5 Now let me sing for my greatly Beloved [Lord]
A song of my Beloved about His vineyard (His chosen people).
My greatly Beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile slope (the promised land, Canaan).
He dug it all around and cleared away its stones,
And planted it with [a]the choicest vine (the people of Judah).
And He built a tower in the center of it;
And also hewed out a [b]wine vat in it.
Then He expected it to produce [the choicest] grapes,
But it produced only worthless ones.
“And now, says the Lord, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
Judge between Me and My vineyard (My people).
“What more could have been done for My vineyard that I have not done in it?
When I expected it to produce good grapes, why did it yield worthless ones?
“So now let me tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard:
I will take away its thorn-hedge, and it will be burned up;
I will break down its [c]stone wall and it will be trampled down [by enemies].
“I will turn it into a wasteland;
It will not be pruned or cultivated,
But briars and thorns will come up.
I will also command the clouds not to rain on it.”
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house (nation) of Israel
And the men of Judah are His delightful planting [which He loves].
So He looked for justice, but in fact, [He saw] bloodshed and lawlessness;
[He looked] for righteousness, but in fact, [He heard] a cry of distress and oppression.
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who join house to house and join field to field [to increase their holdings by depriving others],
Until there is no more room [for others],
So that you have to live alone in the midst of the land!
In my ears the Lord of hosts said, “Be assured that many houses will become desolate,
Even great and beautiful ones will be unoccupied.
“For ten [d]acres of vineyard will yield [only] [e]one bath of wine,
And a homer ([f]six bushels) of seed will produce [only] one ephah of grain.”
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who rise early in the morning to pursue intoxicating drink,
Who stay up late in the night till wine inflames them!
They have lyre and harp, tambourine and flute, and wine at their feasts;
But they do not regard nor even pay attention to the deeds of the Lord,
Nor do they consider the work of His hands.
Therefore My people go into exile because they lack knowledge [of God];
And their honorable men are famished,
And their common people are parched with thirst.
Therefore Sheol (the realm of the dead) has increased its appetite and opened its mouth beyond measure;
And [g]Jerusalem’s splendor, her multitude, her [boisterous] uproar and her [drunken] revelers descend into it.
So the common man will be bowed down and the man of importance degraded,
And the eyes of the proud (arrogant) will be degraded.
But the Lord of hosts will be exalted in justice,
And God, the Holy One, will show Himself holy in righteousness [through His righteous judgments].
Then the lambs will graze [among the ruins] as in their own pasture,
And strangers will eat in the desolate places of the [exiled] wealthy.
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who drag along wickedness with cords of falsehood,
And sin as if with cart ropes [towing their own punishment];
Who say, “Let Him move speedily, let Him expedite His work [His promised vengeance], so that we may see it;
And let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel approach
And come to pass, so that we may know it!”
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who are wise in their own eyes
And clever and shrewd in their own sight!
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who are heroes at drinking wine
And men of strength in mixing intoxicating drinks,
Who justify the wicked and acquit the guilty for a bribe,
And take away the rights of those who are in the right!
Therefore, as the tongue of fire consumes the stubble [from straw]
And the dry grass collapses into the flame,
So their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away like fine dust;
Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts
And despised and discarded the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Therefore the anger of the Lord has burned against His people,
And He has stretched out His hand against them and has struck them down.
And the mountains trembled, and their dead bodies lay like rubbish in the middle of the streets.
In spite of all this God’s anger is not turned away,
But His hand is still stretched out [in judgment].
He will lift up a flag to [call] the distant nations [to bring His judgment on Judah],
And will whistle for them from the ends of the earth;
And indeed, they will come with great speed swiftly.
No one among them is weary or stumbles,
No one slumbers or sleeps;
Nor is the belt at their waist undone [as if unprepared for action],
Nor is the strap of their sandal broken.
Their arrows are sharp and all their bows are strung and bent;
Their horses’ hoofs seem like flint and their chariot wheels like a whirlwind.
Their roaring is like a lioness, they roar like young lions;
They growl and seize their prey
And carry it off and there is no one to save it.
And in that day they will roar against them (Judah) like the roaring of the sea.
And if one looks to the land, in fact, there is darkness and distress;
Even the light will be darkened by its clouds.
6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw [in a vision] the Lord sitting on a throne, high and exalted, with the train of His royal robe filling the [most holy part of the] temple. 2 Above Him seraphim (heavenly beings) stood; each one had six wings: with two wings he covered his face, with two wings he covered his feet, and with two wings he flew. 3 And one called out to another, saying,
“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts;
The whole earth is filled with His glory.”
4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, and the temple was filling with smoke. 5 Then I said,
“Woe is me! For I am ruined,
Because I am a man of [ceremonially] unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said, “Listen carefully, this has touched your lips; your wickedness [your sin, your injustice, your wrongdoing] is taken away and your sin atoned for and forgiven.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 9 And He said, “Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on listening, but do not understand;
Keep on looking, but do not comprehend.’
“Make the heart of this people insensitive,
Their ears dull,
And their eyes dim,
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their hearts,
And return and be healed.”
11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?” And He answered,
“Until cities are devastated and without inhabitant,
And houses are without people
And the land is utterly desolate,
The Lord has removed [His] people far away,
And there are many deserted places in the midst of the land.
“And though a tenth [of the people] remain in the land,
It will again be subject to destruction [consumed and burned],
Like a massive terebinth tree or like an oak
Whose stump remains when it is chopped down.
The holy seed [the elect remnant] is its stump [the substance of Israel].”
1 Paul, an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed), by the will of God [that is, by His purpose and choice],
To the [a]saints (God’s people) [b]who are at Ephesus and are faithful and loyal and steadfast in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 [c]Blessed and worthy of praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ, 4 just as [in His love] He chose us in Christ [actually selected us for Himself as His own] before the foundation of the world, so that we would be holy [that is, consecrated, set apart for Him, purpose-driven] and blameless in His sight. In love 5 He predestined and lovingly planned for us to be adopted to Himself as [His own] children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the kind intention and good pleasure of His will— 6 to the praise of His glorious grace and favor, which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved [His Son, Jesus Christ]. 7 In Him we have redemption [that is, our deliverance and salvation] through His blood, [which paid the penalty for our sin and resulted in] the forgiveness and complete pardon of our sin, in accordance with the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and understanding [with practical insight] 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, 10 with regard to the fulfillment of the times [that is, the end of history, the climax of the ages]—to bring all things together in Christ, [both] things in the heavens and things on the earth. 11 In Him also we have [d]received an inheritance [a destiny—we were claimed by God as His own], having been predestined (chosen, appointed beforehand) according to the purpose of Him who works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him as our Lord and Savior] would exist to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation, and [as a result] believed in Him, were stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit [the One promised by Christ] as owned and protected [by God]. 14 The Spirit is the [e]guarantee [the first installment, the pledge, a foretaste] of our inheritance until the redemption of God’s own [purchased] possession [His believers], to the praise of His glory.
15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers; 17 [I always pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may grant you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation [that gives you a deep and personal and intimate insight] into the true knowledge of Him [for we know the Father through the Son]. 18 And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the [f]hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the [g]saints (God’s people), 19 and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength 20 which He [h]produced in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion [whether angelic or human], and [far above] every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and world but also in the one to come. 22 And He [i]put all things [in every realm] in subjection under Christ’s feet, and [j]appointed Him as [supreme and authoritative] head over all things in the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills and completes all things in all [believers].