Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 23:2

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Be still "Be silent" - Silence is a mark of grief and consternation. See Isaiah 47:5. Jeremiah has finely expressed this image: -

"The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground, they are silent:

They have cast up dust on their heads, they have girded themselves with sackcloth.

The virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground."

Lamentations 2:10.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Be still - This is the description of a city which is destroyed, where the din of commerce, and the sound of revelry is no longer heard. It is an address of the prophet to Tyre, indicating that it would be soon still, and destroyed.

Ye inhabitants of the isle - (of Tyre). The word ‹isle‘ (אי 'iy ) is sometimes used to denote a “coast or maritime region” (see the note at Isaiah 20:6), but there seems no reason to doubt that here it means the island on which New Tyre was erected. This may have been occupied even before Old Tyre was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, though the main city was on the crest.

Thou whom the merchants of Zidon - Tyre was a colony from Sidon; and the merchants of Sidon would trade to Tyre as well as to Sidon.

Have replenished - Hebrew, ‹have filled,‘ that is, with merchandise, and with wealth. Thus, in Ezekiel 27:8, Tyre is represented as having derived its seamen from Sidon: ‹Theinhabitants of Sidon and of Arvad were thy mariners.‘ And in Ezekiel 27:9-23, Tyre is represented as having been filled with shipbuilders, merchants, mariners, soldiers, etc., from Gebal, Persia, Lud, Phut, Tarshish, Jayvan, Tubal, Mesheck, Dedan, Syria, Damascus, Arabia, etc.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Tyre was the mart of the nations. She was noted for mirth and diversions; and this made her loth to consider the warnings God gave by his servants. Her merchants were princes, and lived like princes. Tyre being destroyed and laid waste, the merchants should abandon her. Flee to shift for thine own safety; but those that are uneasy in one place, will be so in another; for when God's judgments pursue sinners, they will overtake them. Whence shall all this trouble come? It is a destruction from the Almighty. God designed to convince men of the vanity and uncertainty of all earthly glory. Let the ruin of Tyre warn all places and persons to take heed of pride; for he who exalts himself shall be abased. God will do it, who has all power in his hand; but the Chaldeans shall be the instruments.