Doomsday is on the way. That is because God’s people ignore his commandments and are self-centered.
VERSE 1. Let me sing for my well beloved a song of my beloved about his vineyard. My beloved had a vineyard on a very fruitful hill.
BBE translation. Let me make a song about my loved one, a song of love for his vine-garden. My loved one had a vine-garden on a fertile hill:
my loved one. We can assume God the Father is speaking. His beloved is God the Son.
his vine-garden. The nation of Israel, as we see in verse 7, below.
on a fertile hill. That is, Jerusalem.
VERSE 2. He dug it up, gathered out its stones, planted it with the choicest vine, built a tower in the middle of it, and also cut out a wine press in it. He looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.
built a tower. That is, he “put up a watchtower.” The watchtower is the cross of Jesus Christ.
VERSE 3. “Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, please judge between me and my vineyard.
VERSE 4. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Why, when I looked for it to yield grapes, did it yield wild grapes?
BBE translation. Is there anything which might have been done for my vine-garden which I have not done? why then, when I was hoping for the best grapes did it give me common grapes?
I was hoping for the best grapes. God is looking for us to bear fruit. Good fruit.
VERSE 5. Now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will take away its hedge, and it will be eaten up. I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled down.
BBE translation. And now, this is what I will do to my vine-garden: I will take away the circle of thorns round it, and it will be burned up; its wall will be broken down and the beasts of the field will go through it;
the circle of thorns. That sounds like a reference to the crown of thorns. However, most translations say “hedge.”
VERSE 6. I will lay it a wasteland. It won’t be pruned or hoed, but it will grow briers and thorns. I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain on it.”
VERSE 7. For the vineyard of the LORD of Hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for justice, but, behold, oppression; for righteousness, but, behold, a cry of distress.
NLT translation. The nation of Israel is the vineyard of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. 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.
The nation of Israel. The vine-garden mentioned in verse 1 above is the nation of Israel.
his pleasant garden. God wishes to delight in us. We are to be his delight.
instead he found oppression. The leaders were corrupt. They use their God-given positions of authority to oppress their people.
cries of violence. Oppression and violence are two great evils in the Bible.
Psalm 55:9. Confuse, O Lord, and divide their tongues, For I have seen violence and strife in the city. (NASB translation)
VERSE 8. Woe to those who join house to house, who lay field to field, until there is no room, and you are made to dwell alone in the middle of the land!
join house to house. Isaiah is speaking to those who buy up property. This is a diatribe against the wealthy, the one percent, the “job creators” of his day.
until there is no room. They bought up people’s property, then evicted them.
VERSE 9. In my ears, the LORD of Hosts says: “Surely many houses will be desolate, even great and beautiful, unoccupied.
yield one bath. That is, it will only produce one measure. They were in a tough spot. They couldn’t get a job. And what little they had was ebbing away from them.
VERSE 11. Woe to those who rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink, who stay late into the night, until wine inflames them!
VERSE 12. The harp, lyre, tambourine, and flute, with wine, are at their feasts; but they don’t respect the work of the LORD, neither have they considered the operation of his hands.
BBE translation. And corded instruments and wind-instruments and wine are in their feasts: but they give no thought to the work of the Lord, and they are not interested in what his hands are doing.
they don’t respect the work of the LORD. Isaiah tells us why these doomsday things are happening. They never think about the LORD.
neither have they considered the operation of his hands. They were not interested in what the hand of God was doing.
They had lost their interest in the things of God. They had lost their first love. They were secularized people, not godly people.
Sirach 27:3. Unless a man hold on diligently in the fear of the Lord, His house will soon be overthrown.
Isaiah 5:12. The harp, lyre, tambourine, and flute, with wine, are at their feasts; but they don’t respect the work of the LORD, neither have they considered the operation of his hands.
Jeremiah 2:2. Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear! I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, Following me in the desert, in a land unknown (NAB translation)
Revelation 2:4. But I have this against you, that you left your first love.
VERSE 13. Therefore my people go into captivity for lack of knowledge. Their honorable men are famished, and their multitudes are parched with thirst.
for lack of knowledge. That is, they did not know God. Their lack of knowledge of God is why these calamities are happening.
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their multitudes. That is, the common people. A few translations say “loud-voiced feasters.”
