What does Isaiah 23:12 mean?
ESV: And he said: “You will no more exult, O oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon; arise, cross over to Cyprus, even there you will have no rest.”
NIV: He said, 'No more of your reveling, Virgin Daughter Sidon, now crushed! 'Up, cross over to Cyprus; even there you will find no rest.'
NASB: He has said, 'You shall not be jubilant anymore, you crushed virgin daughter of Sidon. Arise, pass over to Cyprus; even there you will find no rest.'
CSB: He said, "You will not celebrate anymore, ravished young woman, daughter of Sidon. Get up and cross over to Cyprus -- even there you will have no rest! "
NLT: He says, 'Never again will you rejoice, O daughter of Sidon, for you have been crushed. Even if you flee to Cyprus, you will find no rest.'
KJV: And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon: arise, pass over to Chittim; there also shalt thou have no rest.
Verse Commentary:
Time and success make human beings believe they are in control of their own fate. Or they come to trust the false gods they have been worshipping. If enough years go by without this belief being challenged, our limited perspective may convince us that nothing will ever change. We can fall into the false narrative that there is no one true God Who we answer to, that we make our own story.

Isaiah's oracle against Tyre is the demonstration that our tendency to glorify ourselves in this way is a self-deception. When the Lord decides the time is right, He will step in to stop the reveling in our perceived power. That time will have come for Tyre, and the nearby city of Sidon, when Tyre is destroyed.

The Lord addresses the "oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon," an expression meaning Sidon itself. He is the one oppressing, or crushing, them. Sidon is a "virgin daughter," perhaps, in that this new generation of Sidonians will be the one to experience His judgment. In essence, He tells the people of that city that the party is over. The time of triumph has ended. They must adjust their understanding of reality.

The Lord tells the people of Sidon they can attempt to cross over the Mediterranean Sea to the island of Cyprus. The large island is about 75 miles, or 120 kilometers, off the coast where Sidon stood. It was apparently a place where Phoenician kings would run for safety when the Assyrians or other enemies attacked. The Lord assures them, though, that they will not escape His judgment by going there. His judgement will find them wherever they go.
Verse Context:
Chapter 23:1–12 describes the aftermath of the Lord's judgment against Tyre. The passage makes it clear that God is bringing this doom because the city's pride. The command which the Lord gives is absolute and cannot be avoided. Upcoming passages will compare this ruin to a then-extinct civilization, the Chaldeans. Tyre will become a trading hub once again, but with much less glory and her wealth will be used to provide for the Lord's people.
Chapter Summary:
Isaiah's final oracle against the nations describes the aftermath of God's judgment on the port city of Tyre. This city was a great center of trade and shipping in the world. The sailors returning will mourn when they get the news the city and its port is wiped out. The mourning will extend to the Phoenician people, the sea itself, the Egyptian grain industry, and the people of Tarshish. The prophet is clear that the Lord has done this in judgment against Tyre's pride. After 70 years of being forgotten, Tyre will thrive again as a prostitute to the nations. The Lord's people will receive her wages.
Chapter Context:
Prior chapters included prophecies about the nations surrounding Israel. Most of these have been arranged to warn Israel not to assume those neighbors would make effective allies against God's judgment. Chapter 23 is the final of these "oracles." Tyre was a great center of shipping and trade on the Mediterranean coast north of Israel. When it is destroyed, it will be mourned all around the great sea. After this, the predictions expand to a worldwide focus, with implications for the end times.
Book Summary:
Isaiah is among the most important prophetic books in the entire Bible. The first segment details God's impending judgment against ancient peoples for sin and idolatry (Isaiah 1—35). The second part of Isaiah briefly explains a failed assault on Jerusalem during the rule of Hezekiah (Isaiah 36—39). The final chapters predict Israel's rescue from Babylonian captivity (Isaiah 40—48), the promised Messiah (Isaiah 49—57), and the final glory of Jerusalem and God's people (Isaiah 58—66).
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