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Israel, the Lord’s Vineyard

5 Now I will sing for my friend a song about his vineyard.

My friend had a vineyard

on a hill with very rich soil.

He dug and cleared the field of stones

and planted the best grapevines there.

He built a tower in the middle of it

and cut out a winepress as well.

He hoped good grapes would grow there,

but only bad ones grew.

My friend says, “You people living in Jerusalem,

and you people of Judah,

judge between me and my vineyard.

What more could I have done for my vineyard

than I have already done?

Although I expected good grapes to grow,

why were there only bad ones?

Now I will tell you

what I will do to my vineyard:

I will remove the hedge,

and it will be burned.

I will break down the stone wall,

and it will be walked on.

I will ruin my field.

It will not be trimmed or hoed,

and weeds and thorns will grow there.

I will command the clouds

not to rain on it.”

The vineyard belonging to the Lord All-Powerful

is the nation of Israel;

the garden that he loves

is the people of Judah.

He looked for justice, but there was only killing.

He hoped for right living, but there were only cries of pain.

How terrible it will be for you who add more houses to your houses

and more fields to your fields

until there is no room left for other people.

Then you are left alone in the land.

The Lord All-Powerful said this to me:

“The fine houses will be destroyed;

the large and beautiful houses will be left empty.

10  At that time a ten-acre vineyard will make only six gallons of wine,

and ten bushels of seed will grow only half a bushel of grain.

11  How terrible it will be for people who rise early in the morning

to look for strong drink,

who stay awake late at night,

becoming drunk with wine.

12  At their parties they have lyres, harps,

tambourines, flutes, and wine.

They don’t see what the Lord has done

or notice the work of his hands.

13  So my people will be captured and taken away,

because they don’t really know me.

All the great people will die of hunger,

and the common people will die of thirst.

14  So the place of the dead wants more and more people,

and it opens wide its mouth.

Jerusalem’s important people and common people will go down into it,

with their happy and noisy ones.

15  So the common people and the great people will be brought down;

those who are proud will be humbled.

16  The Lord All-Powerful will receive glory by judging fairly;

the holy God will show himself holy by doing what is right.

17  Then the sheep will go anywhere they want,

and lambs will feed on the land that rich people once owned.

18  How terrible it will be for those people!

They pull their guilt and sins behind them

as people pull wagons with ropes.

19  They say, “Let God hurry;

let him do his work soon

so we may see it.

Let the plan of the Holy One of Israel happen soon

so that we will know what it is.”

20  How terrible it will be for people who call good things bad

and bad things good,

who think darkness is light

and light is darkness,

who think sour is sweet

and sweet is sour.

21  How terrible it will be for people who think they are wise

and believe they are clever.

22  How terrible it will be for people who are famous for drinking wine

and are champions at mixing drinks.

23  They take money to set the guilty free

and don’t allow good people to be judged fairly.

24  They will be destroyed

just as fire burns straw or dry grass.

They will be destroyed

like a plant whose roots rot

and whose flower dies and blows away like dust.

They have refused to obey the teachings of the Lord All-Powerful

and have hated the message from the Holy God of Israel.

25  So the Lord has become very angry with his people,

and he has raised his hand to punish them.

Even the mountains are frightened.

Dead bodies lie in the streets like garbage.

But the Lord is still angry;

his hand is still raised to strike down the people.

26  He raises a banner for the nations far away.

He whistles to call those people from the ends of the earth.

Look! The enemy comes quickly!

27  Not one of them becomes tired or falls down.

Not one of them gets sleepy and falls asleep.

Their weapons are close at hand,

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,

and their chariot wheels move like a whirlwind.

29  Their shout is like the roar of a lion;

it is loud like a young lion.

They growl as they grab their captives.

There is no one to stop them from taking their captives away.

30  On that day they will roar

like the waves of the sea.

And when people look at the land,

they will see only darkness and pain;

all light will become dark in this thick cloud.


About New Century Version

The New Century Version is one of the easiest translations of the Bible to understand. It accurately communicates the messages found in the original languages of biblical manuscripts, using the kind of terms you use every day. It uses contemporary language with down-to-earth vocabulary. The end result is a fresh, straightforward, and strong translations of God’s truth; and it is something you can connect with in your daily life. You’ll find it easier to experience God's Word as it truly is—absolutely clear, powerfully alive, and completely life-changing.


Copyright 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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