Isaiah (Ch 23-24)

A Sword from the South!

Who are the enemies that will desolate the house of Israel, identified here as the United States? Many believe Russia was and some still believe it is the main threat of the United States. Others, like warmonger John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, give incredible speeches around the world saying China is the main threat.

And Mearsheimer brilliantly emphasizes the United States are protected by fish to the left and fish to the right, but foolishly negates to address America’s broken border in the South; and that the Scriptures say that America’s main “enemy” comes from the unprotected and porous South.

Isaiah 23

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 Cyprus it is revealed to them. — Tyre was a ancient city in Phoenicia, which exceeded in renown and grandeur all the cities of Syria and Phoenicia and was much known for its trade and navigation, for which it was well situated by the sea; and indeed new Tyre stood today. 

Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle, thou whom the merchants of Sidon that pass over the sea have replenished. — thou whom the merchants of Sidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished; Sidon was a very ancient city of Phoenicia, more ancient than Tyre.

And by great waters the seed of Shihor, the harvest of the river, is her revenue; and she is a mart of nations. — and by great waters the seed of Sihor; which is the river Nile in Egypt; it had its name from the black colour of its waters;

— harvest of the river—the growth of the Delta; the produce due to the overflow of the Nile: Egypt was the great granary of corn in the ancient world; She is a mart of nations; how true this was: no place was more favorably situated for commerce; and she had engrossed the trade nearly of all the world.

Be thou ashamed, O Sidon; 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.” — be thou ashamed, O Sidon, a city about twenty five miles from Tyre; Tyre is called the daughter of Sidon, Isaiah 23:12; these two cities were closely allied and traded much with one another, so that the fall of Tyre must be distressing and confounding to Sidon; and besides, Tyre was a colony of the Sidonians.

As at the report concerning Egypt, so shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre. — the Targum says, “as they heard the plague with which the Egyptians were smitten” so shall they be sorely pained at Tyre; because of their inter-trade and the judgments of Egypt has upon their neighbours.

Pass ye over to Tarshish; howl, ye inhabitants of the isle! — the Tyrians fled to Carthage and elsewhere, both at the siege under Nebuchadnezzar and that under Alexander; pass ye over to Tarshish either to Tartessus in Spain, or to Tarsus in Cilicia, which lay over to the north of Tyre and to which they might transport and trade with greater ease; or “to a province of the sea” as the Targum indicates, any other seaport; the Septuagint says to Carthage, which was a colony of the Tyrians.

Is this your joyous city, whose antiquity is of ancient days? Her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn. — is this silent ruin all that is left of your once joyous city (Isa 23:12)? antiquity; the Tyrian priests boasted in Herodotus’ time that their city had already existed 2300 years: an exaggeration, but still implying that it was ancient even then; her own feet—walking on foot as captives to an enemy’s land.

Who hath taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honorable of the earth? — “The Lord of hosts” who answered in Isa 23:9; crowning cities, that is, the cities from which dependent kingdoms had arisen, as Tartessus in Spain, Citium in Cyprus and Carthage in Africa (Eze 27:33).

The Lord of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, and to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth. — the Lord of hosts hath purposed it, to destroy Tyre; who is wonderful in counsel, capable of forming a wise scheme, being proud of its riches, the extent of its commerce.

10 Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish; there is no more strength. — as refugees the Tyrians are bid to pass to the daughter of Tarshish, that is, to Tarshish itself, to make their escape out of their own land and flee thither for safety.

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 strongholds thereof. — that is, the Lord of hosts, who had purposed to destroy Tyre, stretched out his hand over it, called the sea as in Isaiah 23:4 in like manner as he stretched out his hand on the Red Sea and destroyed Pharaoh and the Egyptians in it.

12 And He said, “Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Sidon. Arise, pass over to Cyprus; there also shalt thou have no rest.” — when her calamity should come upon her, her jovial time, her time of mirth, jollity and revelling would be over;

— O thou oppressed virgin! Tyre is called a “virgin” because of her beauty, pride and lasciviousness and had never being subdued or taken before: and “oppressed” because now deflowered, ransacked, plundered and ruined by Nebuchadnezzar.

13 Behold the land of the Chaldeans. This people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for those who dwell in the wilderness. They set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof, and he brought it to ruin. — behold the land of the Chaldeans; this expresses the source from where these calamities were coming upon Tyre; and as it states some historical facts of great interest respecting the rise of Babylon; as the prophet Isaiah had foretold the destruction of Tyre and had said that whoever was the agent, it was to be traced to the overruling providence of God.

14 Howl, ye ships of Tarshish, for your strength is laid waste! — for your strength is laid waste; meaning Tyre, a strong seaport and so it was the strength and support of their country; but was now destroyed, and therefore was matter of lamentation and mourning.

