Bible Study-ISA-Chapter 23

The Book of Isaiah

Chapter 23

The Burden of Tyre

     Old Tyre, the original settlement, was in Lebanon and New Tyre was on a rock island about ½ mile offshore in the Mediterranean Sea. It is this city, New Tyre, that this chapter of Isaiah is centered around. It was a well-fortified city because of its location and had two ports to serve commercial shipping, including these ships of Tarshish

     By 721 B.C. the city of Tyre was in full swing, economically, and at their height of prosperity. It had planted the great colony of Carthage 143 years and 8 months after the completion of the Temple by King Solomon.

     In 332 B.C. Alexander the Great and his armies began a siege against New Tyre after conquering the old city of Tyre. He was advancing his way toward Egypt and he did not want to leave Tyre unconquered, on his backside, as he marched forward.

     Because there was a wall built completely surrounding the island and approximately 150’ high on the land side, it seemed almost impregnable.

     So, Alexander began to build a ramp or causeway from the mainland to the island. They used rocks and timbers and rubble from old Tyre and began dumping them into the water. It was a monumental effort by his men that really didn’t help in taking down Tyre.

     Alexander’s ships got close enough to the southern walls of the city and began to batter them with rams and eventually breached the city and slaughtered all but 30,000 who were sold into slavery. (Hard to believe that the descendants of the African/Americans in this country were not the only peoples to suffer slavery. To hear the radical arm tell it, they were.)

     Our Father referred to Satan as the king of Tyrus in the book of Ezekiel and those words written there leave no doubt as to whom these verses are talking about:

     Ref --Ezekiel 28:11 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

     Ref --Ezekiel 28:12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

     Don’t let this phrase Son of man confuse you. It’s our Father talking to Ezekiel. That's what our Father calls him throughout this book.

     Ref--Ezekiel 28:13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

     There were only three souls in the Garden of Eden, other than our Father, and we’re not talking about Adam or Eve here so that leaves only one other….Satan.

     ℛef --Ezekiel 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

     Remember that he was the cherub that sat on one side of the Mercy Seat? The pride and glory within Satan, at that time, is the reason that you and I are sitting right where we are this afternoon.

     ℛef --Ezekiel 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

     ℛef --Ezekiel 28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

     ℛef --Ezekiel 28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

      ℛef --Ezekiel 28:18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

     ℛef --Ezekiel 28:19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more. KJV

    Thou shalt be a terror among souls because he has the God-given authority to try to convince you to love and follow him and as the book of Revelation states: he will deceive the entire world:

     ℛef --Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. KJV

     This event begins the five-month tribulation period of Satan/Antichrist. It will be the next major event in our lives and the beginning of the end of days. Should we be worried or scared? Not if you have the seal of God in your forehead.

     Did our Lord ever visit / speak of Tyre? Of course:

     ℛef--Matthew 11:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. KJV

     ℛef--Mark 7:24 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.

     ℛef--Luke 10:13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. KJV

     What is it that our Father wants us to learn from this chapter? I can sum it all up to one word: COMMERCIALISM. Keep that in your mind as we go through this chapter.

     Alright, let’s establish some meaning to a few words and then we’ll get into it:

     --Tyre = OT:6865 Tsor (tsore); or Tsowr (tsore); the same as OT:6864; a rock; Tsor, a place in Palestine: KJV - Tyre, Tyrus.


     ✡ Root Word = OT:6864 tsor (tsore); from OT:6696; a stone (as if pressed hard or to a point); (by implication, of use) a knife: KJV - flint, sharp stone.

       Tarshish = OT:8659 Tarshiysh (tar-sheesh'); probably the same as OT:8658 (as the region of the stone, or the reverse); Tarshish, a place on the Mediterranean, hence, the ephithet of a merchant vessel (as if for or from that port); also the name of a Persian and of an Israelite: KJV - Tarshish, Tharshish.


       Root Word = OT:8658 tarshiysh (tar-sheesh'); probably of foreign derivation [compare OT:8659]; a gem, perhaps the topaz: KJV - beryl.

      Chittim = OT:3794 Kittiy (kit-tee') or Kittiyiy (kit-tee-ee'); patrial from an unused name denoting Cyprus (only in the plural); a Kittite or Cypriote; hence, an islander in general, i.e. the Greeks or Romans on the shores opposite Palestine: KJV - Chittim, Kittim.

     Chittim is another word for the Island of Cypress.

     Isaiah 23:1 The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.

       Burden = OT:4853 massa' (mas-saw'); from OT:5375; a burden; specifically, tribute, or (abstractly) porterage; figuratively, an utterance, chiefly a doom, especially singing; mental, desire: KJV - burden, carry away, prophecy, they set, song, tribute.

     It is laid waste by Alexander the Great and his armies. There is no house here, as in Old Tyre, because they were razed and destroyed. Therefore, nothing to entering in.

