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Isaiah 5 Expanded Bible (EXB)

Israel, the Lord’s Vineyard

Now I will sing for my ·friend [or beloved] a song about his vineyard [C Israel is the vineyard and God is its owner].
My ·friend [or beloved] had a vineyard
    on a ·hill with very rich soil [fertile hillside].
He ·dug [or fenced it] and cleared the field of stones
    and planted the best grapevines there.
He built a ·tower [watchtower; C for protection] in the middle of it
    and ·cut [carved] out a winepress as well [C symbolizing God’s protection of Israel].
He ·hoped [expected; looked to see if] good grapes would grow there,
    but ·only bad ones grew [L it produced only wild/sour grapes].

[C The vineyard owner now speaks:] “You ·people living in [residents/citizens of] Jerusalem,
    and you people of Judah,
    judge between me and my vineyard [C the scene changes from a love song to a courtroom indictment].
What more could I have done for my vineyard
    than I have already done?
Although I ·expected [waited/looked for] good grapes to grow,
    why ·were there [did it produce] only ·bad [sour; wild] ones?
Now I will tell you
    what I will do to my vineyard:
I will remove the hedge,
    and it will ·be burned [be purged/destroyed; or become a pasture].
I will break down the stone wall,
    and it will be ·walked [trampled; C referring to the Assyrian conquest in 722 bc].
I will ·ruin my field [make it a wasteland; leave it untended].
    It will not be ·trimmed [pruned] or hoed,
    and ·weeds [briers] and thorns will grow there.
I will command the clouds
    not to rain on it.”

[L For; Because] The vineyard belonging to the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]
    is the ·nation [L house] of Israel;
and the people of Judah
    are the ·garden [vines; plants] that he ·loves [delights in].
He looked for justice, but ·there was [look; behold] only ·killing [bloodshed; or oppression; injustice; C the Hebrew words for “justice” and “killing” sound alike].
    He hoped for ·right living [righteousness], but ·there were [look; behold] only ·cries of pain [cries of distress; or an outrcy; C the Hebrew words for “righteousness” and “cries of pain” sound alike].

·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] you who add more houses to your houses
    and more fields to your fields [C accumulating wealth at the expense of others, in violation of God’s command that tribal allotments be permanent; Lev. 25:23]
until ·there is no room left for other people [no space is left].
    Then you are left alone in the land.

The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] said this ·to me [L in my ears]:

“·The fine [The great; or Many] houses will ·be destroyed [become desolate];
    the large and beautiful houses will be left empty [L of inhabitants].
10 At that time a ·ten-acre [L ten-yoke; C unknown measurement, though clearly a large area] vineyard will make only ·six gallons [L one bath] of wine,
    and ·ten bushels [L a homer] of seed will grow only one bushel [L an ephah; C one tenth of a homer] of grain.”

11 ·How terrible it will be for people [L Woe to those] who rise early in the morning
    to ·look for [run after; pursue] ·strong drink [or beer; C alcoholic beverage made from grain],
who ·stay awake late at night [linger into twilight],
    becoming ·drunk [L inflamed] with wine.
12 At their ·parties [banquets; feasts] they have lyres, harps,
    tambourines, flutes, and wine.
They ·don’t see [or have no regard for] what the Lord has done
    or ·notice [see; comprehend] the work of his hands.
13 So my people will ·be captured and taken away [be deported; go into exile/captivity],
    because they ·don’t really know me [or lack understanding].
·All the great people [Their nobles/men of honor] will die of hunger,
    and the ·common people [multitudes; masses] ·will die of [or will be parched with] thirst.
14 So ·the place of the dead [or the grave; L Sheol] ·wants more and more people [L opens wide/enlarges its throat],
    and it opens wide its mouth.
·Jerusalem’s [L Her] ·important people [nobility] and ·common people [multitude; masses] will go down into it,
    with their ·happy and noisy ones [noisy revellers; drunken mob].
15 ·People [Humanity] will be humbled, ·everyone [each person; mankind] will be brought down;
    ·those who are [L the eyes of the] ·proud [haughty] will be humbled.
16 The Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts] will ·receive glory [be exalted] by ·judging fairly [his justice];
    the holy God will show himself holy by ·doing what is right [righteousnes].
17 Then the ·sheep [or lambs] will ·go anywhere they want [L feed as if in their pasture],
    and ·lambs [or strangers; foreigners] will feed ·on the land that rich people once owned [among the ruins of the rich].

