Pass through thy land as a river, O daughter of Tarshish: there is no more strength. 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. Behold the land of the Chaldeans; this people was not, till the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness: they set up the towers thereof, they raised up the palaces thereof; and he brought it to ruin. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish: for your strength is laid waste. And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years shall Tyre sing as an harlot. Take an harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered. And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the LORD will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth.
In view of Nebuchadnezzar’s attack on Tyre, the people were told to escape to other countries, spreading out like the river, which could be referring to the Euphrates River, which flows through many countries. God had roused Babylon to destroy the merchant city. Even if the refugees fled to Cyprus, they would not find any rest. The prophet was amazed that an obscure nation with humble beginnings, founded by Assyria, should bring Tyre to ruin. Tyre would be forgotten during the seventy years of the Chaldean monarchy. At the end of that time, it would joyfully resume its commercial fornication with all the kingdoms of the world.