5:1 Now will a I sing to my b wellbeloved a song of my beloved concerning his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a c vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
(a) The prophet by this song sets before the peopleís eyes their ingratitude and Godís mercy.
5:2 And he dug it, and removed its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine, d and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress in it: and he expected that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth e wild grapes.
(b) That is, to God.
(c) Meaning that he had planted his Church in a place most plentiful and abundant.
(d) He spared no diligence or cost.
5:3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, f between me and my vineyard.
(e) In (Isaiah 5:7) he declares what they were.
(f) He makes them judges in their own cause, for as much as it was evident that they were the cause of their own ruin.
5:5 And now come; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I g will take away its hedge, and it shall be eaten up; [and] break down the wall of it, and it shall be trodden down:
(g) I will take no more care for it: meaning, that he would take from them his word and ministers and all other comforts, and feed them contrary plagues.
5:7 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 h judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold i a cry.
(h) Judgment and righteousness are true fruit of the fear of God and therefore in the cruel oppression there is no religion.
5:8 Woe to them that join house to house, [that] lay field to field, till [there is] no k place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!
(i) Of them who are oppressed.
(k) That is, for the poor to dwell in.
5:9 In my l ears [said] the LORD of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, [even] great and fair, without inhabitant.
(l) I have heard the complaint and cry of the poor.
5:10 Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one m bath, and the seed of an n homer shall yield an o ephah.
(m) Which contains about 5 gallons, so that every acre would yield only half a gallon.
5:11 Woe to them that p rise early in the morning, [that] they may follow strong drink; that continue until q night, [till] wine inflames them!
(n) Which contains 50 gallons.
(o) An ephah contains 5 gallons and is in dry things as much as a bath is in liquids.
(p) Who spare no pain nor diligence to follow their lusts.
5:12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the r work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.
(q) Who are never weary of their rioting and excessive pleasures but use all means to provoke to the same.
(r) They do not regard the provident care of God over them, nor for what end he has created them.
5:13 Therefore my people s have gone into captivity, because [they have] t no knowledge: and their honourable men [are] famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.
(s) That is, will certainly go: for so the prophets use to speak as though the thing which will come to pass were done already.
5:14 Therefore u hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.
(t) Because they would not obey the word of God.
(u) Meaning, the grave will swallow up them who will die for hunger and thirst, and yet for all this great destruction it will never be satisfied.
5:17 Then shall x the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones shall strangers eat.
(x) God comforts the poor lambs of his Church, who had been strangers in other countries, promising that they would dwell in these places again, of which they had been deprived by the fat and cruel tyrants.
5:18 Woe to them that draw iniquity with y cords of vanity, and sin as it were with a cart rope:
(y) Who use all allurements, opportunities and excuses to harden their conscience in sin.
5:19 That say, z Let him make speed, [and] hasten his work, that we may see [it]: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near and come, that we may know [it]!
5:20 Woe to them that call evil good, a and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
(z) He shows what are the words of the wicked, when they are menaced by Godís judgments, (2 Peter 3:4).
(a) Who are not ashamed of sin, nor care for honesty but are grown to a desperate impiety.
5:21 Woe to [them that are] b wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
(b) Who contemn all doctrine and admonition.
5:22 Woe to [them that are] c mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mix strong drink:
(c) Who are never weary, but show their strength, and brag in gluttony and drunkenness.
5:24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, [so] their d root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
(d) Both they and their posterity so that nothing will be left.
5:25 Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his e hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills trembled, and their carcases [were] torn in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand [is] stretched out still.
(e) He shows that God had so sore punished this people, that the dumb creatures if they had been so plagued would have been more sensible, and therefore his plagues must continue, till they begin to seal them.
5:26 And he will lift up an ensign f to the nations from afar, and will hiss to them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:
(f) He will make the Babylonians come against them at his beck, and to fight under his standard.
5:27 None shall g be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the belt of their loins be loosed, nor h the latchet of their shoes be broken:
(g) They will be prompt and lusty to execute Godís vengeance.
5:29 Their roaring [shall be] like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall i roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry [it] away safe, and none shall deliver [it].
(h) The enemy will have no impediment.
(i) By which is declared the cruelty of the enemy.
5:30 And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if k [one] looketh to the land, behold darkness [and] sorrow, and the light is darkened in its l heavens.
(k) The Jews will find no comfort.
(l) In the land of Judah.