Isaiah 23

Talks for Growing Christians

Judgment upon the Phoenician City-State of Tyre

Isaiah 23

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Lesson Number 22

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Lord pronounced judgment against Tyre.
  2. The Lord predicted blessing for Tyre.

Practical Application

  1. Give your former ill-gotten gain to the Lord.


  1. Where was Tyre located?
  2. Why were the ships of Tarshish wailing (verse 1)?
  3. Why was mighty Tyre brought down (verses 8-14)?
  4. Would Tyre return to the Lord after she was restored?
  5. In what way would Tyre’s ill-gotten gain be set apart for the Lord (verse 18)?


  1. Tyre was a proud and wealthy city-state of the ancient nation of Phoenicia. This important Mediterranean seaport was on the coast north of Israel, where Lebanon is located today.
  2. The ships of Tarshish, near the southwest coast of Spain, were the largest and best of the commercial vessels sailing the Mediterranean Sea of the ancient world. They were wailing because Tyre, the commercial power of maritime trade had fallen.
  3. Pride
  4. No, after experiencing some measure of recovery after her defeat by the Babylonians, she still continued to be a godless nation (verse 17).
  5. This prophecy probably has both a historical and eschatological aspect to its fulfillment. Historically, we know that some of Tyre’s wealth was used for the rebuilding of the House of the Lord in Jerusalem, after the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity. The eschatological fulfillment will come when the Lord returns and establishes His earthly kingdom.


  1. The Lord hates the sin of pride, whether it be on the personal level or national level. Discuss the pride of Tyre that led to its demise. Do you think that pride is at the root of all sin? Discuss how some of your personal mistakes can be linked to pride.
  2. Do you have any former ill-gotten gain? Perhaps it is money, possessions, or a skill. How could you use that gain to serve the Lord now?


  1. As you go throughout your week, if you become upset, offended, angry, or irritated, ask yourself, “Is this my pride acting out?”

Key Verses

  • “The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to bring to dishonor the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.” Isaiah 23:9 “Wail, you ships of Tarshish! For your strength is laid waste.” Isaiah 23:14

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