     Ye ships of Tarshish should actually read: ye ships of Tyre returning from Tarshish. It’s uncertain exactly where Tarshish is located but the common thought would be in the south of Spain.

     ℛef--1st Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. KJV

     While we’re here talking about other names that Satan goes by, I’ve compiled a list of names and phrases that describes him, over the years, and I’ll give it to you now. Sometimes one of these names may pop up as you’re studying and it may help to determine who is being talked about or talked to, or maybe what the subject might be:



     The King of Babylon , Bright Morning Star , The Assyrian, Lucifer, Son of the Morning, The Prince that will Come, The King of Fierce Countenance.

     The Vile Person, The Wicked One, The Lawless One, The Beast with Ten Horns, Idol Shepherd , The Devil, The King of the North, False Prophet.


     Belial, The Slayer, Profane Wicked Prince of Israel, Prince of Tyrus, The Rock, The Shining One, The Cherub that Covereth, The Prince of the Air.

    Desolator, The Spoiler, The Oppressor, The Waster, The Wilfull King, The Man of Sin, The Temptor, The Antichrist, The Dragon, The  Serpent.

     These ships of Tarshish weren’t used by local fishermen, these were huge ocean-going vessels with a crew below deck to man the oars when there was no wind. They traveled as far north as Spain and as far south as South America.

     So, while the Hebrew nation in the Middle East was prospering, by this time our Father’s 6th-day creation of humankind, both men and women, were spreading out across the unknown world:

     ℛef--Genesis 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

     ℛef--Genesis 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

     ℛef--Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

     ℛef--Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

     ℛef--Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

     Ref--Genesis 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

     ℛef--Genesis 1:30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

     ℛef--Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. KJV

     Continuing with Isaiah:

     Isaiah 23:2 Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished.

     The isle is Tyrus and merchants from Zidon have replenished the supplies that they sell to the ships. The ground was so rocky they couldn’t raise any crops on their own.

     But be still means to be struck with awe because a place that once flourished has now become dead and quiet.

       Zidon = OT:6721 Tsiydown (tsee-done'); or Tsiydon (tsee-done'); from OT:6679 in the sense of catching fish; fishery; Tsidon,

     The city of Tyre bought fish and mollusks from the fishermen in Zidon, some of which they used for food and some they sold to other ships.

     Isaiah 23:3 And by great waters the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river, is her revenue; and she is a mart of nations.

     The river spoken of here is the Nile.

       Sihor = OT:7883 Shiychowr (shee-khore'); or Shichowr (shee-khore'); or Shichor (shee-khore'); probably from OT:7835; dark, i.e. turbid; Shichor, a stream of Egypt:

       Root Word = OT:7835 shachar (shaw-khar'); a primitive root [identical with OT:7836 through the idea of the duskiness of early dawn]; to be dim or dark (in color): KJV - be black.

     The Nile is as muddy as our great Mississippi River.

     Isaiah 23:4 Be thou ashamed, O Zidon: for the sea hath spoken, even the strength of the sea, saying, I travail not, nor bring forth children, neither do I nourish up young men, nor bring up virgins.

     The sea doesn’t bring forth children or young men and women and now Zidon is as childless AS the sea because she is no more. New city Tyre is gone.

     Isaiah 23:5 As at the report concerning Egypt, so shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre.

     They surely will. When the Egyptians find out that Tyre has been destroyed they will know that their own end is near. The next stop for Alexander is Egypt. They have a right to be nervous.

     Isaiah 23:6 Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle.

     To the Tyrians….get the heck out of Dodge! Many escaped to Carthage and elsewhere as they did earlier when Nebuchadnezzar was on the hunt. Now they have to deal with Alexander the Great.

     Isaiah 23:7 Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn.

     Is this ruin all that’s left of this once joyous city? The Tyrian priests used to tell everyone that this city has existed for more than 2,300 years, an exaggeration of course, but it was supposed to make people think that this was an ancient city even at this time, which is was not.

       Sojourn = OT:1481 guwr (goor); a primitive root; properly, to turn aside from the road (for a lodging or any other purpose), i.e. sojourn (as a guest); also to shrink, fear (as in a strange place); also to gather for hostility (as afraid):

     They will huddle together in fear as they are made to walk to some prison camp. Lost city, lost soul, lost person.

     Without our Father in your life, times can get very bleak. The situation that you find yourself in dominates your thoughts and if you look behind you there is nothing there to fall back on, there is no reserve to give you strength.

     You can put our Father in both places, both in front and behind you. Now you’ve really got something, you’ve really got some reserve and even if the situation doesn’t change by having our Father there, eventually it will and His love and grace will provide the backbone that you might need to see it through.

     And when it is finally all over, the rush of joy that will come into your heart from our Father being beside you through it all, may be overwhelming.

