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Isaiah 5 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Isaiah’s Love Song

Let me sing a song for the one I love, called[a]

    “My Lover and His Vineyard”:
    My beloved planted a vineyard on a very fertile hill.
First he dug up its ground and hauled away its stones[b]
    so he could plant within it the choicest of vines.
    He built a watchtower in the middle of it
    and carved a winepress out of its rock.[c]
    He fully expected it to bear good grapes,
    but instead it produced only worthless wild grapes.
So now, you residents of Jerusalem and people of Judah,
    you be the judges!
What more could I have done for my vineyard?
    When I expected it to bear luscious grapes,
    why did it produce only wild, worthless grapes?
So let me tell you what I am about to do to my vineyard.
    I will tear down its fence and it will be plundered.[d]
    I will break down its wall[e] and it will be destroyed!
I will make it a wasteland, and no one will cultivate the land.[f]
    It will grow only weeds and thorns!
    I will command the clouds
    and they will not drop their rain upon it![g]
For Israel is this vineyard of Yahweh,
    the Commander of Angel Armies,
    and the people of Judah are the garden of his delight.[h]
    When he waited for a crop of justice,
    he got a harvest of bloodshed!
    When he waited to reap fairness,
    he heard only the cries of victims.[i]

Isaiah’s Song of Six Woes

#1 – Grasping Materialism

Woe to those who in their greed buy up
    house after house to make one grand estate
    until there is no place for anyone else
    and only the landowner is left![j]
This is what Yahweh, the Commander of Angel Armies,
    said in my ears:[k]
    “Truly, many of your houses will become devastated
    and your large, impressive mansions
    will have no one living in them!
10 Indeed, even a vast vineyard[l]
    will produce only a few gallons of wine,
    and several bushels of seed will produce only
    a bushel of harvest!”[m]

#2 – Drunken Pleasure-Seeking

11 Woe to those who start drinking early in the morning,
    lingering late into the night to get drunk with wine.
12 Their lavish parties are complete with
    the music of harps and flutes—and the wine flows!
    Yet they have no respect for what Yahweh has done,
    nor do they contemplate the work of his hands![n]
13 Therefore, my people go into exile for lack of understanding.[o]
    Their leaders[p] are starving,
    their multitudes parched with thirst.[q]
14 The shadowy realm of death[r] grows thirsty for souls
    and opens its mouth even wider to drink in the people!
    It gulps down the leaders of Jerusalem,
    along with their noisy, boasting crowds![s]
15 The people will be humiliated, all of humanity humbled,
    and the arrogant will be brought low.[t]
16 With justice the Lord Yahweh,
    Commander of Angel Armies, displays his greatness,
    and righteousness sets him apart as the holy God.
17 Then lambs will graze, as if in their own pastures,
    and the refugee will eat in the ruins of the rich.

#3 – Defiant Sinfulness

18 Woe to those who drag behind them their guilt
    with ropes made of lies—[u]
    straining and tugging, harnessed to their bondage![v]
19 They say, “May God hurry up and bring his judgment[w]
    so that we can see it once and for all!
    Let the prophetic plan of the Holy One of Israel
    quickly come to pass so that we can see what it is!”[x]

#4 - Perversion of Values

20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
    who replace darkness with light and light with darkness,
    who replace bitter with sweet and sweet with bitter.[y]

#5 - Arrogant Conceit

21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
    and see themselves as clever and shrewd.[z]

#6 - Injustice

22 Woe to the champion wine drinkers
    who are heroes in mixing strong drinks—
23 judges and politicians who acquit the guilty for a bribe
    and take away the rights of the innocent.[aa]

