Monday, January 3, 2011

Isaiah 23:10-12

Verse 10 “Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish: there is no more strength.”

The inhabitants are told to get through their land swiftly as a river runs, to get out of harm’s way. They are no longer the mother of colonies, but Tyre’s children will be the children of their own colonies as they escape to there or are enslaved and sent there by Alexander the Great. Their strength as a powerful commercial center is gone and there is no help for them to escape what lies ahead.

The same advice would apply to America when her time comes. Nobody will step forward to help her, as everyone either hates her and will be glad to see her punished, or they will be incapable of helping her, as she is the one who is called upon to help everyone else.

Verse 11-12 “He stretched out his hand over the sea, he shook the kingdoms: the Lord hath given a commandment against the merchant city, to destroy the strong holds thereof. 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.”

The Lord makes the kingdoms of the world tremble when He acts. To see such a powerful, defensible city fall would shake up other kingdoms and frighten them. If she can be destroyed, who cannot? God puts the desire in the hearts of her enemies to overthrow and destroy Tyre. She will no more spend her time enjoying the good things of life. Her time is over. He calls her an oppressed virgin, which in the Hebrew means a violated virgin. She has never been conquered before in the way she is conquered now. This will be her first experience at being raped and plundered. She has been a virgin in that respect. Her people are told to go over to the other isles or colonies, but they will have no rest there either, as due to their luxurious way of life, they are contemptible to everyone else, so they are not looked upon with favor no matter where they go.

Tyre was first besieged by Babylon and had to acknowledge their authority, but she was completely overthrown and destroyed by Alexander the Great. The people who did not heed the advice to leave were killed or enslaved. They most likely were not welcome wherever they went. To call Tyre an oppressed virgin is only partially correct, as she did get overthrown twice. This would seem to imply that the future interpretation is more accurate in its calling her a virgin who has never been touched until this destruction. We know from Revelation that Babylon is a queen that has never been touched like this before. God does put it in the heart of Babylon’s enemies to destroy her “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their heats to fulfil his will.” Rev. 17:16-17a. When she falls, the kingdoms of the earth will tremble, as no one has been as great as this country in the modern age. Nor has this country ever been conquered. America is indeed a virgin in that sense. God's people are told to flee out of Babylon. They are given the warning just as Tyre was. While we do not exactly have colonies, we do have territories and our people come from all of the countries of the world, so those who listen and flee may run back to their own countries. Americans are not very welcome in the rest of the world. Most people resent us and with good cause in a lot of cases, although there are many who should be very grateful for what we do for them, but they are not. Jealousy is great among those who live in abject poverty or oppressive countries. People see us living in luxury, but also see our sinful ways and our pride, which irritates them. The parallel between Tyre and Babylon the Whore, who we presume to be America, is too similar to be ignored.

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