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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 23

Verses 1-18

  1. Intro:
    1. Jeff Thompson(EEO) & Bill Hampson.
    2. The Coney is a rock badger, a bit larger than the prairie dog. Coneys are grayish/brown, the color of the rocks. As long as the coney, the rock badger, is on the rock sunning itself, it's almost impossible to see.When a predator comes to attack, the Coney will run into a hole, the crag in the rock. If a vulture or an eagle wants to sweep down on the coney, it has to knock down a mountain to get at it.One thing about Coneys, they know where their security lies. If a coney decides to go off on the prairie, venturing away from the rock, then it's vulnerable. It doesn't matter how courageous the coney is. The most courageous coney falls victim to the smallest wolf or lion. When itwanders away from the rock, a Coney is dead meat.
      1. ​​​​​​​Q: Where does your security lie?
    3. Tyre represents the materialism of a great commercial center.
      1. It seemed impossible for this great & successful economy could even be touched…let alone be wiped out!
      2. Men think they control the economy but God makes the final decision!!!
      3. Q: 4 years ago, what represented to Ben Ladin our Financial Headquarters, our materialism, our commercial center? (W.T.C.)
      4. Q: What effect did it have on us 2000 miles away? Upon the whole world?
        1. So as we read through the different cities that were affected by Tyre’s downfall, maybe we can relate to how it would affect us.
  2. TRAMPLING TYRE! (1-18)
    1. ​​​​​​​TYRE’S DESTRUCTION! (1-7)
    2. Tyre(rock) – Lebanon today.
      1. A Phoenician City; on the Med. Coast; 35 m. north of Mnt. Carmel; Sidon 20 m. to its N.(the older of the 2 cities)
      2. Jerome said that it(Tyre) was the noblest & most beautiful of the Phoenician cities & an emporium of commerce for almost the whole world.
      3. Map – Key Cities Mentioned:
      4. Sidon – Almost every time mentioned with Tyre in NT [10/12]
      5. Cypress – Island 150 N/W of Tyre.
      6. Tarshish – Q: Who tried to flee to Tarshish? (Jonah)
        1. Tarshish = Spain.
      7. Shihor – Egypt.
      8. The entire Mediterranean region looked to Tyre as the great commercial center.
      9. Fortress – It was a double city, 1 part an island, a ½ mile from the shore, & the other on the mainland opposite.
        1. It had 2 harbors connected by a canal.
        2. The island was rocky & the city was fortified on the land side w/a 150’ wall!
          1. Thus it was referred to in Joshua as a “strong” or “fortified” city. (Joshua 19:29)
      10. History –
      11. Nebuchadnezzar captured after a 13-year siege, 572 B.C., resulting in the destruction of the mainland city.
      12. All Phoenicia submitted to Alexander the Great …accept the little island port. But this too later fell to Alexander, about 332 B.C., after the construction of a causeway to the island.
        1. This was one of the most difficult undertakings of all his wars
        2. He built a causeway, but then the Tyrians destroyed it. He ended up having to get a fleet to come in from the other side while they built the causeway again. (took 7 months)
        3. Ezekiel 26 explained some details of this (vs.8 raise a defense against you[i.e. a phalanx])
      13. The city was rebuilt in Roman times, and Jesus visited the region of Tyre and Sidon during his ministry.
      14. A small Christian community had been established there by the time of Paul. (he visited)
      15. In Scripture – (Found in Mt.- Mrk.- Lk.- Acts: 3 x’s each)
        1. Jesus loved the Lebanese! “Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.” (Mt.15:21)
      16. Most famous: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.”
        1. (i.e.) Tyre & Sidon were bad but if they had seen what you’ve seen “even they” would have turned!
    3. So, her harbors were closed. Her boarders desolate. Her sea abandoned. Egypt, her ally, is afraid.
      1. And so the question is Who on earth is gonna do that???
        1. Read on…nobody “on earth”! (they are just who he’ll use!)
    4. WHO? (8-14)
      1. The Lord of Hosts! – a title always used to show His great power!
      2. Tyre, called the market place for the nations, is seen as a symbol of the end of a secure world.
        1. Tyre will have a brief respite but the end is near.
    5. 70 YEAR JUDGMENT! (15-17)
    6. Harlot? – After 70 yrs Tyre would again become a trading center, like a prostitute who was forgotten but who returned to her illicit practice, singing to attract lovers to her again. (Walvoord & Zuck; pg.1071)
    7. (18) Isaiah foresees a day when Tyre’s riches will be no longer hoarded for her own selfish enjoyment, but will be lavished upon Jehovah & His people.
      1. Yet, unfortunately there is no hint of Tyre turning at anytime to God.
      2. The Persian Cyrus compelled Tyre & Sidon to contribute materials for the rebuilding of Jehovah’s Temple in Jerusalem(Ezra 3:7)[floated cedar logs down the Med.]
    8. Q: So what should the Christian’s attitude be towards wealth & material?
      1. See 1 Tim.6:6-10; 17-19.
      2. (7) F.B.Meyer said, “Remember, you can carry nothing out of this world…except your character.”
      3. A simple living Quaker was watching his new neighbor move in, w/all his furnishings & expensive “toys” that “successful” people collect. He finally went over to his neighbor & said, “Neighbor, if ever thou dost need anything, come to see me, & I will tell thee how to get along w/o it.”
      4. Henry David Thoreau said, “a man is wealthy in proportion to the # of things he can afford…to do w/out!”
        1. Riches often are a trap because they lead to bondage rather than freedom.
        2. Instead of giving satisfaction, riches often create additional lusts/desires.
      5. Money can’t by happiness” we’re told…but there are still a lot of people who would love the chance to prove it for themselves!
      6. But, many people have found that “money” doesn’t buy happiness…so, now they’re trying Credit Cards!
      7. The average family’s ambition is: “to make as much money as they’re spending!”
      8. (17a) not to be haughty – “If wealth makes a person proud, then he understands neither himself nor his wealth.”
      9. (17b) He gives richly – Q: “was it in your power or the might of your hand that made you gain wealth?” – No! See Deut.8:17,18
        1. The possessing of material wealth ought to humble a person & cause him to glorify God…not himself!
      10. On a conference call today on a board I sit on(S.S. Jeff Jackson/ Lou Gehrig’s disease - a fatal degenerative disease of the nervous system) & one of the ministry leaders mentioned a very wealthy man that sits on his board, & I love how he talked about him. He said, “he just loves giving away his money. That’s probably why God gave so much to him because he knew he couldn’t keep it!”
      11. Trust God not wealth! – “To some wealth means security, when in reality it means Insecurity!” (i.e. parable of the rich farmer!)
      12. Stats: Jesus talked a great deal about money.
        1. In the Parables: 16 of the 38 parables were concerned about how to handle money & possessions.
        2. In the Gospels: 1 out of 10 verse(288 in all) deal directly w/the subject of $.
        3. Bible overview: The bible offers 500 verses on prayer; less than 500 on faith, but more than 2,000 on money & possessions. Howard Dayton Jr.
    9. Eat sufficiently & fine clothing –
      1. Look at what extent God will go to provide for his little one’s!
        1. See Mt.6:31,32
    10. Personal fortune is never a source of security. A downturn in the economy, ill health, bankruptcy, or disaster can quickly wipe out personal fortune. The Lord is our ONLY genuine security!
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Isaiah 23". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/isaiah-23.html. 2017.