The Book of Isaiah Bible Study Chapter 23 Part 2

On to Isaiah 23:6-12

v6: Note: Because of this judgment, that is going to be placed upon these two Lebanese cities (Tyre and Sidon), there is going to be great lamentation. This lamentation will not only affect Lebanon, but other countries are going to feel the adverse effects of this judgment and they will wail too. This teaches us an important principle: Our sin doesn’t only affect us. It can also affect others in a very adverse way. When we reap the consequences (judgment) for our sin, others may also suffer. 

v7: Joyous: These cities in Lebanon had been full of joy because others had built them up and made them prosperous. They reaped the benefits of the labours of others. This caused them much joy. 

  • Whose antiquity (history) is from ancient days: They have had a long history of prosperity, success, wealth and great joy. Their payday is coming. All that made them joyful is going to be taken away from them. 
  • Feet carried her far off: Because of this judgment, people are going to leave or abandon Lebanon. 

v8: Who has taken this counsel: The question being asked here is: who is the source of this judgment? 

  • Counsel: G-d has provided information; He has given revelation as to why this is happening to Tyre (see Isaiah 23:9)
  • Crowning city: This was a city that was highly exalted. It had great authority and power. 
  • Princes: High officials 
  • Traders: Merchants
  • Honourable: They were very influential. 

v9: L-rd of hosts (L-rd of the armies): This is not a term for G-d used in the law of Moses, but the prophets very frequently use this name for the L-rd. It is a name that speaks of G-d’s power and ability to carry out His Word. 

  • Bring to dishonour: To bring it low or to make it less. 

Note: Everyone is going to see this judgment of G-d when it is placed upon these cities in Lebanon. 

v10: Overflow (pass) through your land: Have a look at your land and see what has happened. They will see that there is no longer anything desirable or powerful left in their nation. 

  • River: This is specifically referring to the Nile River. The Nile flowed strongly, and it moved very quickly. It was a mighty river. 

v11: He: G-d. 

  • Canaan: In Hebrew this is a word that can either refer to the Promised Land, or it is a word that can be used to refer to a merchant. In this context it is referring to the latter. This can be proved grammatically within the text. ‘Merchant’ is a word that is written in the third person feminine singular. “Strongholds’ is also written in the third person feminine singular. When the word for Canaan is used to refer to the Promised land it is written in the masculine singular. Tenses need to agree with each other, therefore in this context Canaan should be read ‘(the) merchant’. 

v12: Oppressed: Many people who are prosperous and wealthy do not consider the widow, the orphan or the stranger, but they use their wealth on themselves and on their own desires. A Biblical principle is that the measure we use for others is the measure that we ourselves will receive (Matt 7:2). Sidon had oppressed others and now that measure was going to be returned to them, whereby they would now become the ones oppressed. The prosperity that they had enjoyed for themselves for so many generations, was going to be removed from them. 

  • Cyprus: Cyprus was not very far away from Lebanon. It was a fairly short westward crossing on the Mediterranean. 
  • There also you will have no rest: The people who left Lebanon and went to Cyprus, thinking that things would go better for them there, would soon realise that even in Cyprus they would still be suffering. 

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