Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 23:3

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The seed of Sihor "The seed of the Nile" - The Nile is called here Shichor, as it is Jeremiah 2:18, and 1 Chronicles 13:5. It had this name from the blackness of its waters, charged with the mud which it brings down from Ethiopia when it overflows, Et viridem Aegyptum nigra fecundat arena; as it was called by the Greeks Melas, and by the Latins Melo, for the same reason. See Servius on the above line of Virgil, Georg. 4:291. It was called Siris by the Ethiopians, by some supposed to be the same with Shichor. Egypt by its extraordinary fertility, caused by the overflowing of the Nile supplied the neighboring nations with corn, by which branch of trade the Tyrians gained great wealth.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And by great waters - That is, by the abundant-waters, or the overflowing of the Nile. Tyre was the mart to which the superabundant productions of Egypt were borne (see Joshua 13:3; 1 Chronicles 13:5; Jeremiah 2:18). The word שׁחר shichor is derived from שׁחר shachar “to be black” Job 30:30, and is given to the Nile from its color when it brings down the slime or mud by which Egypt is rendered so fertile. The Greeks gave to the river the name Μέλας Melas (“black”), and the Latins call it “Melo” - (Serv. ad Virg. “Geor.” iv. 291. It was called “Siris” by the Ethiopians; perhaps the same as Sihor. The upper branches of the Nile in Abyssinia all receive their names from the “color” of the water, and are called the White River, the Blue River, etc.

The harvest of the river - The productions caused by the overflowing of the river. Egypt was celebrated for producing grain, and Rome and Greece derived no small part of their supplies from that fertile country. It is also evident that the inhabitants of Palestine were early accustomed to go to Egypt in time of scarcity for supplies of grain (see Genesis 37:25, Genesis 37:28, and the history of Joseph, Genesis 4143) That the “Tyrians” traded with Egypt is also well known. Herodotus (ii. 112) mentions one entire quarter of the city of Memphis that was inhabited by the Tyrians.

Is her revenue - Her resources are brought from thence.

She is a mart of nations - How true this was, see Ezekiel 27. No place was more favorably situated for commerce; and she had engrossed the trade nearly of all the world.

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.