Isaiah 23:5 MEANING

Isaiah 23:5
(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 (2 Kings 18:21; 2 Kings 19:8), were pressing on against the Ethiopian dynasty then dominant 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.

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,.... 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.

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