VERSE 14. Therefore Sheol has enlarged its desire, and opened its mouth without measure; and their glory, their multitude, their pomp, and he who rejoices among them, descend into it.
BBE translation. For this cause the underworld has made wide its throat, opening its mouth without limit: and her glory, and the noise of her masses, and her loud-voiced feasters, will go down into it.
Sheol has enlarged its desire. The New Testament describes heaven and eternal life. But what does the Old Testament say about life after death? Read more »
he who rejoices among them. That is, the drunken mob. A few translations say “loud-voiced feasters.”
the arrogant ones are humbled. Arrogant people are put to shame.
1 John 2:16. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, isn’t the Father’s, but is the world’s.
VERSE 16. but the LORD of Hosts is exalted in justice, and God the Holy One is sanctified in righteousness.
God the Holy One is sanctified in righteousness. People will finally see the holiness of God. They will be converted. The holiness of God is the triggering element. In our day, we don’t seem to talk much about the holiness of God.
VERSE 17. Then the lambs will graze as in their pasture, and strangers will eat the ruins of the rich.
lambs will graze as in their pasture. This evokes the image of the Good Shepherd.
the ruins of the rich. God will destroy the rich people. He will redistribute their wealth to poor people.
Rich people could have avoided all this, simply by voluntarily giving away some of their money to poor people.
NLT translation. What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart!
drag their sins behind them. Sin is a burden. It is a heavy burden that can only drag us down.
Matthew 11:28. “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.
ropes made of lies. Lying and spin-doctoring are the linchpin of the sinner. To maintain a life of sin requires consummate deception. In our day, what happens to the chief experts of lying? Eventually the truth comes out, and their lies are seen for what they are.
drag wickedness behind them like a cart. Again, sin is a heavy burden. But we keep dragging it around. Perhaps we make that burden easier for ourselves by attaching wheels to it. But the only real solution is to get rid of it.
VERSE 19. who say, “Let him make haste, let him hasten his work, that we may see it; let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, that we may know it!”
that we may see it. They want God to do magic tricks for them.
VERSE 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!
KJV translation. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Woe unto them. It will not go well for those who spin the truth into a web of lies.
In any congregation, lots of people have strongly-held personal agendas. They absolutely want their pastor to preach about thus-and-such a topic. If the pastor does not, some some people will use this verse to rebuke their pastor.
Micah 3:2. You who hate the good, and love the evil; who tear off their skin, and their flesh from off their bones;
VERSE 21. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
VERSE 22. Woe to those who are mighty to drink wine, and champions at mixing strong drink;
acquit the guilty for a bribe. They can be bought. For a bribe, they will pervert the cause of justice. They will let the guilty get away with their crimes.
deny justice for the innocent. Similarly, for a bribe, they will convict the innocent.
Catholic leaders often do this. Their most famous denial of justice is against children whom their own clerics have sexually abused.
VERSE 24. Therefore as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as the dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust, because they have rejected the law of the LORD of Hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
they have rejected the law of the LORD. They reject the Bible. That is why doomsday is coming.
despised the word. They despise the Bible.
VERSE 25. Therefore the LORD’s anger burns against his people, and he has stretched out his hand against them and has struck them. The mountains tremble, and their dead bodies are as refuse in the middle of the streets. For all this, his anger is not turned away, but his hand is still stretched out.
the LORD’s anger burns. God is so committed to our wellbeing that he cannot look the other way when we are wrecking our lives.
VERSE 26. He will lift up a banner to the nations from far away, and he will whistle for them from the end of the earth. Behold, they will come speedily and swiftly.
nations from far away. A far-off nation called Assyria is on its way to attack.
VERSE 27. No one shall be weary nor stumble among them; no one shall slumber nor sleep, neither shall the belt of their waist be untied, nor the strap of their sandals be broken,
VERSE 28. whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent. Their horses’ hoofs will be like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind.
VERSE 29. Their roaring will be like a lioness. They will roar like young lions. Yes, they shall roar, and seize their prey and carry it off, and there will be no one to deliver.
VERSE 30. They will roar against them in that day like the roaring of the sea. If one looks to the land, behold, darkness and distress. The light is darkened in its clouds.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.