Isaiah 5 Wine and Woes


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Isaiah 5:1 I will sing for the one I love
a song about his vineyard:
My loved one had a vineyard
on a fertile hillside.
2 He dug it up and cleared it of stones
and planted it with the choicest vines.
He built a watchtower in it
and cut out a winepress as well.
Then he looked for a crop of good grapes,
but it yielded only bad fruit.
3 “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard.
4 What more could have been done for my vineyard
than I have done for it?
When I looked for good grapes,
why did it yield only bad?
5 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 will break down its wall,
and it will be trampled.
6 I will make it a wasteland,
neither pruned nor cultivated,
and briers and thorns will grow there.
I will command the clouds
not to rain on it.”
7 The vineyard 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, but saw bloodshed;
for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.
8 Woe to you who add house to house
and join field to field
till no space is left
and you live alone in the land.
9 The Lord Almighty has declared in my hearing:
“Surely the great houses will become desolate,
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.”
11 Woe 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.
12 They have harps and lyres at their banquets,
pipes and timbrels and wine,
but they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord,
no respect for the work of his hands.
13 Therefore my people will go into exile
for lack of understanding;
those of high rank will die of hunger
and the common people will be parched with thirst.
14 Therefore Death expands its jaws,
opening wide its mouth;
into it will descend their nobles and masses
with all their brawlers and revelers.
15 So people will be brought low
and everyone humbled,
the eyes of the arrogant humbled.
16 But the Lord Almighty will be exalted by his justice,
and the holy God will be proved holy by his righteous acts.
17 Then sheep will graze as in their own pasture;
lambs will feed[d] among the ruins of the rich.
18 Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit,
and wickedness as with cart ropes,
19 to those who say, “Let God hurry;
let him hasten his work
so we may see it.
The plan of the Holy One of Israel—
let it approach, let it come into view,
so 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 wise in their own eyes
and clever in their own sight.
22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine
and champions at mixing drinks,
23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
but deny justice to the innocent.
24 Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw
and as dry grass sinks down in the flames,
so their roots will decay
and their flowers blow away like dust;
for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty
and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 Therefore the Lord’s anger burns against his people;
his hand is raised and he strikes them down.
The mountains shake,
and the dead bodies are like refuse in the streets.
Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away,
his hand is still upraised.
26 He lifts up a banner for the distant nations,
he whistles for those at the ends of the earth.
Here they come,
swiftly and speedily!
27 Not one of them grows tired or stumbles,
not one slumbers or sleeps;
not a belt is loosened at the waist,
not a sandal strap is broken.
28 Their arrows are sharp,
all their bows are strung;
their horses’ hooves seem like flint,
their chariot wheels like a whirlwind.
29 Their roar is like that of the lion,
they roar like young lions;
they growl as they seize their prey
and carry it off with no one to rescue.
30 In that day they will roar over it
like the roaring of the sea.
And if one looks at the land,
there is only darkness and distress;
even the sun will be darkened by clouds.

a. Isaiah 5:10 That is, about 6 gallons or about 22 liters
b. Isaiah 5:10 That is, probably about 360 pounds or about 160 kilograms
c. Isaiah 5:10 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms
d. Isaiah 5:17 Septuagint; Hebrew / strangers will ea

I've been seeing ads for the Planet of the Apes movie. Charlton Heston is on the beach with a broken lady liberty and he's crying.... "you blew it up". That's what came to mind when I read verse 17. The innocent little sheep are going to outlast humans.

This is from

The conclusion of the extended discourse, comes by way of a comparison of God’s people to a vineyard which He cultivated, but which did not bear fruit.
These verses explain a parable of the vineyard, which symbolizes Israel. The poem is called the song of my believed, and resembles the Song of Solomon, but in this passage, it becomes a song of lament. The beloved is the lord, and Israel is the vineyard that has brought forth wild grapes.​
There is a play on sounds and letters in the Hebrew of “he looked for judgment, (mishpat), but behold oppression, (mispach); for righteousness (tsedaqah), but behold a cry (tse’aqah). The prophet’s point is that the judgment of God will bring the opposite of what they expect.
The prophet Isaiah pronounces a six fold “woe” on the sins of Judah. Join house to house means they are greedy land grabbers. By foreclosing mortgages, the wealthy landowners acquired all the adjoining land to form huge estates.​
A bath was a liquid measure equivalent to an ephah of dry measure (about 8 gallons). A homer was about 83 gallons. Strong drink (shekar), refers to fermented drink.​
Draw iniquity with cords refers to pulling a load of sin with a rope on a cart. Thus, the people of Judah are condemned for parading their sin before God.

The other day, I had an idea. Hubby loves pickles with his sandwich at lunch. Claussen is a cold cure pickle so I decided to give something new a try. I picked up a couple pickling cucumbers, washed and quartered them.... plopped them in the Claussen pickle juice.... and put them in the back of the refrigerator to cure. A few days later, when the back up jar was empty.... I pulled out my home made pickles. I didn't say anything to hubby.... but he let me know.... "they aren't right". So.... as much as I hated to do it.... I had to toss what looked like a whole jar of Claussen pickles. I could have tried to let them cure a little longer but why bother.... no matter how long they take up space in the refrigerator, hubby won't enjoy them with a sandwich.

God tried to make things great for man. Man was created to live in a beautiful garden and commune with God. God created woman to enjoy and join man in the garden communing with God. But man just refused to follow the rules..... and the rules were really simple.

God finally got to that point in time [which God controls] when it's time to give humans a time out. Humans have gotten so greedy that they are stealing land from their neighbors.

This commentary on Verse 17 is from

And the waste places of the fat ones - Most of the ancient interpreters suppose, that the waste places of the fat ones here refer to the desolate habitations of the rich people; in the judgments that should come upon the nation, they would become vacant, and strangers would come in and possess them. This is the sense given by the Chaldee. The Syriac translates it, ‹And foreigners shall devour the ruins which are yet to be restored.‘ If this is the sense, then it accords with the “first” interpretation suggested of the previous verse - that the pious should be fed, and that the proud should be desolate, and their property pass into the hands of strangers. By others (Gesenius, etc.), it is supposed to mean that strangers, or foreigners, would come in, and fatten their cattle in the desert places of the nation. The land would be so utterly waste, that they would come there to fatten their cattle in the rank and wild luxuriancy that would spontaneously spring up. This sense will suit the connection of the passage; but there is some difficulty in making it out from the Hebrew. The Hebrew which is rendered ‹the waste places of the fat ones,‘ may, however, be translated ‹the deserts that are rich - rank - luxuriant.‘ The word “stranger” denotes “foreigners;” or those who are not “permanent” dwellers in the land.

God led Moses, Aaron, and Joshua, along with about 2 million refugees, to Canaan. It was a place so lush that it took two men and a pole to carry one cluster of grapes. It was fat with everything God's humans could need. But it didn't take long [in God's time] for humans to get greedy and mean. It didn't take long for humans to forget the rules. The rules were simple.... Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind..... and Love your neighbors as yourself. Two rules would have saved them.... two rules that sum up what God engraved in stone for Moses to take to the people even while the humans were brewing up a gold calf to worship because it was taking to long for Moses to get back.

Humans had gone so bad.... they were worshiping themselves in the Temple.... not God... themselves.....

So God arranged for the humans to be taken..... to Babylonia.... naked.... afraid.... castrated [physically as well as legally] and enslaved. They would be enslaved for 70 years..... That's more than my lifetime..... Our kids don't remember what the New York skyline looked like before 9/11..... That was before "they blew it up".

So maybe I should have titled this chapter, cheap pickles and planet of the apes......