Song of the vineyard

Let me sing for my loved one
a love song for his vineyard.
My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside.
He dug it,
cleared away its stones,
planted it with excellent vines,
built a tower inside it,
and dug out a wine vat in it.
He expected it to grow good grapes—
but it grew rotten grapes.
So now, you who live in Jerusalem, you people of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard:
What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I haven’t done for it?
When I expected it to grow good grapes,
why did it grow rotten grapes?
Now let me tell you what I’m doing to my vineyard.
I’m removing its hedge,
so it will be destroyed.
I’m breaking down its walls,
so it will be trampled.
I’ll turn it into a ruin;
it won’t be pruned or hoed,
and thorns and thistles will grow up.
I will command the clouds not to rain on it.
The vineyard of the Lord of heavenly forces is the house of Israel,
and the people of Judah are the plantings in which God delighted.
God expected justice, but there was bloodshed;
righteousness, but there was a cry of distress!

Sayings of doom

Doom to those who acquire house after house,
who annex field to field until there is no more space left
and only you live alone in the land.
I heard the Lord of heavenly forces say this:[a]
Many houses will become total ruins,
large, fine houses, with no one living in them.
10 Ten acres of vineyard
will produce just one bath,[b]
and a homer of seed
will produce only an ephah.
11 Doom to those who wake up early in the morning to run after beer,
to those who stay up late, lit up by wine.
12 They party with lyre and harp, tambourine, flute, and wine;
but they ignore the Lord’s work;
they can’t see what God is doing.
13 Therefore, my people go into exile since they didn’t understand—
their officials are dying of hunger;
so many of them are dried up with thirst.
14 Therefore, the grave[c] opens wide its jaws,
opens its mouth beyond all bounds,
and the splendid multitudes will go down, with all their uproar and cheering.
15 Humanity will be humiliated;
each person laid low,
the eyes of the exalted laid low.
16 But the Lord of heavenly forces will be exalted in justice,
and the holy God will show himself holy in righteousness.
17 Lambs will graze as if in their pasture;
young goats[d] will feed among the ruins of the rich.[e]
18 Doom to those who drag guilt along with cords of fraud,
and haul sin as if with cart ropes,
19 who say, “God should hurry and work faster so we can see;
let the plan of Israel’s holy one come quickly, so we can understand it.”
20 Doom to those who call evil good and good evil,
who present darkness as light and light as darkness,
who make bitterness sweet and sweetness bitter.
21 Doom to those
who consider themselves wise,
who think of themselves as clever.
22 Doom to the wine-swigging warriors,
mighty at mixing drinks,
23 who spare the guilty for bribes,
and rob the innocent of their rights.
24 Therefore, as a tongue of fire devours stubble,
and as hay shrivels in a flame,
so their roots will rot,
and their blossoms turn to dust,
for they have rejected the teaching of the Lord of heavenly forces,
and have despised the word of Israel’s holy one.

God’s powerful hand

25 This is why the Lord’s anger burned against the people:
he extended his hand to strike them,
the mountains trembled,
and their corpses lay in the middle of the streets like dung.
Even then God’s anger didn’t turn away;
God’s hand was still extended.
26 God will raise a signal to a nation from far away
and whistle to them from the end of the earth—
now look—hurrying, swiftly they come!
27 Not one is tired; not one stumbles;
they don’t rest or sleep;
no belt is loose; no sandal broken;
28 their arrows are sharp;
all their bows drawn;
their horses’ hooves are like flint;
their wheels like the whirlwind.
29 Their roaring is like the lion;
they roar like young lions;
they growl, seize their prey,
and carry it off, with no one to rescue.
30 On that day, they will roar over it like the roaring of the sea.
And if one looks toward the land, there’s darkness.
Tyre and the Nile will be darkened by the clouds.[f]


  1. Isaiah 5:9 Heb lacks say this.
  2. Isaiah 5:10 One bath is approximately twenty quarts, the same as an ephah; one homer contains ten ephahs (or baths) of grain.
  3. Isaiah 5:14 Heb Sheol
  4. Isaiah 5:17 Or strangers
  5. Isaiah 5:17 Or Calves and young goats will feed on the ruins; Heb uncertain
  6. Isaiah 5:30 Heb uncertain