Israel, the Lord’s Vineyard
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].