1 Now I will sing for the one I love
a song about his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard
on a rich and fertile hill.
and planted it with the best vines.
In the middle he built a watchtower
and carved a winepress in the nearby rocks.
Then he waited for a harvest of sweet grapes,
but the grapes that grew were bitter.
you judge between me and my vineyard.
that I have not already done?
When I expected sweet grapes,
why did my vineyard give me bitter grapes?
what I will do to my vineyard:
I will tear down its hedges
and let it be destroyed.
I will break down its walls
and let the animals trample it.
where the vines are not pruned and the ground is not hoed,
a place overgrown with briers and thorns.
I will command the clouds
to drop no rain on it.
The people of Judah are his pleasant garden.
He expected a crop of justice,
but instead he found oppression.
He expected to find righteousness,
but instead he heard cries of violence.
8 What sorrow for you who buy up house after house and field after field,
until everyone is evicted and you live alone in the land.
swear a solemn oath:
“Many houses will stand deserted;
even beautiful mansions will be empty.
Ten baskets of seed will yield only one basket* of grain.”
looking for a drink of alcohol
and spend long evenings drinking wine
to make themselves flaming drunk.
lyre and harp, tambourine and flute—
but they never think about the Lord
or notice what he is doing.
because they do not know me.
Those who are great and honored will starve,
and the common people will die of thirst.
14 The grave* is licking its lips in anticipation,
opening its mouth wide.
The great and the lowly
and all the drunken mob will be swallowed up.
even the arrogant will lower their eyes in humiliation.
The holiness of God will be displayed by his righteousness.
and fattened sheep and young goats* will feed among the ruins.
with ropes made of lies,
who drag wickedness behind them like a cart!
“Hurry up and do something!
We want to see what you can do.
Let the Holy One of Israel carry out his plan,
for we want to know what it is.”
that evil is good and good is evil,
that dark is light and light is dark,
that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.
and think themselves so clever.
and boast about all the alcohol they can hold.
and they punish the innocent.
and dry grass shrivels in the flame,
so their roots will rot
and their flowers wither.
For they have rejected the law of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies;
they have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
and why he has raised his fist to crush them.
The mountains tremble,
and the corpses of his people litter the streets like garbage.
But even then the Lord’s anger is not satisfied.
His fist is still poised to strike!
and whistle to those at the ends of the earth.
They will come racing toward Jerusalem.
They will not stop for rest or sleep.
Not a belt will be loose,
not a sandal strap broken.
and their bows ready for battle.
Sparks will fly from their horses’ hooves,
and the wheels of their chariots will spin like a whirlwind.
like the strongest of lions.
Growling, they will pounce on their victims and carry them off,
and no one will be there to rescue them.
like the roaring of the sea.
If someone looks across the land,
only darkness and distress will be seen;
even the light will be darkened by clouds.
5:10a Hebrew A ten yoke, that is, the area of land plowed by ten teams of oxen in one day.
5:10b Hebrew a bath [21 liters].
5:10c Hebrew A homer [5 bushels or 220 liters] of seed will yield only an ephah [20 quarts or 22 liters].
5:14 Hebrew Sheol.
5:17 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads and strangers.