form, probably referring to the personified city of Tyre.

3 tn Heb “in the days of antiquity [is] her beginning.”

4 tc This meaning of this verse is unclear. The Hebrew text reads literally, “Cross over your land, like the Nile, daughter of Tarshish, there is no more waistband.” The translation assumes an emendation of מֵזַח (mezakh, “waistband”) to מָחֹז (makhoz, “harbor, marketplace”; see Ps 107:30). The term עָבַר (’avar, “cross over”) is probably used here of traveling over the water (as in v. 6). The command is addressed to personified Tarshish, who here represents her merchants. The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has עבדי (“work, cultivate”) instead of עִבְרִי (’ivri, “cross over”). In this case one might translate “Cultivate your land, like they do the Nile region” (cf. NIV, CEV). The point would be that the people of Tarshish should turn to agriculture because they will no longer be able to get what they need through the marketplace in Tyre.

5 tn Heb “his hand he stretched out over the sea.”

6 tn Heb “the Lord.” For stylistic reasons the pronoun (“he”) has been used in the translation here.

7 tn Heb “concerning Canaan, to destroy her fortresses.” NIV, NLT translate “Canaan” as “Phoenicia” here.

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

9 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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