GOD’S WORD Translation
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The Song about the Vineyard

Let me sing a lovesong to my beloved about his vineyard: 

My beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill. 

He dug it up, removed its stones, 

planted it with the choicest vines, 

built a watchtower in it, 

and made a winepress in it. 

Then he waited for it to produce good grapes, 

but it produced only sour, wild grapes. 

Now then, you inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah, 

judge between me and my vineyard! 

What more could have been done for my vineyard 

than what I have already done for it? 

When I waited for it to produce good grapes, 

why did it produce only sour, wild grapes? 

Now then, let me tell you what I will do to my vineyard. 

I will tear away its hedge so that it can be devoured 

and tear down its wall so that it can be trampled

I will make it a wasteland. 

It will never be pruned or hoed. 

Thorns and weeds will grow in it, 

and I will command the clouds not to rain on it. 

The vineyard of the Lord of Armies is the nation of Israel, 

and the people of Judah are the garden of his delight. 

He hoped for justice but saw only slaughter, 

for righteousness but heard only cries of distress. 

Six Sins Condemned

How horrible it will be for you 

who acquire house after house and buy field after field 

until there’s nothing left 

and you have to live by yourself in the land. 

With my own ears I heard the Lord of Armies say, 

“Many houses will become empty. 

Large, beautiful houses will be without people to live in them. 

10  A ten-acre vineyard will produce only six gallons of wine, 

and two quarts of seed will produce only four quarts of grain.” 

11  How horrible it will be for those 

who get up early to look for a drink, 

who sit up late until they are drunk from wine. 

12  At their feasts there are lyres and harps, 

tambourines and flutes, and wine. 

Yet, they don’t pay attention to what the Lord is doing 

or see what his hands have done. 

13  “My people will go into exile 

because they don’t understand what I’m doing. 

Honored men will starve, 

and common people will be parched with thirst.” 

14  That is why the grave’s appetite increases. 

It opens its mouth very wide 

so that honored people and common people will go down into it. 

Those who are noisy and joyous will go down into it. 

15  People will be brought down. Everyone will be humbled. 

And the eyes of arrogant people will be humbled. 

16  The Lord of Armies will be honored when he judges. 

The holy God will show himself to be holy when he does what is right. 

17  Then lambs will graze as if they were in their own pasture, 

and foreigners will eat among the ruins of the rich. 

18  How horrible it will be for those 

who string people along with lies and empty promises, 

whose lives are sinful. 

19  They say, 

“Let God hurry and quickly do his work 

so that we may see what he has in mind. 

Let the plan of the Holy One of Israel happen quickly 

so that we may understand what he is doing.” 

20  How horrible it will be for those 

who call evil good and good evil, 

who turn darkness into light and light into darkness, 

who turn what is bitter into something sweet 

and what is sweet into something bitter. 

21  How horrible it will be for those 

who think they are wise 

and consider themselves to be clever. 

22  How horrible it will be for those 

who are heroes at drinking wine, 

who are champions at mixing drinks, 

23  who declare the guilty innocent for a bribe, 

who take away the rights of righteous people. 

The Lord Will Use Another Nation to Punish His People

24  As flames burn up straw 

and dry grass shrivels in flames, 

so their roots will rot, 

and their blossoms will blow away like dust. 

They have rejected the teachings of the Lord of Armies 

and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. 

25  That’s why the anger of the Lord burns hot against his people, 

and he is ready to use his power to strike them down. 

The hills tremble, 

and dead bodies lie like garbage in the streets. 

Even after all this, his anger has not disappeared, 

and he is still ready to use his power. 

26  The Lord raises up a flag for the nations far away. 

With a whistle he signals those at the ends of the earth. 

Look, they are coming very quickly! 

27  None of them grow tired or stumble. 

None of them slumber or sleep. 

The belts on their waists aren’t loose 

or their sandal straps broken. 

28  Their arrows are sharpened; all their bows are ready to shoot. 

Their horses’ hoofs are as hard as flint. 

Their chariot wheels are as quick as the wind. 

29  They roar like a lioness. 

They growl like a young lion. 

They growl as they snatch their prey 

and carry it off to where no one can rescue it. 

30  On that day they will roar over their prey 

as the sea roars. 

If they look at the land, 

they will see only darkness and distress. 

Even the light will be darkened by thick clouds. 


About GOD’S WORD Translation

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) communicates the saving, life-changing Good News about Jesus in clear, natural English. Translated directly from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek by a committee of scholars, GOD’S WORD is an exceptional Bible that consciously combines scholarly fidelity with natural English.

By implementing the translation principles of Closest Natural Equivalence, the translation committee seeks to translate the best available texts into English with the closest possible accuracy. This commitment to accurately translating the Bible includes expressing the meaning naturally and in a style that preserves the characteristics of the source text.

The combination of accuracy and readability makes GOD’S WORD ideally suited for the following:

Devotional reading and in-depth study

Preaching, teaching, and worship




Scripture references from GOD’S WORD are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.

Up to 500 verses from GOD’S WORD may be quoted in any form (printed, written, visual, electronic, or audio) without written permission, provided that no more than half of any one book is quoted, and the verses quoted do not amount to more than 25% of the text of the work in which they are quoted.

The designation (GOD’S WORD) must always appear after each quotation. In addition, if the quotation is used in a work that is not for sale, the work must bear the following notice either on the title page or reverse thereof of each copy, or in a location where it can be readily perceived by the reader:

GOD’S WORD is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission.

If used in a work that is for sale, the following copyright notice must be used:

GOD’S WORD is a copyrighted work of God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.

For quotation of over 500 verses and/or questions about these policies, contact God’s Word to the Nations Bible Society, P.O. Box 26343, Cleveland, Ohio 44126-0343, U.S.A.

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