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“Son of man, how does a grapevine compare to a tree? Is a vine’s wood as useful as the wood of a tree?

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The Lord’s Judgment against Israel

10 How prosperous Israel is—
    a luxuriant vine loaded with fruit.
But the richer the people get,
    the more pagan altars they build.
The more bountiful their harvests,
    the more beautiful their sacred pillars.

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A Song about the Lord’s Vineyard

Now I will sing for the one I love
    a song about his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
    on a rich and fertile hill.
He plowed the land, cleared its stones,
    and planted it with the best vines.
In the middle he built a watchtower
    and carved a winepress in the nearby rocks.
Then he waited for a harvest of sweet grapes,
    but the grapes that grew were bitter.

Now, you people of Jerusalem and Judah,
    you judge between me and my vineyard.
What more could I have done for my vineyard
    that I have not already done?
When I expected sweet grapes,
    why did my vineyard give me bitter grapes?

Now let me tell you
    what I will do to my vineyard:
I will tear down its hedges
    and let it be destroyed.
I will break down its walls
    and let the animals trample it.
I will make it a wild place
    where the vines are not pruned and the ground is not hoed,
    a place overgrown with briers and thorns.
I will command the clouds
    to drop no rain on it.

The nation of Israel is the vineyard of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
    The people of Judah are his pleasant garden.
He expected a crop of justice,
    but instead he found oppression.
He expected to find righteousness,
    but instead he heard cries of violence.

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You brought us from Egypt like a grapevine;
    you drove away the pagan nations and transplanted us into your land.
You cleared the ground for us,
    and we took root and filled the land.
10 Our shade covered the mountains;
    our branches covered the mighty cedars.
11 We spread our branches west to the Mediterranean Sea;
    our shoots spread east to the Euphrates River.[a]
12 But now, why have you broken down our walls
    so that all who pass by may steal our fruit?
13 The wild boar from the forest devours it,
    and the wild animals feed on it.

14 Come back, we beg you, O God of Heaven’s Armies.
    Look down from heaven and see our plight.
Take care of this grapevine
15     that you yourself have planted,
    this son you have raised for yourself.
16 For we are chopped up and burned by our enemies.
    May they perish at the sight of your frown.

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Footnotes

  1. 80:11 Hebrew west to the sea, . . . east to the river.

Jesus, the True Vine

15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.

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Parable of the Evil Farmers

Now Jesus turned to the people again and told them this story: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and moved to another country to live for several years. 10 At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. 11 So the owner sent another servant, but they also insulted him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away.

13 “‘What will I do?’ the owner asked himself. ‘I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will respect him.’

14 “But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they said to each other, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ 15 So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him.

“What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to them?” Jesus asked. 16 “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.”

“How terrible that such a thing should ever happen,” his listeners protested.

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21 But I was the one who planted you,
    choosing a vine of the purest stock—the very best.
    How did you grow into this corrupt wild vine?

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Parable of the Evil Farmers

12 Then Jesus began teaching them with stories: “A man planted a vineyard. He built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country. At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers grabbed the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed. The owner then sent another servant, but they insulted him and beat him over the head. The next servant he sent was killed. Others he sent were either beaten or killed, until there was only one left—his son whom he loved dearly. The owner finally sent him, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’

“But the tenant farmers said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ So they grabbed him and murdered him and threw his body out of the vineyard.

“What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do?” Jesus asked. “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.

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Parable of the Evil Farmers

33 “Now listen to another story. A certain landowner planted a vineyard, built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country. 34 At the time of the grape harvest, he sent his servants to collect his share of the crop. 35 But the farmers grabbed his servants, beat one, killed one, and stoned another. 36 So the landowner sent a larger group of his servants to collect for him, but the results were the same.

37 “Finally, the owner sent his son, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’

38 “But when the tenant farmers saw his son coming, they said to one another, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Come on, let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ 39 So they grabbed him, dragged him out of the vineyard, and murdered him.

40 “When the owner of the vineyard returns,” Jesus asked, “what do you think he will do to those farmers?”

41 The religious leaders replied, “He will put the wicked men to a horrible death and lease the vineyard to others who will give him his share of the crop after each harvest.”

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Weep, you cypress trees, for all the ruined cedars;
    the most majestic ones have fallen.
Weep, you oaks of Bashan,
    for the thick forests have been cut down.

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12 Because of you, Mount Zion will be plowed like an open field;
    Jerusalem will be reduced to ruins!
A thicket will grow on the heights
    where the Temple now stands.

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23 Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has done this wondrous thing.
    Shout for joy, O depths of the earth!
Break into song,
    O mountains and forests and every tree!
For the Lord has redeemed Jacob
    and is glorified in Israel.

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32 Their vine grows from the vine of Sodom,
    from the vineyards of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are poison,
    and their clusters are bitter.
33 Their wine is the venom of serpents,
    the deadly poison of cobras.

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