|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
23:1-14 Tyre was the mart of the nations. She was noted for mirth and diversions; and this made her loth to consider the warnings God gave by his servants. Her merchants were princes, and lived like princes. Tyre being destroyed and laid waste, the merchants should abandon her. Flee to shift for thine own safety; but those that are uneasy in one place, will be so in another; for when God's judgments pursue sinners, they will overtake them. Whence shall all this trouble come? It is a destruction from the Almighty. God designed to convince men of the vanity and uncertainty of all earthly glory. Let the ruin of Tyre warn all places and persons to take heed of pride; for he who exalts himself shall be abased. God will do it, who has all power in his hand; but the Chaldeans shall be the instruments.
Verse 2. - Be still; rather, be silent, as in the margin. It would be idle to complain or lament. Ye inhabitants of the isle. Tyro was situated on a small isle, which Alexander joined to the mainland by means of a mole (Arrian, 'Exp. Alex.,' 2:23). It is uncertain, however, whether this isle is meant here, or the strip of Phoenician coast, since the Hebrew 'i has both meanings. Thou whom the merchants of Zidon... have replenished. During the flourishing period of Tyro (B.C. 1025-585), Zidon, though it had generally kings of its own, played a secondary part to Tyre, and for the most part acquiesced in Tyrian supremacy. Its best sailors served in the Tyrian fleet (Ezekiel 27:8), and its merchants were content to enrich the recognized "chief city."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
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 (q); 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 (r) 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 replenished; 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.
(q) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 19. (r) Ibid.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. Be still—"struck dumb with awe." Addressed to those already in the country, eye-witnesses of its ruin (La 2:10); or, in contrast to the busy din of commerce once heard in Tyre; now all is hushed and still.
isle—strictly applicable to New Tyre: in the sense coast, to the mainland city, Old Tyre (compare Isa 23:6; Isa 20:6).
Zidon—of which Tyre was a colony, planted when Zidon was conquered by the Philistines of Ascalon. Zidon means a "fishing station"; this was its beginning.
replenished—with wealth and an industrious population (Eze 27:3, 8, 23). Here "Zidon," as the oldest city of Phonicia, includes all the Phonician towns on the strip of "coast." Thus, Eth-baal, king of Tyre [Josephus, Antiquities, 8.3,2], is called king of the Sidonians (1Ki 16:31); and on coins Tyre is called the metropolis of the Sidonians.
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