     It’s a plain fact that He’s not going to take away ALL hardship and tribulation and temptation in this life. There has to be a testing of our own free will and if He were to protect us to the point that we could glide safely through this period of flesh and blood bodies, He wouldn’t truly know if you loved Him because of His protection or because of who He truly is.

     The same applies to His Son, Jesus Christ. If the Father makes everything smooth in this life there would have been no need for Christ to die on the cross and that would make a mockery of the whole deal.

     Tears, sorrow and heartache are a part of this physical life but we should be comforted by some of the sweetest and purest words in the entire bible:

     ℛef--Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. KJV

     Our Father is going to wipe away our tears HIMSELF.

     Isaiah 23:8 Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth?

     They set up dependent kingdoms under them and Tyre becomes the crowning city. The city of king makers. They deal in merchandise but smaller kingdoms are born because they support Tyre and as long as they stay in good standing with the powerful in Tyre, they’ll be ok but defy the powers that be in Tyre and they will be squashed out of existence.

     This country has been doing this for many, many years. We call it NATION BUILDING. Think of the Middle East and Iraq, Iran, Syria, and others. We pay them to keep their economy in good shape but in return we want their leader to do our bidding as well.

     So, we’ll put in a guy that we think we can trust, as king or PM or whatever, and usually that relationship doesn’t last all that long. And we’re bogged down with some dictator who only likes our money.

     And remember this: the government DOESN’T MAKE MONEY, IT PRINTS MONEY. The only income the government has is our tax dollar, the taxes that you and I pay so it’s OUR money going to that dictator:

            Afghanistan, Burhan Uddin Rabbani, 12.8 Billion in 2012


            Cuba, Castro, 11.3 Million in 2012

            Iraq, Faud Masum, 1.9 Billion in 2012


     Isaiah 23:9 The Lord of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.

     People that honor each other here on earth, not our Father. The Tyrian merchants were wealthy and it gave them a sense of pride but wealth and pride, together, even today, will bring most people down and certainly extricate them from our Father.

     Father will cause the destruction of Tyre and show to the world that He can mar the luster of whatever is haughty.  

     Isaiah 23:10 Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish: there is no more strength.

     There is no more strength because the city of Tyre is no more.

     Isaiah 23:11 He stretched out his hand over the sea, he shook the kingdoms: the Lord hath given a commandment against the merchant city, to destroy the strong holds thereof.

     Who’s responsible for doing all this to Tyrus? Our Father. Tyre always had a way of getting out of trouble until now. They stopped Nebuchadnezzar from conquering them by sending messengers out to him with money and bought their way out of it.

     Isaiah 23:12 And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon: arise, pass over to Chittim; there also shalt thou have no rest.

     Father says that they’re not going to rejoice any longer. They can go over to the island of Cyprus but they won’t find any rest there either.

     Isaiah 23:13 Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness: they set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; and he brought it to ruin.

     Chaldeans were a set of people that lived in the southern parts of the Babylonian empire. The Chaldees’ were nothing more than a band of nomadic bandits, they were not even a nation at the time.

     Alexanders army was comprised of a lot of different people and ethnic groups, of which the Chaldeans were a part. Our Father used this army to accomplish this devastation and totally destroy Tyre.

     Isaiah 23:14 Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste.

     It’s destroyed, your port is gone.

     Isaiah 23:15 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot.

     From the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, in 496 B.C., it would be 70 years later, in 426 B.C., that Cyrus would take Babylon but he couldn’t take the main land itself. Alexander could.

     Isaiah 23:16 Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.

     The harlot is going to advertise.

     “Been 70 years but we’re back!”

     Isaiah 23:17 And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the Lord will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth.

     They didn’t learn squat. They probably didn't even know that our Father was dealing with them.

     Isaiah 23:18 And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the Lord: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the Lord, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing. KJV

     How will this be a holiness to the Lord? Because Tyre may be a harlot and she may screw all the nations of the world but all her merchandise and her work will go to them that dwell before the Lord and they shall eat until filled up and have more than one set of clothing, as do the wealthy.

     So much of this chapter is actual history and you can get deeper into it, if you like, by reading up on it.

     The Assyrian is another name for Satan and as Tyre ignored our Father I’m sure that Satan had something to do with them being as prosperous as they were. Throw in Babylon, which means confusion, and you have Satan’s game going full tilt.

     Our Father does not punish us if we begin to make money and get wealthy. But you have to do it without putting the screws to everybody. You do have to do it His way.

     One final thing about this chapter that concerns itself with commerce. There are four hidden dynasties that Satan uses in this world to implement and execute his plan.

            Religion—having commercial religion all tied up in his back pocket.

            Politics—politicians passing laws that take our Father out of government. Corruption

            Economics—Damaging our food and distributing cancer just to make an extra buck.

            Education—Changing what’s taught to validate the new government agenda.

     A good study for another time.


--18 May 2016--


Study the Bible, Study Torah, Place of worship, Bible Study Book, Holy Bible