Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Isaiah 23:7

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Whose antiquity is of ancient days "Whose antiquity is of the earliest date" - Justin, in the passage above quoted, had dated the building of Tyre at a certain number of years before the taking of Troy; but the number is lost in the present copies. Tyre, though not so old as Sidon, was yet of very high antiquity: it was a strong city even in the time of Joshua. It is called צר מבצר עיר ir mibtsar tsor, "the city of the fortress of Sor," Joshua 19:29. Interpreters raise difficulties in regard to this passage, and will not allow it to have been so ancient; with what good reason I do not see, for it is called by the same name, "the fortress of Sor," in the history of David, 2 Samuel 24:7, and the circumstances of the history determine the place to be the very same. See on Isaiah 23:1; (note).

Whose antiquity is of ancient days, may refer to Palaetyrus, or Old Tyre.

Her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn - This may belong to the new or insular Tyre; her own feet, that is, her own inhabitants, shall carry her - shall transport the city, from the continent to the island. "But the text says it shall be carried far off, and the new city was founded only half a mile distant from the other." I answer, מרחוק merachok does not always signify a great distance, but distance or interval in general; for in Joshua 3:4; רחוק rachok is used to express the space between the camp and the ark, which we know to have been only two thousand cubits. Some refer the sojourning afar off to the extent of the commercial voyages undertaken by the Tyrians and their foreign connections.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Is this your joyous city - Is this the city that was just now so full of happiness, of revelry, of business, of gaiety, of rejoicing? (see the note at Isaiah 22:2)

Whose antiquity is of ancient days - Strabo (xvi. 756) says, ‹After Sidon, Tyre, a splendid and most ancient city, is to be compared in greatness, beauty, and antiquity, with Sidon.‘ Curtius (Hist. Alex. iv. 4) says, ‹The city was taken, distinguished both by its antiquity, and its great variety of fortune.‘ Arrian (ii. 16) says, that ‹the Temple of Hercules at Tyre was the most ancient of those which the memory of people have preserved.‘ And Herodotus (ii. 44) says, that in a conversation which he had with the priest of that temple, he informed him that it had then existed for 2300 years. Josephus, indeed, says (Ant. viii. 3. 1) that Tyre was built but 240 years before the temple was built by Solomon - but this was probably a mistake. Justin (xviii. 3) says that Tyre was founded in the year of the destruction of Troy. Its very high antiquity cannot be doubted.

Her own feet shall carry her afar off - Grotius supposes that by feet here, the ‹feet of ships‘ are intended, that is, their sails and oars. But the expression is designed evidently to stand in contrast with Isaiah 23:6, and to denote that a part of the inhabitants would go by land into captivity. Probably many of them were taken prisoners by Nebuchadnezzar; and perhaps many of them, when the city was besieged, found opportunity to escape and flee by land to a distant place of safety.

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.