Isaiah 23: “Concerning Tyre and Sidon”
This chapter brings to a close the section concerning the oracles to the nations surrounding Israel. Here, we come to Tyre. This chapter really focuses around Tyre’s commercialism. They had a perfect location on the harbor, allowing them to capitalize on the merchant market. Hiram of Tyre was especially helpful with the materials for the temple. But, Jezabel was also from Tyre. Both major parts of Tyre were indeed conquered. The inland part was taken by the Assyrians and Babylonians, as Isaiah predicted. The island part by Alexander the Great in 332BC (Guzik). Sidon was another city of Phoenicia, just North of Tyre. As we’ve seen with the others, Tyre was prideful and would be humbled. After this destruction, there was a period of 70 years in isolation from the Lord. But, verse 17 reveals restoration of this town. The Lord returns and the town begins to engage in commerce once again. But look what is said in verse 18: “Her merchandise and her wages will be holy to the Lord. It will not be stored or hoarded, but her merchandise will supply abundant food and fine clothing for those who dwell before the Lord.” I couldn’t help but laugh at this verse. Of course it speaks to hoarding and storing up goods that is useful for others. This is a lesson on neighborly love. You see, the commercialism that Tyre displayed was proud and selfish. They needed to be humbled by the Lord, so they could look outward. Maybe you’re one of the hoarders. Check with your neighbors as they may need it more than you. Jesus said that this was one of the greatest commandments, to love your neighbor. You may be able to help, and by doing so, love.