God’s Disappointing Vineyard

Now let me sing to my Well-beloved
A song of my Beloved (A)regarding His vineyard:

My Well-beloved has a vineyard
[a]On a very fruitful hill.
He dug it up and cleared out its stones,
And planted it with the choicest vine.
He built a tower in its midst,
And also [b]made a winepress in it;
(B)So He expected it to bring forth good grapes,
But it brought forth wild grapes.

“And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
(C)Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.
What more could have been done to My vineyard
That I have not done in (D)it?
Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes,
Did it bring forth wild grapes?
And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard:
(E)I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned;
And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.
I will lay it (F)waste;
It shall not be pruned or [c]dug,
But there shall come up briers and (G)thorns.
I will also command the clouds
That they rain no rain on it.”

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,
And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.
He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;
For righteousness, but behold, [d]a cry for help.

Impending Judgment on Excesses

Woe to those who [e]join (H)house to house;
They add field to field,
Till there is no place
Where they may dwell alone in the midst of the land!
(I)In my hearing the Lord of hosts said,
“Truly, many houses shall be desolate,
Great and beautiful ones, without inhabitant.
10 For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one (J)bath,[f]
And a homer of seed shall yield one [g]ephah.”

11 (K)Woe to those who rise early in the morning,
That they may [h]follow intoxicating drink;
Who continue until night, till wine inflames them!
12 (L)The harp and the strings,
The tambourine and flute,
And wine are in their feasts;
But (M)they do not regard the work of the Lord,
Nor consider the operation of His hands.

13 (N)Therefore my people have gone into captivity,
Because they have no (O)knowledge;
Their honorable men are famished,
And their multitude dried up with thirst.
14 Therefore Sheol has enlarged itself
And opened its mouth beyond measure;
Their glory and their multitude and their pomp,
And he who is jubilant, shall descend into it.
15 People shall be brought down,
(P)Each man shall be humbled,
And the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled.
16 But the Lord of hosts shall be (Q)exalted in judgment,
And God who is holy shall be hallowed in righteousness.
17 Then the lambs shall feed in their pasture,
And in the waste places of (R)the [i]fat ones strangers shall eat.

18 Woe to those who [j]draw iniquity with cords of [k]vanity,
And sin as if with a cart rope;
19 (S)That say, “Let Him make speed and hasten His work,
That we may see it;
And let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come,
That we may know it.

20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

21 Woe to those who are (T)wise in their own eyes,
And prudent in their own sight!

22 Woe to men mighty at drinking wine,
Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink,
23 Who (U)justify the wicked for a bribe,
And take away justice from the righteous man!

24 Therefore, (V)as the [l]fire devours the stubble,
And the flame consumes the chaff,
So (W)their root will be as rottenness,
And their blossom will ascend like dust;
Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 (X)Therefore the anger of the Lord is aroused against His people;
He has stretched out His hand against them
And stricken them,
And (Y)the hills trembled.
Their carcasses were as refuse in the midst of the streets.

(Z)For all this His anger is not turned away,
But His hand is stretched out still.

26 (AA)He will lift up a banner to the nations from afar,
And will (AB)whistle to them from (AC)the end of the earth;
Surely (AD)they shall come with speed, swiftly.
27 No one will be weary or stumble among them,
No one will slumber or sleep;
Nor (AE)will the belt on their loins be loosed,
Nor the strap of their sandals be broken;
28 (AF)Whose arrows are sharp,
And all their bows bent;
Their horses’ hooves will [m]seem like flint,
And their wheels like a whirlwind.
29 Their roaring will be like a lion,
They will roar like young lions;
Yes, they will roar
And lay hold of the prey;
They will carry it away safely,
And no one will deliver.
30 In that day they will roar against them
Like the roaring of the sea.
And if one (AG)looks to the land,
Behold, darkness and [n]sorrow;
And the light is darkened by the clouds.


  1. Isaiah 5:1 Lit. In a horn, the son of fatness
  2. Isaiah 5:2 Lit. hewed out
  3. Isaiah 5:6 hoed
  4. Isaiah 5:7 wailing
  5. Isaiah 5:8 Accumulate houses
  6. Isaiah 5:10 1 bath=1⁄10 homer
  7. Isaiah 5:10 1 ephah=1⁄10 homer
  8. Isaiah 5:11 pursue
  9. Isaiah 5:17 Lit. fatlings, rich ones
  10. Isaiah 5:18 drag
  11. Isaiah 5:18 emptiness or falsehood
  12. Isaiah 5:24 Lit. tongue of fire
  13. Isaiah 5:28 Lit. be regarded as
  14. Isaiah 5:30 distress

