Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 23:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

After the end of seventy years - Tyre, after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar, recovered, as it is here foretold, its ancient trade, wealth, and grandeur; as it did likewise after a second destruction by Alexander. It became Christian early with the rest of the neighboring countries. St. Paul himself found many Christians there, Acts 21:4. It suffered much in the Diocletian persecution. It was an archbishopric under the patriarchate of Jerusalem, with fourteen bishoprics under its jurisdiction. It continued Christian till it was taken by the Saracens in 639; was recovered by the Christians in 1124; but in 1280 was conquered by the Mamelukes, and afterwards taken from them by the Turks in 1517. Since that time it has sunk into utter decay; is now a mere ruin, a bare rock, "a place to spread nets upon," as the Prophet Ezekiel foretold it should be, Ezekiel 26:14. See Sandy's Travels; Vitringa on the place; Bp. Newton on the Prophecies, Dissert. xi.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The Lord will visit Tyre - He will restore her to her former wealth and magnificence.

And she shall turn to her hire - The word ‹hire‘ here denotes the wages or reward that is given to an harlot; and the idea which was commenced in the previous verses is here continued - of Tyre as an harlot - frivolous, splendid, licentious, and holding intercourse with strangers and foreigners. The gains of that commerce with other nations are here represented as her hire.

And shall commit fornication … - Shall again be the mart of commerce Isaiah 23:3; shall have contact with all the nations, and derive her support, splendor, luxury, from all. The idea is, that she would be restored to her former commercial importance, and perhaps, also, the prophet intends to intimate that she would procure those gains by dishonest acts, and by fraudulent pretexts. After the destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar, it remained desolate until the close of the Babyloian monarchy. Then a new city was built on the island, that soon rivaled the former in magnificence. That new city was besieged and taken by Alexander the Great, on his way to the conquests of the East.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The desolations of Tyre were not to be for ever. The Lord will visit Tyre in mercy. But when set at liberty, she will use her old arts of temptation. The love of worldly wealth is spiritual idolatry; and covetousness is spiritual idolatry. This directs those that have wealth, to use it in the service of God. When we abide with God in our worldly callings, when we do all in our power to further the gospel, then our merchandise and hire are holiness to the Lord, if we look to his glory. Christians should carry on business as God's servants, and use riches as his stewards.