This solemn chapter begins with the words, “The burden against Tyre.” Tyre was one of two chief “port cities” in Phoenicia and was the commercial center for all merchants who carried their wares in the Mediterranean Sea. The prophet Isaiah was inspired to predict God’s judgment upon this city, for just as individuals and nations are accountable to God (see Romans 14:12 and Matthew 25:31-46) and will be judged for their sins, so cities are also held accountable for their sins. Sodom and Gomorrah, Nineveh, and Babylon are four notable examples in Scripture of cities that met with God’s holy judgment because of their wicked ways. We will now give a very brief outline of this chapter, using the NKJV.

  1. In verses 1-7, we have GOD’S DECLARATION OF JUDGMENT. There were merchantmen on their way home to Tyre who are told: “Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no harbor. From the land of Cyprus it is revealed to them. Be still, you inhabitants of the coastland, you merchants of Sidon, whom those who cross the sea have filled” (verses 1-2). Can you imagine the agony in their hearts when the people of Tyre, who were returning home from Spain, heard of their great city’s utter destruction! The “merchants of Sidon” (Sidon was the other chief port city in Phoenicia) also lamented Tyre’s ruin. Even Egypt, who depended on Tyre for commerce, was in agony. Verse 5 states, “When the report reaches Egypt, they also will be in agony at the report of Tyre.” And lastly, Tarshish (Spain) was called upon to wail for her economic losses. Verse 6 reads, “Cross over to Tarshish; Wail, you inhabitants of the coastland.”
  1. In verses 8-14, we see GOD’S EXPLANATION OF HIS JUDGMENT. In verse 8 the question is asked, “Who has taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traders are the honorable of the earth?” The answer is given in verse 9: “The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to bring to dishonor the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.” Tyre had fallen into the sin of the Devil (which is PRIDE) and were glorying in themselves, so God purposes to humble them. Verse 11 tells us “He shook the kingdoms…to destroy its stongholds” and when He was done with them He declared “Your strength is laid waste” (verse 14).
  1. In verses 15-18, we have GOD’S PROPHECY FOR TYRE’S FUTURE. We learn in verse 15 what would happen after Tyre’s destruction: “Now it shall come to pass in that day that Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years.” But once the 70 years were fulfilled, Tyre would rebuild and resume her role as a great commercial center. Verse 17 states, “And it shall be, at the end of seventy years, that the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her hire, and commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth.” Like the future Babylon spoken of in Revelation chapter 18, she is looked upon as a harlot who seduces the nations with her goods. But it is the last verse that demands our earnest attention, for it says, “Her gain and her pay will be SET APART FOR THE LORD; it will be not be treasured nor laid up, for HER GAIN WILL BE FOR THOSE WHO DWELL BEFORE THE LORD, TO EAT SUFFICIENTLY, AND FOR FINE CLOTHING.” In this precious verse, Isaiah looked far ahead to the Messianic kingdom when Tyre would not glory in her wealth, but she will give it to the Lord as a holy offering. To this agrees the words of Psalm 45:12: “And the daughter of Tyre will come with a gift.” The grace of God will work in the people of Tyre and instead of hoarding and glorying their wealth, they will glory in the Lord and freely share what they have with the people of God. (220.7)  (DO)