18 ·How terrible it will be for [L Woe to] those people!
    They pull ·their guilt and sins behind them
    as people pull wagons with ropes [L wickedness with the ropes of emptiness and sin with cart ropes].
19 They say, “Let God hurry;
    let him do his work ·soon [quickly]
    so we may see it.
Let the plan of the Holy One of Israel [1:4] ·happen soon [approach and draw near]
    so that we will know what it is.”

20 ·How terrible it will be for people [L Woe to those] who call ·good things bad
    and bad things good [L evil good and good evil],
who ·think darkness is [or make darkness] light
    and ·light is [or make light] darkness,
who ·think sour is [or turn sour/bitter to] sweet
    and sweet ·is sour [or to sour/bitter].

21 ·How terrible it will be for people [L Woe to those] who ·think they are wise [L are wise in their own eyes; Prov. 3:7; 26:12; 27:1; 28:11, 26]
and ·believe they are clever [L clever/understanding in front of themselves].

22 ·How terrible it will be for people [L Woe to those] who are ·famous for [heroes/champions at] drinking wine
    and are ·champions [valiant men] at mixing ·drinks [beer; v. 11].
23 They take ·money [a bribe] to ·set the guilty free [acquit the wicked]
    and ·don’t allow good people to be judged fairly [deny justice/righteousness to the innocent/righteous].
24 [L Therefore] They will be destroyed
    just as ·fire [L tongues of fire] ·burns [L devours] straw
    and dry grass ·is consumed by [L sinks in the] flames.
They will be destroyed
    like a plant whose roots rot
    and whose flower dies and blows away like dust.
They have ·refused to obey [rejected; spurned] the ·teachings [law; L Torah] of the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]
    and have ·hated [despised] the message from the Holy One of Israel [1:4].
25 So the ·Lord has become very angry with [L Lord’s anger burns against] his people,
    and he ·has raised [extends; stretches out] his hand to ·punish [strike] them.
Even the mountains ·are frightened [shake; tremble].
    ·Dead bodies [Corpses] lie in the streets like garbage.

·But the Lord is still angry [L In all this, his anger is not turned away];
his hand is still ·raised [extended; stretched out] to strike down the people.

26 He raises a ·banner [standard; signal flag] for the nations far away.
    He whistles to call those people from the ends of the earth.
·Look [T Behold]! ·The enemy comes ·quickly [swiftly; with great speed]!
27 Not one of them becomes tired or ·falls down [stumbles].
    Not one of them ·gets sleepy [slumbers] and falls asleep.
·Their weapons are close at hand [L No belt is loosened],
    and their sandal straps are not broken.
28 Their arrows are sharp,
    and all of their bows are ready to shoot.
The horses’ hoofs ·are hard as rocks [or make sparks like flint],
    and their chariot wheels move like a ·whirlwind [wind storm].
29 Their ·shout is like the roar of [L roar is like] a lion;
    it ·is loud [L roars] like a young lion.
They growl as they grab their ·captives [prey].
    They carry it off and no one can ·save [rescue] it.
30 On that day they will roar [L over it]
    like the ·waves [L roaring] of the sea.
And ·when [if] people look at the land,
    they will see only darkness and ·pain [distress];
all light will become dark ·in this thick cloud [or because of clouds].

Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Isaiah 5 New International Version (NIV)

The Song of the Vineyard

I will sing for the one I love
    a song about his vineyard:
My loved one had a vineyard
    on a fertile hillside.
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.

“Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah,
    judge between me and my vineyard.
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?
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.
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.”

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.

Woes and Judgments

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.

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.


  1. Isaiah 5:10 That is, about 6 gallons or about 22 liters
  2. Isaiah 5:10 That is, probably about 360 pounds or about 160 kilograms
  3. Isaiah 5:10 That is, probably about 36 pounds or about 16 kilograms
  4. Isaiah 5:17 Septuagint; Hebrew / strangers will eat
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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