Isaiah’s Song of Judgment

24 Therefore, just as tongues of fire
    lick up the straw and dry grass,[ab]
    they will be destroyed, just as a plant with decaying roots
    and blossoms dries up like dust and is blown away in the wind.[ac]
    For they said, “No!” to the teachings of Yahweh,
    the Lord of Angel Armies,
    and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel!
25 For this reason Yahweh’s anger burned against his people,[ad]
    and he struck them down with his holy hand!
    The mountains trembled,[ae] and dead bodies were littered
    like garbage left in the streets.
    Even with this, his anger has not turned away
    and still his hand is heavy upon them!
26 He will lift up a banner to signal the distant nations;
    he whistles[af] for them to come from the ends of the earth.
    Look! Here they come, running swiftly and speedily!
27 Not one warrior stumbles or grows weary—
    not even stopping to rest or sleep; they are battle ready![ag]
28 Their arrows are sharpened and every bow strung.
    Their horses’ hooves are hard as flint
    and their chariot wheels turn like the whirlwind.
29 Their shout is like a lion’s roar,
    the roar of strong lions growling as they seize their prey.
    They carry away captives, and none can rescue them.
30 They will roar and roar on that day
    like the roaring of crashing waves,
    and if you look back across the land
    you’ll see only darkness, disaster, and distress;[ah]
    daylight itself will be obscured by thick clouds.[ai]

