Isaiah 23:16

16 “Take up a harp, walk through the city, you forgotten prostitute; play the harp well, sing many a song, so that you will be remembered.”

Isaiah 23:16 in Other Translations

16 Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered.
16 "Take a harp; go about the city, O forgotten prostitute! Make sweet melody; sing many songs, that you may be remembered."
16 Take a harp and walk the streets, you forgotten harlot. Make sweet melody and sing your songs so you will be remembered again.
16 "Take a harp, circle the city, unremembered whore. Sing your old songs, your many old songs. Maybe someone will remember."
16 Pick up [your] harp, stroll through the city, prostitute forgotten [by men]. Play skillfully, sing many a song, and you will be thought of again.

Isaiah 23:16 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 23:16

Take a harp, go about the city
As harlots used to do, that by their music, both vocal and instrumental, they might allure men into their company to commit fornication with them; so Tyre is directed to, or rather this is a prophecy that she should take very artful and ensnaring methods to restore her commerce and merchandise:

thou harlot that hast been forgotten; (See Gill on Isaiah 23:15):

make sweet melody;
or, "do well by striking" F11; that is, the harp in her hand; strike it well with art and skill, so as to make melody, and give pleasure:

sing many songs;
or, "multiply a song" F12; sing one after another, till the point is carried aimed at:

that thou mayest be remembered;
men may took at thee again, and trade with thee as formerly, who had been so long forgotten and neglected.


F11 (Ngn ybyjh) "benefac pulsando", Junius; "belle pulsa", Piscator.
F12 (ryv ybrh) "multiplica cantum", Piscator.

Isaiah 23:16 In-Context

14 Wail, you ships of Tarshish; your fortress is destroyed!
15 At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king’s life. But at the end of these seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute:
16 “Take up a harp, walk through the city, you forgotten prostitute; play the harp well, sing many a song, so that you will be remembered.”
17 At the end of seventy years, the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her lucrative prostitution and will ply her trade with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth.
18 Yet her profit and her earnings will be set apart for the LORD; they will not be stored up or hoarded. Her profits will go to those who live before the LORD, for abundant food and fine clothes.

Cross References 1

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