The Song of the Vineyard

I will sing for the one I love
    a song about his vineyard:(A)
My loved one had a vineyard
    on a fertile hillside.
He dug it up and cleared it of stones
    and planted it with the choicest vines.(B)
He built a watchtower(C) in it
    and cut out a winepress(D) as well.
Then he looked for a crop of good grapes,
    but it yielded only bad fruit.(E)

“Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah,
    judge between me and my vineyard.(F)
What more could have been done for my vineyard
    than I have done for it?(G)
When I looked for good grapes,
    why did it yield only bad?(H)
Now I will tell you
    what I am going to do to my vineyard:
I will take away its hedge,
    and it will be destroyed;(I)
I will break down its wall,(J)
    and it will be trampled.(K)
I will make it a wasteland,(L)
    neither pruned nor cultivated,
    and briers and thorns(M) will grow there.
I will command the clouds
    not to rain(N) on it.”

The vineyard(O) of the Lord Almighty
    is the nation of Israel,
and the people of Judah
    are the vines he delighted in.
And he looked for justice,(P) but saw bloodshed;
    for righteousness,(Q) but heard cries of distress.(R)

Woes and Judgments

Woe(S) to you who add house to house
    and join field to field(T)
till no space is left
    and you live alone in the land.

The Lord Almighty(U) has declared in my hearing:(V)

“Surely the great houses will become desolate,(W)
    the fine mansions left without occupants.
10 A ten-acre vineyard will produce only a bath[a] of wine;
    a homer[b] of seed will yield only an ephah[c] of grain.”(X)

11 Woe(Y) to those who rise early in the morning
    to run after their drinks,
who stay up late at night
    till they are inflamed with wine.(Z)
12 They have harps and lyres at their banquets,
    pipes(AA) and timbrels(AB) and wine,
but they have no regard(AC) for the deeds of the Lord,
    no respect for the work of his hands.(AD)
13 Therefore my people will go into exile(AE)
    for lack of understanding;(AF)
those of high rank(AG) will die of hunger
    and the common people will be parched with thirst.(AH)
14 Therefore Death(AI) expands its jaws,
    opening wide its mouth;(AJ)
into it will descend their nobles and masses
    with all their brawlers and revelers.(AK)
15 So people will be brought low(AL)
    and everyone humbled,(AM)
    the eyes of the arrogant(AN) humbled.
16 But the Lord Almighty will be exalted(AO) by his justice,(AP)
    and the holy God will be proved holy(AQ) by his righteous acts.
17 Then sheep will graze as in their own pasture;(AR)
    lambs will feed[d] among the ruins of the rich.

18 Woe(AS) to those who draw sin along with cords(AT) of deceit,
    and wickedness(AU) as with cart ropes,
19 to those who say, “Let God hurry;
    let him hasten(AV) his work
    so we may see it.
The plan of the Holy One(AW) of Israel—
    let it approach, let it come into view,
    so we may know it.”(AX)

20 Woe(AY) to those who call evil good(AZ)
    and good evil,(BA)
who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,(BB)
who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter.(BC)

21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes(BD)
    and clever in their own sight.

22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine(BE)
    and champions at mixing drinks,(BF)
23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,(BG)
    but deny justice(BH) to the innocent.(BI)
24 Therefore, as tongues of fire(BJ) lick up straw(BK)
    and as dry grass sinks down in the flames,
so their roots will decay(BL)
    and their flowers blow away like dust;(BM)
for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty
    and spurned the word(BN) of the Holy One(BO) of Israel.
25 Therefore the Lord’s anger(BP) burns against his people;
    his hand is raised and he strikes them down.
The mountains shake,(BQ)
    and the dead bodies(BR) are like refuse(BS) in the streets.(BT)

Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,(BU)
    his hand is still upraised.(BV)

26 He lifts up a banner(BW) for the distant nations,
    he whistles(BX) for those at the ends of the earth.(BY)
Here they come,
    swiftly and speedily!
27 Not one of them grows tired(BZ) or stumbles,
    not one slumbers or sleeps;
not a belt(CA) is loosened at the waist,(CB)
    not a sandal strap is broken.(CC)
28 Their arrows are sharp,(CD)
    all their bows(CE) are strung;
their horses’ hooves(CF) seem like flint,
    their chariot wheels like a whirlwind.(CG)
29 Their roar is like that of the lion,(CH)
    they roar like young lions;
they growl as they seize(CI) their prey
    and carry it off with no one to rescue.(CJ)
30 In that day(CK) they will roar over it
    like the roaring of the sea.(CL)
And if one looks at the land,
    there is only darkness(CM) and distress;(CN)
    even the sun will be darkened(CO) by clouds.


  1. Isaiah 5:10 That is, about 6 gallons or about 22 liters
  2. Isaiah 5:10 That is, probably about 360 pounds or about 160 kilograms
  3. Isaiah 5:10 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms
  4. Isaiah 5:17 Septuagint; Hebrew / strangers will eat