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The Song of the Vineyard

Let me sing for my beloved
    a song of my love concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard[a] on a fertile hill.[b]
And he dug it and cleared it of stones,
    and he planted it with choice vines,[c]
and he built a watchtower in the middle of it,
    and he even hewed out a wine vat in it,
and he waited for it to yield grapes—
    but it yielded wild grapes.
And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
    and men[d] of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard.
What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it?
    Why did I hope for it to yield grapes, and it yielded wild grapes?

And now let me tell you what I myself am about to do to my vineyard.

I will remove its hedge, and it shall become a devastation.
    I will break down its wall, and it shall become a trampling.
And I will make it a wasteland;
    it shall not be pruned and hoed,
and it shall be overgrown with briers[e] and thornbushes.[f]
    And concerning the clouds, I will command them not to send[g] rain down upon it.
For the vineyard of Yahweh of hosts is the house of Israel,
    and the man[h] of Judah is the plantation of his delight.
And he waited for justice,[i]
    but look! Bloodshed![j]
For righteousness,[k]
    but look! A cry of distress![l]

Woes on the Wicked

Ah! Those who join[m] house with house,
    they join field together with field
until there is no place[n]
    and you are caused to dwell alone in the midst of the land.

Yahweh of hosts said in my ears:

Surely[o] many houses shall become a desolation,
    large and beautiful ones without inhabitant.
10 For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath,[p]
and the seed of a homer will yield an ephah.[q]
11 Ah! Those who rise early in the morning,
    they pursue strong drink.
Those who linger in the evening,
    wine inflames them.
12 And there will be lyre and harp,
    tambourine and flute,
    and wine at their feasts,
but they do not look at the deeds[r] of Yahweh,
    and they do not see the work of his hands.
13 Therefore my people will go into exile without knowledge,
and their[s] nobles[t] will be men of hunger,
and their[u] multitude is parched with thirst.
14 Therefore Sheol has enlarged its throat,
    and it has opened wide its mouth without limit,
and her[v] nobles[w] will go down, and her multitude,
    her tumult and those who revel in her.
15 And humankind is bowed down,
    and man is brought low,
    and the eyes of the haughty are humiliated.
16 But Yahweh of hosts is exalted by justice,
    and the holy God shows himself holy by righteousness.
17 And then the lambs will graze as in their pasture,
    and fatlings, kids[x] will eat among the sites of ruins.[y]
18 Ah! Those who drag iniquity along with the cords of falsehood
    and sin as with rope of the cart,
19 those who say,
“Let him make haste;
    let him hurry his work
        so that we may see it
and let it draw near
    and let the plan of the holy one of Israel come
        so that we may know it!”
20 Ah! Those who call evil good and good evil,
    those who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
    those who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
21 Ah! Those who are wise in their own eyes
    and have understanding in their view![z]
22 Ah! Heroes at drinking wine,
    and men of capability at mixing strong drink!
23 Those who acquit the guilty because of a bribe
    and remove the justice of the innocent from him.
24 Therefore as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
    and dry grass sinks down in the flame,
so their root will become like the stench,
    and their blossom will go up like the dust.
For they have rejected the instruction of Yahweh of hosts,
    and they have treated the word of the holy one of Israel with contempt.
25 Therefore Yahweh’s wrath was kindled[aa] against his people,
    and he stretched out his hand against them[ab] and struck them,[ac]
and the mountains quaked,
    and their corpses[ad] were like refuse in the middle of the streets.

Yahweh’s Outstretched Hand

In all of this his anger has not turned back,
    and still his hand is stretched out.
26 And he will raise a signal for a nation[ae] from afar,
and he will whistle for it from the end of the earth.
And look! It comes quickly, swiftly!
27 None is weary,
    and none among him stumbles;
    none slumbers and none sleeps.
And no loincloth on his waist is opened,
    and no thong of his sandals is drawn away.
28 Whose arrows are sharp,
    and all of his bows are bent.
The hoofs of his horses are reckoned like flint,
    and his wheels like the storm wind.
29 His roaring is like the lion,
    and he roars like young lions.
And he growls and seizes his prey,
    and he carries it off,
    and not one can rescue it.
30 And he will roar over him on that day
    like the roaring of the sea,
and if one looks to the land, look! Darkness! Distress!
    And the light grows dark with its[af] clouds.


  1. Isaiah 5:1 Literally “A vineyard was for my beloved”
  2. Isaiah 5:1 Literally “a horn of a son of olive oil.” The Hebrew for horn, qeren, sounds like the Hebrew for vineyard, kerem
  3. Isaiah 5:2 Hebrew “vine”
  4. Isaiah 5:3 Hebrew “man”
  5. Isaiah 5:6 Hebrew “brier”
  6. Isaiah 5:6 Hebrew “thornbush”
  7. Isaiah 5:6 Literally “from sending”
  8. Isaiah 5:7 Or “people”
  9. Isaiah 5:7 The Hebrew word, mishpat, sounds like mishpakh in the next line
  10. Isaiah 5:7 The Hebrew word, mishpakh, sounds like mishpat in the previous line
  11. Isaiah 5:7 The Hebrew word, tsedaqah, sounds like tsa`aqah in the next line
  12. Isaiah 5:7 The Hebrew word, tsa`aqah, sounds like tsedaqah in the previous line
  13. Isaiah 5:8 Literally “touch”
  14. Isaiah 5:8 Literally “an end of place”
  15. Isaiah 5:9 Literally “If not”
  16. Isaiah 5:10 A bath is a liquid measure
  17. Isaiah 5:10 An ephah is a dry measure equal to one-tenth of a homer
  18. Isaiah 5:12 Hebrew “deed”
  19. Isaiah 5:13 Hebrew “its”
  20. Isaiah 5:13 Hebrew “noble”
  21. Isaiah 5:13 Hebrew “its”
  22. Isaiah 5:14 That is, Jerusalem’s
  23. Isaiah 5:14 Hebrew “noble”
  24. Isaiah 5:17 Following the Septuagint, which reads the Hebrew grym (resident aliens) as gdym (young goats/sheep)
  25. Isaiah 5:17 Literally “and ruins, fatlings, resident aliens, will eat”
  26. Isaiah 5:21 Literally “before their faces”
  27. Isaiah 5:25 Literally “the anger of Yahweh became hot”
  28. Isaiah 5:25 Hebrew “it”
  29. Isaiah 5:25 Hebrew “it”
  30. Isaiah 5:25 Hebrew “corpse”
  31. Isaiah 5:26 The Hebrew is plural, but the following verses refer to the nation as singular
  32. Isaiah 5:30 Presumably the land’s