128. The esteemed of Tyre will be disregarded (23:4-9)
4 Αἰσχύνθητι, Σειδών, εἶπεν ἡ θάλασσα· ἡ δὲ ἰσχὺς τῆς θαλάσσης εἶπεν Οὐκ ὤδινον οὐδὲ ἔτεκον οὐδὲ ἐξέθρεψα νεανίσκους οὐδὲ ὕψωσα παρθένους. 5 ὅταν δὲ ἀκουστὸν γένηται Αἰγύπτῳ, λήμψεται αὐτοὺς ὀδύνη περὶ Τύρου. 6 ἀπέλθατε εἰς Καρχηδόνα, ὀλολύξατε, οἱ ἐνοικοῦντες ἐν τῇ νήσῳ ταύτῃ. 7 οὐκ αὐτὴ ἦν ὑμῶν ἡ ὕβρις ἡ ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς πρὶν ἢ παραδοθῆναι αὐτήν; 8 τίς ταῦτα ἐβουλεύσατο ἐπὶ Τύρον; μὴ ἥσσων ἐστὶν ἢ οὐκ ἰσχύουσιν οἱ ἔμποροι αὐτῆς οἱ ἔνδοξοι, οἱ ἄρχοντες τῆς γῆς. 9 Κύριος Σαβαὼθ ἐβουλεύσατο παραλῦσαι πᾶσαν τὴν ὕβριν τῶν ἐνδόξων καὶ ἀτιμάσαι πᾶν ἔνδοξον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς.
Αἰσχύνθητι] aorist passive imperative of αἰσχύνω
Σειδών] with B; spelled Σιδών by Rahlfs, Ziegler. Vocative.
εἶπεν ἡ θάλασσα] The sea is an unexpected speaker here, but this is a literal translation of כי אמר ים, except that כי is ignored, and the article was added. In Hebrew, it is not the sea but the prophet who tells Sidon to be ashamed.
ὤδινον] imperfect of ὠδίνω (translating a qatal form, חלתי); the Greek form could be first person singular or third person plural, but the parallel ἐξέθρεψα establishes this as first person as well. The aorist form would be ὤδῑνα or ὠδίνησα (Ps 7:15).
ἔτεκον] aorist of τίκτω (contrast to the preceding imperfect)
ἐξέθρεψα] aorist of ἐκτρέφω, bring up children.
οὐδὲ] spelled οὐδʼ by Swete
ὕψωσα] ὑψόω is not normally used for raising children; this is a literal translation of רוממתי.
ἀκουστὸν] neuter nominative, since the verb is γίνομαι.
γένηται] the neuter subject is impersonal.
λήμψεται] the subject is ὀδύνη
αὐτοὺς] the plural object is the Egyptians, despite the fact that Egypt was introduced as a singular noun.
ὀδύνη] noun cognate with the verb ὤδινον in 23:4.
ὀλολύξατε] with B (Rahlfs); Ziegler has ὀλολύζετε. Note the difference between Rahlfs and Ziegler. The addressees are the inhabitants.
ἐνοικοῦντες] with Rahlfs, Ziegler; B has κατοικοῦντες. Vocative.
ταύτῃ] Van der Kooij has argued that this demonstrative pronoun is very significant since it was added by G: “It is to be noted that LXX offers a variation between ys 2 and vs 6: ἐν τῇ νήσῳ and ἐν τῇ νήσῳ ταύτῃ respectively; ΜΤ has in both verses the same reading (ישבי אי). It suggests that, unlike MT where both verses the same place is meant (Tyre; see chapter II), LXX vs 6 refers to a place different from the one envisaged in vs 2 which as we have seen is about the isle of the retailers of Phoenicia. The parallel wording of the text seems to point to Carthage: “Depart ye to Carthage, cry aloud, inhabitants of that isle.” Notice that van der Kooij changed the demonstrative from near (“this”) to far (“that”). I would argue that ταύτῃ is not an addition by G; it is rather a translation of the next Hebrew word, הזאת, which was doubly translated, once as ταύτῃ, and once as οὐχ αὕτη ἦν (οὐκ αὐτὴ ἦν in S). A similar double-translation appears in 21:6, where לך was understood both as an imperative and as a prepositional phrase. See the notes to 21:6. Therefore we do not have an intentional change of referent from Tyre to Carthage, nor did the early readers of the oracle of Tyre perceive a change of referent. Eusebius, Jerome, Theodoret of Cyrrhus, and Cyril of Alexandria did associate the prophecy in the first half of Isaiah 23 with a historical event in the past, but they held that it was Tyre, not Carthage, that was being led captive, and that this prophecy refers to the Babylonian capture of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar. If the translator intended to convince his readers that the events prophesied had been fulfilled in his own day, he appears to have failed in his purpose.
οὐκ αὐτὴ] B (Rahlfs, Ziegler) has οὐχ αὕτη. The referent is likely Carthage, but “this island” is also a grammatically possible referent.
ὑμῶν] the addressees are the inhabitants of “this” island.
ἡ] with Rahlfs, Ziegler; lacking in B
ἐβουλεύσατο] B (Rahlfs, Ziegler) has ἐβούλευσεν
Τύρον] the main topic is still Tyre rather than Carthage.
ἥσσων] inferior, translating המעטירה , probably reading the root מעט, “be small.”
ἰσχύουσιν] plural; B (Rahlfs, Ziegler) has the singular ἰσχύει. Probably the following plural nominative influenced the change to a plural verb.
ἔμποροι] translates סחר, which was earlier (23:2-3) translated by μεταβόλοι. Van der Kooij (60) draws significance from this change, since ἔμποροι denotes wholesalers, whereas μεταβόλοι denotes retailers (see LSJ on μεταβολος). The evidence from Philo (O.M. 147) Josephus (Ant. 2.32; 20.34) and T. Zeb. (4:6) indicate that ἔμποροι are merchants who travel.
οἱ ἔνδοξοι] B (Rahlfs, Ziegler) has only ἔνδοξοι. The ἔνδοξοι have appeared in 5:14; and 10:33, and in the singular form in 12:4; 13:19; 22:18, 24. In 23:9 and 26:15 the connection with the earth will reoccur. The Hebrew here is נכבדי, like the second instance in 23:9.
οἱ ἄρχοντες] B (Rahlfs, Ziegler) has only ἄρχοντες
ἐβουλεύσατο] the question asked in 23:8 is answered here. Who planned this? Lord Sabaoth.
ἐνδόξων] translates צבי
ἀτιμάσαι] aorist infinitive of ἀτιμάζω
ἔνδοξον] translates נכבדי
Hippolytus (Treatise on Christ and Antichrist 52) quotes 23:4-5, saying these things shall be in the future and refer to the actions of the Antichrist, whose “first expedition will be against Tyre and Berytus, and the circumjacent territory. For by storming these cities first he will strike terror into the others.”
Gregory Nazianzen (Oration 30.2), in discussing Wisdom personified in Proverb 8:22, notes that the scripture often personifies lifeless objects, providing Isaiah 23:4 as an example.
See also Gregory the Great, Pastor 3.28: “For Sidon is as it were brought to shame by the voice of the sea, when the life of him who is fortified, and as it were stedfast, is reproved by comparison with the life at those who are secular and fluctuating in this world.”
Ken M. Penner
St. Francis Xavier University