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 5:1 It is proper, even as we honor God for his transcendence and holiness, to love him and sing about his love. Divine romance never diminishes God’s glory; it elevates and extols it. Isaiah is a singing prophet, as many prophets are. This chapter contains three prophetic songs: The Song of the Vineyard (vv. 1–7), the Song of Woes (vv. 8–23), and the Song of Judgment (vv. 24–30). What a variety of methods God will use to awaken his people and bring people to repentance! The prophet sings this song to the glory of his Beloved. Maybe it was sung by Isaiah at the Feast of Tabernacles when the grape harvest was brought in. Or perhaps Isaiah walked through the streets of Jerusalem or the hillsides of Israel singing to God’s people this prophetic message. Or perhaps the Lord Jesus himself sang this over Jerusalem as he stood on the hillside overlooking the city, weeping (Luke 19:41).
  2. Isaiah 5:2 Israel is the vineyard of the Lord (Jer. 2:21). The parable is an obvious picture of how God planted and loved his vineyard, Israel. He cleared it of stones, removing all that would make his people stumble (Isa. 62:10). With the stones, he built a wall of protection around them (5:5). For Israel, these stones would represent the Canaanites, those inhabitants of the land who made them stumble. Then he planted and established his people, calling them the choicest (“noblest”) of vines, with everything they needed to grow and be fruitful. In John 15, his vineyard is described as God’s redeemed people, the church. He has removed our stony hearts and given us hearts of flesh to respond to his voice. Throughout the Gospels, we see the people of the Lord compared to a vineyard (Matt. 20:1; 21:28-41; Mark 12:1; Luke 13:6; 20:9-16; John 15:1).
  3. Isaiah 5:2 For Israel, this watchtower would be Jerusalem, the place where the owner of the vineyard dwelt and cared for his vineyard. For the church, the watchtower is the Zion-realm, the place of his presence. He not only planted us as his vineyard, he dwells among us (2 Cor. 6:16). The winepress or wine vat is the sacrificial system that God gave to his people to provide them with access to himself. For believers today, the wine vat is the privilege of open access that the Holy Spirit (our wine) provides for us as we gather together.
  4. Isaiah 5:5 As translated from the Septuagint. The Hebrew ba’ar is a homophone that could be translated “(a place of) grazing” or “burning.”
  5. Isaiah 5:5 Or “I will break through its wall.”
  6. Isaiah 5:6 Or “It will not be pruned or hoed.” We would become a wasteland if God were to lift his favor and blessings from our lives.
  7. Isaiah 5:6 Clouds giving rain is a metaphor for blessing. Rain is often a picture of revelation teaching that falls on our hearts like rain.
  8. Isaiah 5:7 Or “the planting of his pleasantness.”
  9. Isaiah 5:7 There are remarkable plays on words found in the Hebrew. The Hebrew word for “justice” is mishpat, and “bloodshed” is mishpakh. “Fairness” is zedakah, and “cries of distress” is zeakah.
  10. Isaiah 5:8 This verse is not a prohibition on real estate endeavors but the greedy accumulation of houses and land at the expense of the poor. This is the first of six woes found in this chapter (vv. 8, 11, 18, 20, 21, 22).
  11. Isaiah 5:9 Or “For the ears of the Lord of Hosts heard these things” (LXX).
  12. Isaiah 5:10 Or “a ten-yoke vineyard,” the amount of land ten yoke of oxen could cultivate.
  13. Isaiah 5:10 Or “A homer of seed will produce only an ephah.” The land-hungry people will go hungry.
  14. Isaiah 5:12 See 1 Sam. 12:24.
  15. Isaiah 5:13 See Prov. 10:21; Isa. 1:3; Hos. 4:6.
  16. Isaiah 5:13 Or “men of glory.”
  17. Isaiah 5:13 How ironic! Their thirst for strong drink was their downfall; now they have nothing to drink at all.
  18. Isaiah 5:14 Or Sheol, a poetic term for the underworld.
  19. Isaiah 5:14 See Hab. 2:5.
  20. Isaiah 5:15 Or “The eyes of pride are brought low.”
  21. Isaiah 5:18 Or “cords of emptiness.”
  22. Isaiah 5:18 Or “pulling your sins with cart ropes.” See Ps. 129:4; Prov. 5:22; Rom. 6:16.
  23. Isaiah 5:19 Or “his work,” which, in the immediate context, is his judgment.
  24. Isaiah 5:19 See Jer. 17:15; Ezek. 12:22-25; 2 Peter 2:3-7.
  25. Isaiah 5:20 Their moral code is reversed as sin is accepted as something good. Not content to abandon what is good, they must label it as evil. Those who abandon the absolute standards of God’s Word will find a reversal of every true virtue. Good is mocked and evil is embraced. Light is ridiculed and darkness is worn like a cloak. The sweetness of God is called bitter; the bitterness of sin is called sweet.
  26. Isaiah 5:21 See Prov. 3:7; Isa. 29:14. Who will outwit Eternal Wisdom? Who can outsmart Infinite Intelligence? God will resist the proud of heart. The wisdom that comes from above is without pride (James 3:13-16).
  27. Isaiah 5:23 Or “The righteousness of the righteous they take from them.” Verses 22 and 23 are Isaiah’s use of sarcasm, pointed to the leaders of the nation. The ones who should be champions and heroes are only “great” in their self-indulgence. With perverted justice, they corrupt the nation instead of safeguarding society.
  28. Isaiah 5:24 See Num. 22:4.
  29. Isaiah 5:24 Some see the roots and flowers (blossoms) as a metaphor for parents and children.
  30. Isaiah 5:25 God’s anger is a righteous anger. It is the necessary vindication of the honor of his holiness and authority. There is no reason to make an apology for God’s anger. It is not a blemish on his divine character nor inconsistent with his mercy and grace. His anger is as pure and holy and good as his mercy or his love. Everything about God is holy and perfect. See Deut. 32:39-41; Ps. 7:11-13.
  31. Isaiah 5:25 This could be a reference to the days of King Uzziah and the great earthquakes that took place during his reign. See Amos 1:1; Zech. 14:5.
  32. Isaiah 5:26 Or “hisses.”
  33. Isaiah 5:27 Or “Their belts don’t come loose, nor are their sandal straps broken.” This is a metaphor for being prepared and ready for action. Eastern people of that day wore long, loose garments that left them unprepared for action. But a belt (girdle) fastened meant they were ready for war. Their sandals unbroken meant that nothing would hinder them.
  34. Isaiah 5:30 Much of this verse is uncertain in the Hebrew. The Septuagint reads, “And these will look up to the heaven and down to the earth.”
  35. Isaiah 5:30 Or “the gloomy vapor” (Syriac and Vulgate). There is a sense in which Jesus endured all the judgments of this chapter for us, becoming our Savior to set us free. Even the sun hid its face from the suffering Christ while he was on the cross.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
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