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
23:8 Who planned this for royal Tyre, 3
whose merchants are princes,
whose traders are the dignitaries 4 of the earth?
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 (ma’oz 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.
3 tn The precise meaning of הַמַּעֲטִירָה (hamma’atirah) is uncertain. The form is a Hiphil participle from עָטַר (’atar), a denominative verb derived from עֲטָרָה (’atarah, “crown, wreath”). The participle may mean “one who wears a crown” or “one who distributes crowns.” In either case, Tyre’s prominence in the international political arena is in view.
4 tn Heb “the honored” (so NASB, NRSV); NIV “renowned.”