七十年 SEVENTY YEARS (以賽亞書Isaiah 23:1-18)

讀經:  以賽亞書 廿三1~18

SCRIPTURE READING:   Isaiah 23:1-18

釋義:  論推羅的默示列於以賽亞論外邦列國的預告之末(十三至廿三章)。  可能是以賽亞論外邦列國的編排次序是按地理畫分:始於東方的巴比倫(十三至十四章),止於指向西方的腓尼基(廿三章)。  但是推羅佔壓軸位置, 因為她對那個時代的影響。

INSIGHT:  The oracle concerning Tyre is at the end of all Isaiah’s prophesies regarding foreign nations. Perhaps Isaiah based the order on the geographic location:  Starting from Babylon in the east (chapter 13 and 14), and ending with Phoenicia in the west (chapter 23); but the finale was given to Tyre because of her influence during that era. 

推羅是一個大商港, 在海事上稱霸當時世界(王上十11,22),商業遍及整個地中海地區(3,8)。  因此腓尼基(推羅為她最重要的城市)擁有普世視野, 她的默示也可說為論及全世界。  本章的哀歌所提及的地方絕不是毫無目的:包括了整個地中海地帶, 南起埃及, 北至塞浦路斯(即基提,新約稱為居比路),東自推羅西頓,西至西班牙南部的他施。  以賽亞那時的(主前八世紀),腓尼基人已在塞浦路斯, 希臘、北非、馬爾他、西西里與西班牙, 設立了殖民地, 將文字帶進了希臘。  發生在推羅的事, 可以說具國際性的影響。

Tyre was a large commercial hub and a dominant maritime power in the world at that time (1 Kings 10:11,22), with trade networks all over the Mediterranean region (3,8).  Therefore Phoenicia (Tyre being its most important city) was a nation with a global perspective; an oracle about her can be interpreted as one about the entire world. The places mentioned in the lamentation here are not random. They include the entire Mediterranean region, from Egypt in the south to Cyprus (or Kittim) in the north, and from Tyre and Sidon in the east, to Tarshish in the southern part of Spain in the west.  In Isaiah’s time (8 th century BC), the Phoenicians had already established colonies in Cyprus, Greece, northern Africa, Malta, Sicily and Spain, and introduced written language to Greece.  Thus, what happened in Tyre had international influence.

本章預言推羅的滅沒在歷史進程中逐步應驗。亞述人在主前七○五至七○一年, 先在西拿基立領導下, 然後他的繼承人以撒哈頓(主前六八一至六六九年), 二度入侵腓尼基。尼布甲尼撒(主前六○五至五六二年)曾圍困推羅島十三年(結廿六), 最後終歸失敗(結廿九17-20)。  後來波斯王亞達薛西三世在主前三四三年征服了西頓, 而推羅島終於在主前三三二年被亞歷山大大帝所攻破, 他以七個月時間建築了著名的堤道, 將推羅與陸地連在一起。

The fall of Tyre prophesied here was gradually fulfilled in history. The Assyrian invaded Phoenicia twice, first under the command of Sennacherib (705 – 701 BC), followed by his successor, Esar-Haddon (681 – 669 BC). Then Nebuchadnezzar (605 – 562 BC) laid siege to Tyre Island for 13 years (Ezekiel 26), but failed in the end (Ezekiel 29:17-20). Later Persian king Artaxerxes III conquered Sidon in 343 BC.  Finally, Tyre Island was captured by Alexander the Great in 332 BC.  He used 7 months’ time to construct the famous causeway, linking Tyre to the mainland.

本章最特別的教訓, 就是應許推羅被忘記七十年後, 神必再眷顧推羅, 並且將她分別為聖(17-18)。  這也是以色列被擄到巴比倫的年數(耶廿五11廿九10), 說明神雖然揀選以色列人, 但是他並不偏袒, 對外邦人同樣愛憐施恩。

The most special teaching here is the promise that God will have mercy on Tyre again and she will be set apart for the Lord after 70 years of being forgotten (17-18).  This is the same number of years that the Israelites were carried off to Babylon (Jeremiah 25:11, 29:10), showing that God does not display favoritism toward His chosen people, He is equally graceful and merciful to the gentiles.

「七」和「七十」在聖經中象徵一個完全的單元, 例如神七日創造天地; 殺該隱遭報七倍, 殺拉麥,必遭報七十七倍(創四24); 埃及人為約瑟哀哭了七十天(創五十3); 以琳有十二股水泉,七十棵棕樹(出十五27);人生的年日是七十歲(詩九十10);神用七十個七向但以理啟示國度計劃;饒恕人七十個七次(太十八22)等。

‘Seven’ and ‘seventy’ in the Bible symbolize a complete unit. For example, God created the world in seven days; if Cain is avenged seven folds, then Lamech seventy seven folds (Genesis 4:24); the Egyptians mourned for Joseph seventy days (Genesis 50:3); there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees in Elim (Exodus 15:27); the years of our life is seventy (Psalms 90:10); God used seventy-seven to reveal to Daniel the plan for His Kingdom; forgive people seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:22), etc.

神宣告懲罰推羅或耶路撒冷七十年為限, 說明神一定追討罪, 但祂不永遠懷怒。所以請回應先知的呼籲: 「來吧,我們歸向耶和華!他撕裂我們,也必醫治;他打傷我們,也必纏裹。過兩天他必使我們甦醒,第三天他必使我們興起,我們就在他面前得以存活。」(何六2-3)

God proclaimed the punishment for Tyre or Jerusalem to stop after 70 years, indicating that God does go after and punishes sin, but He does not hold His anger forever.  Therefore, let us respond to the prophet’s call: “Come, let us return to the LORD; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before Him.” (Hosea 6:1-2)

每日讀經  by 洪同勉牧師 Rev. Tommy Hung