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 a harlot. — “forgotten seventy years” so it is in the Septuagint version, “as the time of a man” and after the end of seventy years shall Tyre shall sing as an harlot; being rebuilt and restored to its former state; as a harlot who has been cast off by her lovers.

16 “Take a harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.” — the desolations of Tyre were not to be forever; the Lord will visit Tyre but when set at liberty, she will use her old arts of lasciviousness; the love of worldly wealth is spiritual idolatry; and covetousness is spiritual idolatry.

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. — and she shall return to her hire; trade and merchandise; that shall revive, and be as in times past; and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world, upon the face of the earth; be a mart of nations again, as in Isaiah 23:3;

— that is, trade and traffic with all nations of the earth, in the most ample and public manner; this is called committing fornication, in agreement with the simile of a harlot before used, whereunto Tyre is compared; as well as to observe the illicit ways and methods used in her commerce;

— the Targum says, “and her merchandise shall be sufficient to all the kingdoms of the people, which are upon the face of the earth” and the Septuagint, “and shall be a mart to all the kingdoms of the world, upon the face of the earth.”

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. — after her restoration her merchandise shall be holiness unto the Lord, Yehovah.

Isaiah 24

1 Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. — “the whole world” the “emptying” of it, is the removal of the inhabitants of it by wars and slaughters, which will be made when at a latter time, our time, the seven vials of God’s wrath will be poured upon God’s enemies;

— this is a prophecy of calamities upon the whole world, turning the earth upside down for their sins; of the preservation of a remnant.

And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of interest, so with the giver of interest to him. — that is, no order or rank of men will fare better than another; their dignity, in things civil or ecclesiastical, will not secure them from ruin; it will be no better with princes and priests than the common people; they shall all alike share in the common destruction.

The land shall be utterly emptied and utterly despoiled; for the Lord hath spoken this word. — the land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled, entirely emptied of its inhabitants, and wholly spoiled of its riches and substance; this is repeated, and with greater strength, to confirm what is said before, and which receives a greater confirmation by what follows:

The earth mourneth and fadeth away; the world languisheth and fadeth away; the haughty people of the earth do languish. — the earth mourns and fades away because of its inhabitants being destroyed; and it fades away, because stripped of its wealth and riches: so the kings of the earth and merchants of it are represented as weeping and mourning at the destruction of Babylon because of its judgements and the loss of its trade and riches.

The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. — because they have transgressed the laws; of God and man, as his shepherds have dispensed with the laws of God and in innumerable instances has transgressed them, casting all contempt upon them, and bidding all defiance to them, as being not at all bound and obliged by them;

— changed the ordinance; or “ordinances” the singular for the plural, a collective word; the ordinances of divine revelation, of Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles to those of (1) Astarte, the queen of heaven; from whom Easter is derived; and (2) Mithra, worshipping the sun-god, when a mystical white Christmas Babylon has been well embedded, breaking “the everlasting covenant,” saith the Lord of hosts.

Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. — therefore hath the curse devoured the earth; the inhabitants and the fruits alluding to the earth being cursed for the sin of man, bringing forth briers and thorns; this may denote the seven vials of God’s wrath poured upon the earth; or by the curse, understand perjury or false swearing; so the Targum says, “therefore, because of perjury (or a false oath) the earth is become a desert.”

The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merryhearted do sigh. — all the merryhearted do sigh; whose hearts wine has formerly made glad shall now sigh for want of it; and such who have lived deliciously with the whore of Babylon and have had many a merry bout with her shall now bewail her and lament for her, when she shall be utterly burnt with fire.

The mirth of taborets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. — the mirth of tabrets ceaseth; or of drums, or any such musical instruments used at junketings and jovial feasts. So when Babylon is fallen, the voice of harpers and musicians, and of pipers and trumpeters, shall be heard no more therein.

They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. — strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it; they shall have no gust for it or relish of it as they formerly had; either through bodily diseases upon themselves or because of the calamities upon the nations and states in which they dwell.

10 The city of confusion is broken down; every house is shut up, that no man may come in. — even the city of Babylon in which there shall be nothing but disorder and irregularity, no truth nor justice; a city of vanity, full of superstition and idolatry; shall be broken to pieces by the judgements of God, to ruin and desolation.

11 There is a crying for wine in the streets; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. — all joy is turned into the darkness of misery and distress; and men will gnaw their tongues for pain, and yet not repent of their sins, but blaspheme the God of heaven.

12 In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction. — in the city is left desolation; palaces, houses and temples burnt, inhabitants destroyed; none but devils, foul spirits, hateful and unclean birds inhabiting it.

13 When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, there shall be as the shaking of an olive tree, and as the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done. — as when an olive tree is shaken, or beaten with a staff, there would be a few left upon the uppermost or outermost branches, which cannot be reached; and as, after the vintage is got in, there are some grapes to be gleaned and gathered from the vines; so it is but a few, a remnant;

— the Targum says, “for now shall be left alone the righteous in the midst of the earth, among the kingdoms, as the shaking of olives, as the gleaning of grapes after the vintage.”

