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Isaiah 23:7

Isaiah 23:7

[Is] this your joyous [city]?
&c.] Which the other day looked so gay, brisk, and cheerful, through the number of its inhabitants, largeness of trade, fullness of provisions, and pleasures of every kind; and now distressed and desolate, and no voice of joy and gladness heard in it:

whose antiquity [is] of ancient days;
the most ancient city in Phoenicia, excepting Zidon, as Strabo F23 says; and it was in being in the days of Joshua, ( Joshua 19:29 ) if the words there are rightly rendered; and if so, Josephus must be mistaken, unless he speaks of insular Tyre, when he says F24, that from the building of Tyre to the building of the temple (of Solomon) were two hundred and forty years, which must fall very short of the times of Joshua; such F25 seem to be nearer the truth, who make Agenor, the father of Cadmus, to be the builder of this city, who lived about the times of Joshua. The Tyrians indeed boasted of a still greater antiquity, and to which boasts perhaps reference is here had; for one of the priests of Tyre told Herodotus F26 that their city had been inhabited two thousand three hundred years; and Herodotus lived in the times of Artaxerxes and Xerxes, about the year of the world 3500. According to Sanchoniatho {a}, it was inhabited by Hypsuranius, who first built cottages of rushes in it; but these things are beyond all credit; however, certain it is that it was a very ancient city; it had the name of Palaetyrus, or old Tyre:

her own feet shall carry her afar off to sojourn;
the sense is, that though the Tyrians had lived very delicately, and in great affluence, while their city was flourishing, yet now they should be very coarsely and roughly used; they should not ride on horses, or be drawn in carriages, but should be obliged to walk on foot, and be led or driven into a foreign country, Assyria or Chaldea, or to some province or provinces belonging to that empire; where they should be, not as inhabitants, but as sojourners and strangers; and should be used, not as freemen, but as captives and slaves. Grotius, by "her feet", understands the feet of her ships, sails and oars, and mariners themselves, by means of which she got into distant places, for safety; and so it is reported in history F2, that the Tyrians being long besieged by Nebuchadnezzar, and having no hopes of being delivered, prepared a convenient number of ships, abandoned their city, transported themselves, wives, children, and riches, and sailed from thence to Cyprus, Carthage, and other maritime cities of their tributaries, or confederates; so that the Babylonians, when they took the city, found little or nothing in it; see ( Ezekiel 29:18 ) though the words will bear another sense, being, according to the accents, to be read in connection with the preceding clauses, thus, "[Is] this the joyous city? from the first days of her antiquity her feet brought unto her [inhabitants] from afar to sojourn"; that is, by her labour and pains, by her journeys and voyages for the sake of merchandise, which may be meant by her feet, she brought a great number of persons to sojourn in her F3.


FOOTNOTES:

F23 Geograph. l. 16. p. 520.
F24 Antiqu. l. 8. c. 3. sect. 1.
F25 Curtius, l. 4. c. 4.
F26 Herodot. l. 2. c. 44.
F1 Apud Euseb. Prepar. Evangel. l. 1. p. 35.
F2 See Sir Walter Raleigh's History of the World: l. 2. c. 7. sect. 3. p. 198.
F3 Reinbeck. de Accent. Heb. p. 399.

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