5 Now I will sing for my ·friend [or beloved] a song about his vineyard [C Israel is the vineyard and God is its owner]. My ·friend [or beloved] had a vineyard on a ·hill with very rich soil [fertile hillside]. 2 He ·dug [or fenced it] and cleared the field of stones and planted the best grapevines there. He built a ·tower [watchtower; C for protection] in the middle of it and ·cut [carved] out a winepress as well [C symbolizing God’s protection of Israel]. He ·hoped [expected; looked to see if] good grapes would grow there, but ·only bad ones grew [L it produced only wild/sour grapes].
3 [C The vineyard owner now speaks:] “You ·people living in [residents/citizens of] Jerusalem, and you people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard [C the scene changes from a love song to a courtroom indictment]. 4 What more could I have done for my vineyard than I have already done? Although I ·expected [waited/looked for] good grapes to grow, why ·were there [did it produce] only ·bad [sour; wild] ones? 5 Now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will remove the hedge, and it will ·be burned [be purged/destroyed; or become a pasture]. I will break down the stone wall, and it will be ·walked [trampled; C referring to the Assyrian conquest in 722 bc]. 6 I will ·ruin my field [make it a wasteland; leave it untended]. It will not be ·trimmed [pruned] or hoed, and ·weeds [briers] and thorns will grow there. I will command the clouds not to rain on it.”
7 [L For; Because] The vineyard belonging to the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] is the ·nation [L house] of Israel; and the people of Judah are the ·garden [vines; plants] that he ·loves [delights in]. He looked for justice, but ·there was [look; behold] only ·killing [bloodshed; or oppression; injustice; C the Hebrew words for “justice” and “killing” sound alike]. He hoped for ·right living [righteousness], but ·there were [look; behold] only ·cries of pain [cries of distress; or an outrcy; C the Hebrew words for “righteousness” and “cries of pain” sound alike].
8 ·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] you who add more houses to your houses and more fields to your fields [C accumulating wealth at the expense of others, in violation of God’s command that tribal allotments be permanent; Lev. 25:23] until ·there is no room left for other people [no space is left]. Then you are left alone in the land.
9 The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] said this ·to me [L in my ears]:
“·The fine [The great; or Many] houses will ·be destroyed [become desolate]; the large and beautiful houses will be left empty [L of inhabitants]. 10 At that time a ·ten-acre [L ten-yoke; C unknown measurement, though clearly a large area] vineyard will make only ·six gallons [L one bath] of wine, and ·ten bushels [L a homer] of seed will grow only one bushel [L an ephah; C one tenth of a homer] of grain.”
11 ·How terrible it will be for people [L Woe to those] who rise early in the morning to ·look for [run after; pursue] ·strong drink [or beer; C alcoholic beverage made from grain], who ·stay awake late at night [linger into twilight], becoming ·drunk [L inflamed] with wine. 12 At their ·parties [banquets; feasts] they have lyres, harps, tambourines, flutes, and wine. They ·don’t see [or have no regard for] what the Lord has done or ·notice [see; comprehend] the work of his hands. 13 So my people will ·be captured and taken away [be deported; go into exile/captivity], because they ·don’t really know me [or lack understanding]. ·All the great people [Their nobles/men of honor] will die of hunger, and the ·common people [multitudes; masses] ·will die of [or will be parched with] thirst. 14 So ·the place of the dead [or the grave; L Sheol] ·wants more and more people [L opens wide/enlarges its throat], and it opens wide its mouth. ·Jerusalem’s [L Her] ·important people [nobility] and ·common people [multitude; masses] will go down into it, with their ·happy and noisy ones [noisy revellers; drunken mob]. 15 ·People [Humanity] will be humbled, ·everyone [each person; mankind] will be brought down; ·those who are [L the eyes of the] ·proud [haughty] will be humbled. 16 The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] will ·receive glory [be exalted] by ·judging fairly [his justice]; the holy God will show himself holy by ·doing what is right [righteousnes]. 17 Then the ·sheep [or lambs] will ·go anywhere they want [L feed as if in their pasture], and ·lambs [or strangers; foreigners] will feed ·on the land that rich people once owned [among the ruins of the rich].
18 ·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] those people! They pull ·their guilt and sins behind them as people pull wagons with ropes [L wickedness with the ropes of emptiness and sin with cart ropes]. 19 They say, “Let God hurry; let him do his work ·soon [quickly] so we may see it. Let the plan of the Holy One of Israel [1:4] ·happen soon [approach and draw near] so that we will know what it is.”
20 ·How terrible it will be for people [L Woe to those] who call ·good things bad and bad things good [L evil good and good evil], who ·think darkness is [or make darkness] light and ·light is [or make light] darkness, who ·think sour is [or turn sour/bitter to] sweet and sweet ·is sour [or to sour/bitter].
21 ·How terrible it will be for people [L Woe to those] who ·think they are wise [L are wise in their own eyes; Prov. 3:7; 26:12; 27:1; 28:11, 26] and ·believe they are clever [L clever/understanding in front of themselves].
22 ·How terrible it will be for people [L Woe to those] who are ·famous for [heroes/champions at] drinking wine and are ·champions [valiant men] at mixing ·drinks [beer; v. 11]. 23 They take ·money [a bribe] to ·set the guilty free [acquit the wicked] and ·don’t allow good people to be judged fairly [deny justice/righteousness to the innocent/righteous]. 24 [L Therefore] They will be destroyed just as ·fire [L tongues of fire] ·burns [L devours] straw and dry grass ·is consumed by [L sinks in the] flames. They will be destroyed like a plant whose roots rot and whose flower dies and blows away like dust. They have ·refused to obey [rejected; spurned] the ·teachings [law; L Torah] of the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] and have ·hated [despised] the message from the Holy One of Israel [1:4]. 25 So the ·Lord has become very angry with [L Lord’s anger burns against] his people, and he ·has raised [extends; stretches out] his hand to ·punish [strike] them. Even the mountains ·are frightened [shake; tremble]. ·Dead bodies [Corpses] lie in the streets like garbage.
·But the Lord is still angry [L In all this, his anger is not turned away]; his hand is still ·raised [extended; stretched out] to strike down the people.
26 He raises a ·banner [standard; signal flag] for the nations far away. He whistles to call those people from the ends of the earth. ·Look [T Behold]! ·The enemy comes ·quickly [swiftly; with great speed]! 27 Not one of them becomes tired or ·falls down [stumbles]. Not one of them ·gets sleepy [slumbers] and falls asleep. ·Their weapons are close at hand [L No belt is loosened], and their sandal straps are not broken. 28 Their arrows are sharp, and all of their bows are ready to shoot. The horses’ hoofs ·are hard as rocks [or make sparks like flint], and their chariot wheels move like a ·whirlwind [wind storm]. 29 Their ·shout is like the roar of [L roar is like] a lion; it ·is loud [L roars] like a young lion. They growl as they grab their ·captives [prey]. They carry it off and no one can ·save [rescue] it. 30 On that day they will roar [L over it] like the ·waves [L roaring] of the sea. And ·when [if] people look at the land, they will see only darkness and ·pain [distress]; all light will become dark ·in this thick cloud [or because of clouds].
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