Isaiah 23:2

2 Be silent, you people of the island and you merchants of Sidon, whom the seafarers have enriched.

Read Isaiah 23:2 Using Other Translations

Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished.
Be still, O inhabitants of the coast; the merchants of Sidon, who cross the sea, have filled you.
Mourn in silence, you people of the coast and you merchants of Sidon. Your traders crossed the sea,

What does Isaiah 23:2 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Isaiah 23:2

Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle
Either the isles of Chittim, or other islands that traded with Tyre, the singular being put for the plural, called upon to grieve and mourn, because the city of their merchandise was destroyed, as Kimchi; or of Tyre itself, which being situated at some distance from the shore, was an island itself, until it was joined to the continent by Alexander F17; and even old Tyre might be so called, it being usual in Scripture to call places by the seashore isles; and besides, old Tyre included in it new Tyre, the island, as Pliny F18 suggests; who are instructed to be silent as mourners, and to cease from the hurries of business, which they would be obliged to, and not boast of their power and wealth, as they had formerly done, or attempt to defend themselves, which would be in vain:

thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have
Zidon was a very ancient city of Phoenicia, more ancient than Tyre; for Tyre was a colony of the Zidonians, and built by them, and so might be said to be replenished by them with men from the first, as it also was with mariners, ( Ezekiel 27:8 ) and likewise with merchants and wares, they being a trading and seafaring people; wherefore they are spoken of as merchants, and as passing over the sea: or this may be understood of the isles replenished with goods by the merchants of Tyre and Zidon, but now no more, and therefore called to mourning.


F17 Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 19.
F18 Ibid.

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