Bible: Isa 5-6

A Love Song Gone Sour

5:1 I 1  will sing to my love

a song to my lover about his vineyard. 2 

My love had a vineyard

on a fertile hill. 3 

5:2 He built a hedge around it, 4  removed its stones,

and planted a vine.

He built a tower in the middle of it,

and constructed a winepress.

He waited for it to produce edible grapes,

but it produced sour ones instead. 5 

5:3 So now, residents of Jerusalem, 6 

people 7  of Judah,

you decide between me and my vineyard!

5:4 What more can I do for my vineyard

beyond what I have already done?

When I waited for it to produce edible grapes,

why did it produce sour ones instead?

5:5 Now I will inform you

what I am about to do to my vineyard:

I will remove its hedge and turn it into pasture, 8 

I will break its wall and allow animals to graze there. 9 

5:6 I will make it a wasteland;

no one will prune its vines or hoe its ground, 10 

and thorns and briers will grow there.

I will order the clouds

not to drop any rain on it.

5:7 Indeed 11  Israel 12  is the vineyard of the Lord who commands armies,

the people 13  of Judah are the cultivated place in which he took delight.

He waited for justice, but look what he got – disobedience! 14 

He waited for fairness, but look what he got – cries for help! 15 

Disaster is Coming

5:8 Those who accumulate houses are as good as dead, 16 

those who also accumulate landed property 17 

until there is no land left, 18 

and you are the only landowners remaining within the land. 19 

5:9 The Lord who commands armies told me this: 20 

“Many houses will certainly become desolate,

large, impressive houses will have no one living in them. 21 

5:10 Indeed, a large vineyard 22  will produce just a few gallons, 23 

and enough seed to yield several bushels 24  will produce less than a bushel.” 25 

5:11 Those who get up early to drink beer are as good as dead, 26 

those who keep drinking long after dark

until they are intoxicated with wine. 27 

5:12 They have stringed instruments, 28  tambourines, flutes,

and wine at their parties.

So they do not recognize what the Lord is doing,

they do not perceive what he is bringing about. 29 

5:13 Therefore my 30  people will be deported 31 

because of their lack of understanding.

Their 32  leaders will have nothing to eat, 33 

their 34  masses will have nothing to drink. 35 

5:14 So Death 36  will open up its throat,

and open wide its mouth; 37 

Zion’s dignitaries and masses will descend into it,

including those who revel and celebrate within her. 38 

5:15 Men will be humiliated,

they will be brought low;

the proud will be brought low. 39 

5:16 The Lord who commands armies will be exalted 40  when he punishes, 41 

the sovereign God’s authority will be recognized when he judges. 42 

5:17 Lambs 43  will graze as if in their pastures,

amid the ruins the rich sojourners will graze. 44 

5:18 Those who pull evil along using cords of emptiness are as good as dead, 45 

who pull sin as with cart ropes. 46 

5:19 They say, “Let him hurry, let him act quickly, 47 

so we can see;

let the plan of the Holy One of Israel 48  take shape 49  and come to pass,

then we will know it!

5:20 Those who call evil good and good evil are as good as dead, 50 

who turn darkness into light and light into darkness,

who turn bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter. 51 

5:21 Those who think they are wise are as good as dead, 52 

those who think they possess understanding. 53 

5:22 Those who are champions 54  at drinking wine are as good as dead, 55 

who display great courage when mixing strong drinks.

5:23 They pronounce the guilty innocent for a payoff,

they ignore the just cause of the innocent. 56 

5:24 Therefore, as flaming fire 57  devours straw,

and dry grass disintegrates in the flames,

so their root will rot,

and their flower will blow away like dust. 58 

For they have rejected the law of the Lord who commands armies,

they have spurned the commands 59  of the Holy One of Israel. 60 

5:25 So the Lord is furious 61  with his people;

he lifts 62  his hand and strikes them.

The mountains shake,

and corpses lie like manure 63  in the middle of the streets.

Despite all this, his anger does not subside,

and his hand is ready to strike again. 64 

5:26 He lifts a signal flag for a distant nation, 65 

he whistles for it to come from the far regions of the earth.

Look, they 66  come quickly and swiftly.

5:27 None tire or stumble,

they don’t stop to nap or sleep.

They don’t loosen their belts,

or unstrap their sandals to rest. 67 

5:28 Their arrows are sharpened,

and all their bows are prepared. 68 

The hooves of their horses are hard as flint, 69 

and their chariot wheels are like a windstorm. 70 

5:29 Their roar is like a lion’s;

they roar like young lions.

They growl and seize their prey;

they drag it away and no one can come to the rescue.

5:30 At that time 71  they will growl over their prey, 72 

it will sound like sea waves crashing against rocks. 73 

One will look out over the land and see the darkness of disaster,

clouds will turn the light into darkness. 74 

Isaiah’s Commission

6:1 In the year of King Uzziah’s death, 75  I saw the sovereign master 76  seated on a high, elevated throne. The hem of his robe filled the temple. 6:2 Seraphs 77  stood over him; each one had six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, 78  and they used the remaining two to fly. 6:3 They called out to one another, “Holy, holy, holy 79  is the Lord who commands armies! 80  His majestic splendor fills the entire earth!” 6:4 The sound of their voices shook the door frames, 81  and the temple was filled with smoke.

6:5 I said, “Too bad for me! I am destroyed, 82  for my lips are contaminated by sin, 83  and I live among people whose lips are contaminated by sin. 84  My eyes have seen the king, the Lord who commands armies.” 85  6:6 But then one of the seraphs flew toward me. In his hand was a hot coal he had taken from the altar with tongs. 6:7 He touched my mouth with it and said, “Look, this coal has touched your lips. Your evil is removed; your sin is forgiven.” 86  6:8 I heard the voice of the sovereign master say, “Whom will I send? Who will go on our behalf?” 87  I answered, “Here I am, send me! 6:9 He said, “Go and tell these people:

‘Listen continually, but don’t understand!

Look continually, but don’t perceive!’

6:10 Make the hearts of these people calloused;

make their ears deaf and their eyes blind!

Otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears,

their hearts might understand and they might repent and be healed.” 88 

6:11 I replied, “How long, sovereign master?” He said,

Until cities are in ruins and unpopulated,

and houses are uninhabited,

and the land is ruined and devastated,

6:12 and the Lord has sent the people off to a distant place,

and the very heart of the land is completely abandoned. 89 

6:13 Even if only a tenth of the people remain in the land, it will again be destroyed, 90  like one of the large sacred trees 91  or an Asherah pole, when a sacred pillar on a high place is thrown down. 92  That sacred pillar symbolizes the special chosen family.” 93 

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