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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

Isaiah 23



Verse 4


‘The sea hath spoken.’

Isaiah 23:4

Zidon is bidden to be ashamed because she is suddenly left childless, and this to an Eastern woman was shame indeed. The prophet, personifying Zidon as the City of the Sea, describes the sea as lamenting. It is as though the sea took up Zidon’s complaint at the destruction of her children, and spoke in all her multitudinous waves.

I. With what different tones the sea speaks.—Sometimes in the musical breath of her wavelets on the beach, or the long draw of the shingle in the recession of the retiring billow, or in the rising storm when the waters lift up their voice, or in the angry roar of the mighty waves far out at sea. Speaking in whispers and in thunder; speaking to itself and to God under the canopy of night. The sea-voices are not the least amongst those of nature. It seems to us sometimes like a great organ on which every note of joy, triumph, and distress is represented.

II. And what are the wild waves saying?—We are His, for He made us; we own His sway, for He only trod our crests; His voice is as the voice of many waters; His thoughts are deep as our profoundest depths; His throne stands behind the sea of glass mingled with fire; His least word prevails over our wildest fury. He shall live when the sea shall be no more, and in His home His children shall never tremble before our yeasty wrath, or be separated by weltering expanse.


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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Isaiah 23:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

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