Isaiah 5
The Song of the Vineyard
1Let me sing for my beloved
a song of my love concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard#Literally “A vineyard was for my beloved” on a fertile hill.#Literally “a horn of a son of olive oil.” The Hebrew for horn, qeren, sounds like the Hebrew for vineyard, kerem
2And he dug it and cleared it of stones,
and he planted it with choice vines,#Hebrew “vine”
and he built a watchtower in the middle of it,
and he even hewed out a wine vat in it,
and he waited for it to yield grapes—
but it yielded wild grapes.
3And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem
and men#Hebrew “man” of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard.
4What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it?
Why did I hope for it to yield grapes, and it yielded wild grapes?
5And now let me tell you what I myself am about to do to my vineyard.
I will remove its hedge, and it shall become a devastation.
I will break down its wall, and it shall become a trampling.
6And I will make it a wasteland;
it shall not be pruned and hoed,
and it shall be overgrown with briers#Hebrew “brier” and thornbushes.#Hebrew “thornbush”
And concerning the clouds, I will command them not to send#Literally “from sending” rain down upon it.
7For the vineyard of Yahweh of hosts is the house of Israel,
and the man#Or “people” of Judah is the plantation of his delight.
And he waited for justice,#The Hebrew word, mishpat, sounds like mishpakh in the next line
but look! Bloodshed!#The Hebrew word, mishpakh, sounds like mishpat in the previous line
For righteousness,#The Hebrew word, tsedaqah, sounds like tsa`aqah in the next line
but look! A cry of distress!#The Hebrew word, tsa`aqah, sounds like tsedaqah in the previous line
Woes on the Wicked
8Ah! Those who join#Literally “touch” house with house,
they join field together with field
until there is no place#Literally “an end of place”
and you are caused to dwell alone in the midst of the land.
9Yahweh of hosts said in my ears:
Surely#Literally “If not” many houses shall become a desolation,
large and beautiful ones without inhabitant.
10For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath,#A bath is a liquid measure
and the seed of a homer will yield an ephah.#An ephah is a dry measure equal to one-tenth of a homer
11Ah! Those who rise early in the morning,
they pursue strong drink.
Those who linger in the evening,
wine inflames them.
12And there will be lyre and harp,
tambourine and flute,
and wine at their feasts,
but they do not look at the deeds#Hebrew “deed” of Yahweh,
and they do not see the work of his hands.
13Therefore my people will go into exile without knowledge,
and their#Hebrew “its” nobles#Hebrew “noble” will be men of hunger,
and their#Hebrew “its” multitude is parched with thirst.
14Therefore Sheol has enlarged its throat,
and it has opened wide its mouth without limit,
and her#That is, Jerusalem’s nobles#Hebrew “noble” will go down, and her multitude,
her tumult and those who revel in her.
15And humankind is bowed down,
and man is brought low,
and the eyes of the haughty are humiliated.
16But Yahweh of hosts is exalted by justice,
and the holy God shows himself holy by righteousness.
17And then the lambs will graze as in their pasture,
and fatlings, kids#Following the Septuagint, which reads the Hebrew grym (resident aliens) as gdym (young goats/sheep) will eat among the sites of ruins.#Literally “and ruins, fatlings, resident aliens, will eat”
18Ah! Those who drag iniquity along with the cords of falsehood
and sin as with rope of the cart,
19those who say,
“Let him make haste;
let him hurry his work
so that we may see it
and let it draw near
and let the plan of the holy one of Israel come
so that we may know it!”
20Ah! Those who call evil good and good evil,
those who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
those who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
21Ah! Those who are wise in their own eyes
and have understanding in their view!#Literally “before their faces”
22Ah! Heroes at drinking wine,
and men of capability at mixing strong drink!
23Those who acquit the guilty because of a bribe
and remove the justice of the innocent from him.
24Therefore as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
and dry grass sinks down in the flame,
so their root will become like the stench,
and their blossom will go up like the dust.
For they have rejected the instruction of Yahweh of hosts,
and they have treated the word of the holy one of Israel with contempt.
25Therefore Yahweh’s wrath was kindled#Literally “the anger of Yahweh became hot” against his people,
and he stretched out his hand against them#Hebrew “it” and struck them,#Hebrew “it”
and the mountains quaked,
and their corpses#Hebrew “corpse” were like refuse in the middle of the streets.
Yahweh’s Outstretched Hand
In all of this his anger has not turned back,
and still his hand is stretched out.
26And he will raise a signal for a nation#The Hebrew is plural, but the following verses refer to the nation as singular from afar,
and he will whistle for it from the end of the earth.
And look! It comes quickly, swiftly!
27None is weary,
and none among him stumbles;
none slumbers and none sleeps.
And no loincloth on his waist is opened,
and no thong of his sandals is drawn away.
28Whose arrows are sharp,
and all of his bows are bent.
The hoofs of his horses are reckoned like flint,
and his wheels like the storm wind.
29His roaring is like the lion,
and he roars like young lions.
And he growls and seizes his prey,
and he carries it off,
and not one can rescue it.
30And he will roar over him on that day
like the roaring of the sea,
and if one looks to the land, look! Darkness! Distress!
And the light grows dark with its#Presumably the land’s clouds.
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