New Defender's Study Bible Notes
23:1 Tyre. Tyre was a great city of the Phoenicians, noted as the home port of a great fleet of merchant ships. Its decline and eventual destruction were foretold by both Isaiah and, much later, by Ezekiel (see Ezekiel 26–28).
23:1 Tarshish. Tarshish is frequently mentioned in Scripture because of its ships plying the Mediterranean (e.g., Jonah 1:3). The city itself was evidently a colony of the Phoenicians, possibly Carthage in North Africa or Tartessus in Spain. Since the word itself means “smelting place,” it could refer to a region whence the Tyrians obtained their metals, possibly Great Britain or even somewhere in America or the Far East. The fact that the ships of Solomon took three years to go and return from Tarshish with an exotic cargo (II Chronicles 9:21) would seem to indicate a very long journey. Considerable evidence exists that the sea-going Phoenicians did sail around the tip of Africa and probably even reached America.
23:1 Chittim. Chittim (same as Kittim) is believed by many to refer to Cyprus. Both Kittim and Tarshish were grandsons of Japheth, son of Noah (Genesis 10:4).
23:15 forgotten seventy years. It is interesting that Tyre, like Judah, was to be “forgotten” for seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11-12). Tyre was semi-autonomous under the Assyrians, until conquered by Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian hosts. Although it continued to exist after that, and even revived to a degree when Cyrus conquered Babylon, Tyre never regained the power and prestige it enjoyed for many centuries before the Assyrian invasion. It was finally destroyed by Alexander the Great. The “seventy years” may correlate with the approximately seventy years between Nebuchadnezzar’s conquest of Tyre and its revival under Cyrus.