The inhabitants of Zidon and Arvad were thy mariners
Zidon was a city in Phoenicia, near to Tyre, and older than that, by whose inhabitants it was built; see the notes on ( Isaiah 23:2 Isaiah 23:4 ) and Arvad was an island in Phoenicia, to the south of Zidon, not far from Tyre. Mr. Maundrell F7 says it is about a league distant from the shore; and is now called by the Turks Ruad. It seemed to the eye to be not above four to six hundred yards long, and wholly filled up with tall buildings like castles: its ancient inhabitants, he observes, were famous for navigation, and had a command upon the continent as far as Gabale later mentioned, Dr. Shaw F8 says it is at present called Rouwadde; and that the prospect of it from the continent is wonderfully magnificent; promising at a distance a continued train of fine buildings and impregnable fortifications; but this is entirely owing to the height and rockiness of its situation; for at present all the strength and beauty it can boast of lies in a weak unfortified castle, with a few small cannon to defend it; so that the prophecy of Jeremiah appears to be fulfilled, Arpad is confounded,
( Jeremiah 49:23 ) . This is the Aradus of Strabo, and other writers; and which he says is distant from the land, two and an half miles, and is about a mile in circumference; and is said to be built by the Sidonians F11; the inhabitants of it are the same with the Arvadite, ( Genesis 10:18 ) , these places brought up abundance of seafaring men, and which furnished Tyre with rowers, as the word F12 signifies; which was the most slavish work in navigation: thy wise men, O Tyrus, that were in thee, were thy pilots;
such, as had learnt the art of navigation; were well versed in geography; understood the charts; knew the shores of different places; where were creeks and promontories, rocks and sands; these were brought up among themselves, and made pilots or governors, as the Targum renders it; who have their names here from the "ropes" F13 the sails are fastened to; and which they loosened or contracted, as they saw fit.
F7 Journey from Aleppo p. 19. Ed. 7.
F8 Travels, p. 267. Ed. 2.
F11 Geograph. 1. 16. p. 518.
F12 (Myjv) "remiges", V. L. Pagninus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Polanus, Cocceius, Starckius.
F13 (Kylbwx) a (lbx) "funis, ita dicuntur a contrahendis aut laxandis funibus veli", Vatablus.