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Chapter 5

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   1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his
   vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

   2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it
   with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also
   made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth
   grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

   3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray
   you, betwixt me and my vineyard.

   4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done
   in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes,
   brought it forth wild grapes?

   5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will
   take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down
   the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:

   6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but
   there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds
   that they rain no rain upon it.

   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 judgment, but behold
   oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

   8 Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till
   there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the

   9 In mine ears said the LORD of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be
   desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant.

   10 Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of an
   homer shall yield an ephah.

   11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may
   follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!

   12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in
   their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither
   consider the operation of his hands.

   13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no
   knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude
   dried up with thirst.

   14 Therefore 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.

   15 And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be
   humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:

   16 But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is
   holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.

   17 Then shall the lambs feed after their manner, and the waste places
   of the fat ones shall strangers eat.

   18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as it
   were with a cart rope:

   19 That say, Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see
   it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come,
   that we may know it!

   20 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!

   21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their
   own sight!

   22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to
   mingle strong drink:

   23 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness
   of the righteous from him!

   24 Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth
   the chaff, so their 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.

   25 Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and
   he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them:
   and the hills did tremble, 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.

   26 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss
   unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with
   speed swiftly:

   27 None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor
   sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the
   latchet of their shoes be broken:

   28 Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent, their horses' hoofs
   shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind:

   29 Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young
   lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry
   it away safe, and none shall deliver it.

   30 And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the
   sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the
   light is darkened in the heavens thereof.
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Commentary for Isaiah 5

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   The state and conduct of the Jewish nation. (1-7) The judgments which
   would come. (8-23) The executioners of these judgments. (24-30)1-7
   Christ is God's beloved Son, and our beloved Saviour. The care of the
   Lord over the church of Israel, is described by the management of a
   vineyard. The advantages of our situation will be brought into the
   account another day. He planted it with the choicest vines; gave them a
   most excellent law, instituted proper ordinances. The temple was a
   tower, where God gave tokens of his presence. He set up his altar, to
   which the sacrifices should be brought; all the means of grace are
   denoted thereby. God expects fruit from those that enjoy privileges.
   Good purposes and good beginnings are good things, but not enough;
   there must be vineyard fruit; thoughts and affections, words and
   actions, agreeable to the Spirit. It brought forth bad fruit. Wild
   grapes are the fruits of the corrupt nature. Where grace does not work,
   corruption will. But the wickedness of those that profess religion, and
   enjoy the means of grace, must be upon the sinners themselves. They
   shall no longer be a peculiar people. When errors and vice go without
   check or control, the vineyard is unpruned; then it will soon be grown
   over with thorns. This is often shown in the departure of God's Spirit
   from those who have long striven against him, and the removal of his
   gospel from places which have long been a reproach to it. The
   explanation is given. It is sad with a soul, when, instead of the
   grapes of humility, meekness, love, patience, and contempt of the
   world, for which God looks, there are the wild grapes of pride,
   passion, discontent, and malice, and contempt of God; instead of the
   grapes of praying and praising, the wild grapes of cursing and
   swearing. Let us bring forth fruit with patience, that in the end we
   may obtain everlasting life.
   8-23 Here is a woe to those who set their hearts on the wealth of the
   world. Not that it is sinful for those who have a house and a field to
   purchase another; but the fault is, that they never know when they have
   enough. Covetousness is idolatry; and while many envy the prosperous,
   wretched man, the Lord denounces awful woes upon him. How applicable to
   many among us! God has many ways to empty the most populous cities.
   Those who set their hearts upon the world, will justly be disappointed.
   Here is woe to those who dote upon the pleasures and the delights of
   sense. The use of music is lawful; but when it draws away the heart
   from God, then it becomes a sin to us. God's judgments have seized
   them, but they will not disturb themselves in their pleasures. The
   judgments are declared. Let a man be ever so high, death will bring him
   low; ever so mean, death will bring him lower. The fruit of these
   judgments shall be, that God will be glorified as a God of power. Also,
   as a God that is holy; he shall be owned and declared to be so, in the
   righteous punishment of proud men. Those are in a woful condition who
   set up sin, and who exert themselves to gratify their base lusts. They
   are daring in sin, and walk after their own lusts; it is in scorn that
   they call God the Holy One of Israel. They confound and overthrow
   distinctions between good and evil. They prefer their own reasonings to
   Divine revelations; their own devices to the counsels and commands of
   God. They deem it prudent and politic to continue profitable sins, and
   to neglect self-denying duties. Also, how light soever men make of
   drunkenness, it is a sin which lays open to the wrath and curse of God.
   Their judges perverted justice. Every sin needs some other to conceal
   24-30 Let not any expect to live easily who live wickedly. Sin weakens
   the strength, the root of a people; it defaces the beauty, the blossoms
   of a people. When God's word is despised, and his law cast away, what
   can men expect but that God should utterly abandon them? When God comes
   forth in wrath, the hills tremble, fear seizes even great men. When God
   designs the ruin of a provoking people, he can find instruments to be
   employed in it, as he sent for the Chaldeans, and afterwards the
   Romans, to destroy the Jews. Those who would not hear the voice of God
   speaking by his prophets, shall hear the voice of their enemies roaring
   against them. Let the distressed look which way they will, all appears
   dismal. If God frowns upon us, how can any creature smile? Let us
   diligently seek the well-grounded assurance, that when all earthly
   helps and comforts shall fail, God himself will be the strength of our
   hearts, and our portion for ever.
   Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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   In Isaiah chapter 5, what does the vineyard stand for?
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