Isaiah 23:5
As at the report concerning Egypt, so shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre.
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(5) As at the report concerning Egypt . . .—Better, When the report cometh to Egypt . . . The news of the capture of Tyre would cause dismay in Egypt, partly because the export trade of their corn depended upon it, partly because it had served as a kind of outpost against the Assyrians, who, under Sargon (Records of the Past, vii. 34) and Sennacherib (2Kings 18:21; 2Kings 19:8), were pressing on against the Ethiopian dynasty then dominant in Egypt.

Isaiah 23:5. As at the report concerning Egypt, &c. — “The words, as they stand in our translation, imply, that the Zidonians, spoken of Isaiah 23:4, or in general other neighbouring places, should be as much concerned at the news of the destruction of Tyre as they were at the calamity of Egypt, mentioned chap. 19. But there is a difficulty in admitting this sense, because the destruction of Tyre here spoken of was before that of Egypt, if we mean that calamity of Egypt which is usually joined with the destruction of Tyre in the prophets: see Jeremiah 25:19; Jeremiah 25:22; Ezekiel 29:18-20. Therefore others read this verse thus: As soon as the report of Tyre shall come to, or be heard in, Egypt, they shall be in great pain for it; namely, because they exported their corn to Tyre, and made a gainful trade by it.” — Lowth.

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.As at the report concerning Egypt - According to our translation, this verse would seem to mean that the Sidonians and other nations had been pained or grieved at the report of the calamities that had come upon Egypt, and that they would be similarly affected at the report concerning Tyre. In accordance with this, some (as Jarchi) have understood it of the plagues of Egypt, and suppose that the prophet means to say, that as the nations were astonished at that, so they would be at the report of the calamities that would come upon Tyre. Others refer it to the calamities that. would come upon Egypt referred to in Isaiah 19, and suppose that the prophet means to say, that as the nations would be amazed at the report of these calamities, so they would be at the report of the overthrow of Tyre. So Vitringa. But the sense of the Hebrew may be expressed thus: 'As the report, or tidings of the destruction of Tyre shall reach Egypt, they shall be pained at the tidings respecting Tyre.' So Lowth, Noyes, Rosenmuller, Grotius, Calvin. They would be grieved, either

(1) because the destruction of Tyre would injure the commerce of Egypt; or

(2) because the Egyptians might fear that the army of Nebuchadnezzar would come upon them, and that they would share the fate of Tyre.

Sorely pained - The word used here (יחילוּ yâchı̂ylû) is commonly applied to the severe pain of parturition.

5. As, &c.—rather, "When the report (shall reach) the people of Egypt, they shall be sorely pained at the report concerning Tyre" (namely, its overthrow). So Jerome, "When the Egyptians shall hear that so powerful a neighboring nation has been destroyed, they must know their own end is near" [Lowth, &c.]. According to this translation the sense is, All the neighbouring nations shall be no less terrified at the tidings of lite destruction of Tyrus, than they were of old upon the report of God’s former and dreadful judgments upon the Egyptians, of which see Exodus 15:14-16 Joshua 2:9,11, because they shall despair of resisting that enemy against whom that vast and potent city, which was deemed impregnable, could not defend itself. But the words are by the LXX., and other both ancient and later interpreters, rendered otherwise, and that very agreeably to the Hebrew text, When the report (to wit, of the destruction of Tyre) came, or shall come, (which word is easily understood, as it is above, Isaiah 23:3, and in other texts of Scripture before mentioned,) to the Egyptians, they shall be sorely pained according to the report of Tyre; their grief shall be answerable to the report; as the report is very dreadful, so their grief and anguish shall be very great: or, they shall fear lest they should be destroyed in like manner as Tyrus was destroyed.

As at the report concerning Egypt,.... Its future destruction prophesied of, Isaiah 19:1 or what had in times past befallen it when the ten plagues were inflicted on it, and Pharaoh and his host were drowned in the Red Sea; the report of which filled the neighbouring nations with fear and trembling, and put them into a panic; so the Targum,

"as they heard the plague with which the Egyptians were smitten:''

so shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre; of the destruction of that; this should have the like effect upon the nations round about them, especially such as traded with them, as the judgments on Egypt had upon their neighbours; for, as for what was to come, the destruction of Tyre was before the destruction of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar: though some read the words, and they will bear to be read thus, "when the report" was made, or came "to the Egyptians, they will be in pain at", or "according to the report of Tyre" (t);

"when it was heard in Egypt, pain shall take them for Tyre;''

as soon as the Egyptians heard of the taking and ruin of Tyre, they were in pain, as a woman in travail, partly fearing their own turn would be next, Tyre lying in the way of the Chaldeans unto them; and partly because of the loss of trade they sustained through the destruction of that city. In like pain will be the kings or merchants of the earth, at the destruction of Rome, Revelation 18:9 and, according to an exposition mentioned by Jarchi, Tyre here is Edom; that is, Rome, for that with the Jews is commonly meant by Edom.

(t) So the Septuagint, Vatbalus, and others.

As at the report concerning Egypt, so shall they be {k} greatly pained at the report of Tyre.

(k) Because these two countries were joined in league together.

5. The verse should be read as in R.V. When the report cometh to Egypt, they shall be sorely pained at the report of Tyre. Assyria being the common enemy of Egypt and Tyre, the report of the latter’s fall is received with the utmost anxiety in Egypt.

Verse 5. - As at the report concerning Egypt; rather, when the rumor shall reach Egypt (see the Septuagint, the Vulgate, Gesenius, Knobel, Cheyne, etc.). They shall be sorely pained. The Egyptians bore no great affection towards any foreign nation. They were a people whose charity began and ended at home. But the fall of Tyre was always a shock to them, and was felt to portend evil to themselves. The Asiatic power which was strong enough to capture the island-fortress would be a formidable enemy to Egypt itself, and might be expected at no distant date to attempt the conquest of the Nile valley. Isaiah 23:5The address to the whole of the coast-land now passes into an address to the ancestral city. Isaiah 23:4 "Shudder, O Sidon; for the sea speaketh, the fortress of the sea, thus: I have not travailed, nor given birth, nor trained up young men, brought up maidens." The sea, or more closely considered, the fortress of the sea, i.e., the rock-island on which Neo-tyrus stood with its strong and lofty houses, lifts up its voice in lamentation. Sidon, the ancestress of Canaan, must hear with overwhelming shame how Tyre mourns the loss of her daughters, and complains that, robbed as she has been of her children, she is like a barren women. For the war to have murdered her young men and maidens, was exactly the same as if she had never given birth to them or brought them up. Who is there that does not recognise in this the language of Isaiah (compare Isaiah 1:2)? - Even in Egypt the fate of Phoenicia produces alarm. Isaiah 23:5 "When the report cometh to Egypt, they tremble at the report from Tzor." In the protasis (Isaiah 23:5) lemitzraim (to Egypt) the verb "cometh" is implied; the Caph in Isaiah 23:5 signifies simultaneousness, as in Isaiah 18:4 and Isaiah 30:19 (Ges. Thes. p. 650). The news of the fall of Tyre spreads universal terror in Egypt, because its own prosperity depended upon Tyre, which was the great market for its corn; and when such a bulwark had fallen, a similar fate awaited itself.
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