Oracle against Sidon (Isa 23:2-23:4)

“Be still!

O inhabitants of the coast!

O merchants of Sidon!

Your messengers crossed

Over the sea.

They replenished you.

They were on many waters.

Your revenue

Was the grain of Shihor,

The harvest of the Nile.

You were

The merchant of the nations.

Be ashamed!

O Sidon!

The sea has spoken.

The fortress of the sea says.

‘I have neither labored

Nor given birth.

I have neither reared young men

Nor brought up young women.’”

Sidon was another Phoenician city about 25 miles north of Tyre. This maritime city is also on the southern Lebanon coastline today, mostly known for its fishing and trade. Sidon was also the name of the grandson of Noah, and thus older than Tyre. This oracle of Isaiah wants the people of Sidon to be still. Their sailors had traveled the great seas. In fact, they would bring the harvest of grain from the Nile via Shihor, a port town near Zoan in Egypt. They were the sea merchants to all the countries along the Mediterranean Sea. However, they should be ashamed. Sidon was going to be barren, no longer would young men and women be raised in Sidon, but without any explanation on why this was going to happen here.

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