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Isaiah 23:1-2

Context
The Lord Will Judge Tyre

23:1 Here is a message about Tyre:

Wail, you large ships, 1 

for the port is too devastated to enter! 2 

From the land of Cyprus 3  this news is announced to them.

23:2 Lament, 4  you residents of the coast,

you merchants of Sidon 5  who travel over the sea,

whose agents sail over

1 tn Heb “ships of Tarshish.” This probably refers to large ships either made in or capable of traveling to the distant western port of Tarshish.

2 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “for it is destroyed, from a house, from entering.” The translation assumes that the mem (מ) on בַּיִת (bayit) was originally an enclitic mem suffixed to the preceding verb. This assumption allows one to take בַּיִת as the subject of the preceding verb. It is used in a metaphorical sense for the port city of Tyre. The preposition min (מִן) prefixed to בּוֹא (bo’) indicates negative consequence: “so that no one can enter.” See BDB 583 s.v. מִן 7.b.

3 tn Heb “the Kittim,” a designation for the people of Cyprus. See HALOT 504-05 s.v. כִּתִּיִּים.

4 tn Or “keep quiet”; NAB “Silence!”

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



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