Parable of the Vineyard
5 Now let me sing for my greatly Beloved [Lord]
A song of my Beloved about His vineyard (His chosen people).
My greatly Beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile slope (the promised land, Canaan).(A)
He dug it all around and cleared away its stones,
And planted it with [a]the choicest vine (the people of Judah).
And He built a tower in the center of it;
And also hewed out a [b]wine vat in it.
Then He expected it to produce [the choicest] grapes,
But it produced only worthless ones.
“And now, says the Lord, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
Judge between Me and My vineyard (My people).
“What more could have been done for My vineyard that I have not done in it?
When I expected it to produce good grapes, why did it yield worthless ones?
“So now let me tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard:
I will take away its thorn-hedge, and it will be burned up;
I will break down its [c]stone wall and it will be trampled down [by enemies].
“I will turn it into a wasteland;
It will not be pruned or cultivated,
But briars and thorns will come up.
I will also command the clouds not to rain on it.”
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house (nation) of Israel
And the men of Judah are His delightful planting [which He loves].
So He looked for justice, but in fact, [He saw] bloodshed and lawlessness;
[He looked] for righteousness, but in fact, [He heard] a cry of distress and oppression.
Woes for the Wicked
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who join house to house and join field to field [to increase their holdings by depriving others],
Until there is no more room [for others],
So that you have to live alone in the midst of the land!
In my ears the Lord of hosts said, “Be assured that many houses will become desolate,
Even great and beautiful ones will be unoccupied.
“For ten [d]acres of vineyard will yield [only] [e]one bath of wine,
And a homer ([f]six bushels) of seed will produce [only] one ephah of grain.”
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who rise early in the morning to pursue intoxicating drink,
Who stay up late in the night till wine inflames them!
They have lyre and harp, tambourine and flute, and wine at their feasts;
But they do not regard nor even pay attention to the deeds of the Lord,
Nor do they consider the work of His hands.
Therefore My people go into exile because they lack knowledge [of God];
And their honorable men are famished,
And their common people are parched with thirst.
Therefore Sheol (the realm of the dead) has increased its appetite and opened its mouth beyond measure;
And [g]Jerusalem’s splendor, her multitude, her [boisterous] uproar and her [drunken] revelers descend into it.
So the common man will be bowed down and the man of importance degraded,
And the eyes of the proud (arrogant) will be degraded.
But the Lord of hosts will be exalted in justice,
And God, the Holy One, will show Himself holy in righteousness [through His righteous judgments].
Then the lambs will graze [among the ruins] as in their own pasture,
And strangers will eat in the desolate places of the [exiled] wealthy.
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who drag along wickedness with cords of falsehood,
And sin as if with cart ropes [towing their own punishment];
Who say, “Let Him move speedily, let Him expedite His work [His promised vengeance], so that we may see it;
And let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel approach
And come to pass, so that we may know it!”
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who are wise in their own eyes
And clever and shrewd in their own sight!
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who are heroes at drinking wine
And men of strength in mixing intoxicating drinks,
Who justify the wicked and acquit the guilty for a bribe,
And take away the rights of those who are in the right!
Therefore, as the tongue of fire consumes the stubble [from straw]
And the dry grass collapses into the flame,
So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away like fine dust;
Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts
And despised and discarded the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Therefore the anger of the Lord has burned against His people,
And He has stretched out His hand against them and has struck them down.
And the mountains trembled, and their dead bodies lay like rubbish in the middle of the streets.
In spite of all this God’s anger is not turned away,
But His hand is still stretched out [in judgment].
He will lift up a flag to [call] the distant nations [to bring His judgment on Judah],
And will whistle for them from the ends of the earth;
And indeed, they will come with great speed swiftly.
No one among them is weary or stumbles,
No one slumbers or sleeps;
Nor is the belt at their waist undone [as if unprepared for action],
Nor is the strap of their sandal broken.
Their arrows are sharp and all their bows are strung and bent;
Their horses’ hoofs seem like flint and their chariot wheels like a whirlwind.
Their roaring is like a lioness, they roar like young lions;
They growl and seize their prey
And carry it off and there is no one to save it.
And in that day they will roar against them (Judah) like the roaring of the sea.
And if one looks to the land, in fact, there is darkness and distress;
Even the light will be darkened by its clouds.
- Isaiah 5:2 Lit a bright red grape.
- Isaiah 5:2 This was the lower of two hollowed-out reservoirs made in the soft rock, one above the other, connected by a channel that allowed the juice pressed out in the upper reservoir to flow to the lower.
- Isaiah 5:5 The wall was usually made up of loose stones that had been cleared from the field.
- Isaiah 5:10 Lit teams of oxen, referring to the area of land that a team of oxen can plow in one day.
- Isaiah 5:10 This is only a very rough approximation. The basic Hebrew unit of volume was an egg, which varied greatly, and the estimation was significantly larger than an ordinary chicken egg. A bath was set at 432 eggs—six to eight gallons.
- Isaiah 5:10 The actual Hebrew measure was the volume of 4,320 eggs, and an ephah (like a bath, only a dry measure) was 432 eggs.
- Isaiah 5:14 Lit her.