14 They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing; for the majesty of the Lord, they shall cry aloud from the sea. — they, those who are left: the remnant, shall sing for the majesty of the Lord; who has so mercifully preserved them; from the distant lands beyond the sea, whither they have escaped.

15 Therefore glorify ye the Lord in the valleys, even the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea. — wherefore glorify ye the Lord, in the fires; these are the words of the remnant, now triumphing and singing, calling upon others also to glorify the Lord in the fires of affliction and tribulation,

— even the name of the Lord God of Israel in the isles of the sea; whose name Yehovah will now be known, not only in Israel or among the Jews only, but in all foreign countries, which are sometimes meant by the isles of the sea; and from even in the most remote to glorify God, whose name Yehovah will now be great in all the earth;

— God’s name is the four-letter Hebrew word יהוה‎ YHVH Yehovah (not Jehovah since the letter J wasn’t around but only after the sixteenth century; more on this at the end)

16 From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous. But I said, “My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously, yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.” — my leanness! my leanness! — Isaiah faint and pine away in grief for the following reason: the treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously which were led by both the house of Israel and the house of Judah, “the treacherous dealers” (Jeremiah 5:11), who have been frequently guilty of great perfidiousness toward God, and now Isaiah felt ashamed and voluntarily bearing the blame for the house of Jacob, “Woe unto me!”

17 Fear and the pit and the snare are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. — fear and the pit and the snare, these are rapid succession of inevitable calamities, in imagery drawn from the several forms of the hunter’s work.

18 And it shall come to pass that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit, and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare; for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. — there is fleeing from the terror of the startled beast; then the pit dug that he might fall into it; then the snare, if he struggled out of the pit, out of which there was no escape (Isaiah 8:15; cf. Amos 5:19). The passage is noticeable as having been reproduced by Jeremiah in his prophecy against Moab (Jeremiah 48:43-44).

19 The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. — in the pit and snare those who escaped they shall be utterly broken down; this is repeated to show the dreadfulness and certainty of these judgements and to ensnare the escaping refugees.

20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. — the earth shall reel to and fro; the people of the earth, the inhabitants of the land, shall be sorely perplexed and distressed, not knowing what to do, or whither to go.;

— the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard in the day of His fierce anger, shaking the earth out of her place; its waves would mean a hundred times the waves of Fukushima over! Cottages fall like dried leaves and gust away like flotsam.

21 And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. — in the latter days, the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones, the proud and those who possess the high places of the earth; the kings and queens, the great elites of the world, who scorn and trample on his people.

22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. — prison, that is, as in a prison; this sheds light on the “shutting up” of the Jews in Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar, and again under Titus, was to be followed by a visitation of mercy “after many days” – seventy years in the case of the former – the time hasn’t yet quite elapsed in the case of the latter;

— second, the word “visited” could be in a bad sense, namely, in wrath, as in Isa 26:14; compare Isa 29:6; the punishment being the heavier in the fact of a delay. Probably a double visitation is intended, deliverance to the elect, wrath to hardened unbelievers; as Isa 24:23 plainly contemplates judgements on proud and unrepentant sinners, symbolized by the “sun” and “moon.”

23 Then the moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders gloriously. — the moon shall be confounded; the thought implied is that the most glorious forms of created light will become dim, the moon red as with the blush of shame, the sun turning pale, before the glory of the Lord, before the Almighty Yehovah’s presence.


More on God’s name, Yehovah.

God’s name is the four-letter Hebrew word יהוה‎ YHVH Yehovah, which are embedded in the Masoretic text over 6000 times, yet when translated into our English language most had been translated as Lord, or LORD, which are titles, but not his name. His name is יהוה‎ Yehovah, or YEHOVAH (but there are no capital letters in Hebrew).

It wasn’t until 1524 that Gian Giorgio Trissino, an Italian Renaissance grammarian, invented the letter J that this new letter started to take a hold in the writings of western Europe. Even in 1611 when the English Bible the King James has our subject of study by the prophet Jeremiah, he was known as Ieremiah. So Jehovah is a very late comer.

The following verses with the LORD erred in translation. His name Yehovah should be used:

I am the LORD; that is My name. And My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images. Isaiah 42:8

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. Joel 2:32

“I am sought of them that asked not for Me; I am found of them that sought Me not. I said, ‘Behold Me, behold Me,’ unto a nation that was not called by My name.” Isaiah 65:1

When we call our God, the LORD, we err, because his name is not the LORD, which is a title. His name is YEHOVAH! May We all ask for his forgiveness, and may Our merciful God forgive us all.

~ by Joel Huan on March 6, 2022.

One Response to “Isaiah (Ch 23-24)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 23 and 24 HERE ~ —— […]

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