Isaiah 5:1-10

Isa 5:1

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:


In this chapter the LORD is bringing a parable of the love between a husband and wife.  The vineyard being the nation of Israel from where the Messiah will come from.  This parable is like the Song of Solomon.  The LORD planted Israel in a very good land which is fertile and rich soil for growing things.  For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; (Deuteronomy 8:7)  The fruitful hill also speaks about the kingdom of God bearing the fruit of precious souls.  A hill in Scripture often likened to a kingdom.  I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. (Psalm 121:1)  It is the Kingdom of God that helps the believer and not physical hills and mountains.


Isa 5:2

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.


God built a fence around Israel, that is, he protected them from their enemies.  He also took the stones out of the ground.  Before one can plant agricultural products they must remove the stones from the soil.  That is what God did in the time of Joshua when he removed the false religions and the pagans from the land and gave Israel a place to live in thus fulfilling his promise with Abraham.  The choicest vine would be the spiritual descendants of Abraham that included Isaac and Jacob and eventually the Lord Jesus Christ.  The tower may pointing to the temple on Mount Moriah where the LORD chose to place his name and pointing to the LORD himself.  The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. (Proverbs 18:10)  The wine press was the altar in the temple where the sacrifices were done and the blood flowed upon it and the result was that it was to produce holy and righteous people but instead it brought forth wild grapes which symbolized the people who have taken up sinful lifestyles and instead of good grapes which would have been the keeping of the law, they went after false religions and idols making them wild grapes, people with a corrupt nature.


Isa 5:3

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


Then the subject is interjected as to what to do with them since they have sinned mightily against the LORD.  The LORD tells them to judge their own situation and the judgment should be according to their own findings.  This was to be between God and them, no one else and no false nation surrounding them.


Isa 5:4

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?


Then the LORD poses questions to them.  The way he has guided them and cared for them for hundreds of years, what more could he have done for them to show them how much he loved and cared for them?  Then the LORD looked at them and instead of bringing forth good grapes, that is, the grapes of righteousness they became grapes of wickedness and the LORD wanted to know why in light of all that he did for them.


Isa 5:5

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:


Since they would not return to the LORD now states what he plans on doing to the vineyard owing to their sinful obstinacy.  He is going to take away the hedge, that is, he is going to remove his hand of protection from them making them vulnerable to enemies.  Since their protection will be eaten up which means they will be consumed by their enemies such as the Babylonians.  The wall of protection will be gone and now anyone who sees the land of Israel will be able to come in and attack them without worrying about God’s protection of them.  To be trodden down means they will be crushed or tread upon like ants which are stepped on by people.


Isa 5:6

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.


The vineyard will become a wasteland for seventy years.  For plants to grow properly, they must be pruned and the soil dug up for stones so the plant will not suffocate.  Here the LORD is telling they will not be pruned, that is, they will not be guided or chastised in a smaller sense of the term to help them stay on the straight and narrow.  It shall not be digged or cultivated which means the stones will stay in place and affect the plants.  Remember what God warned them about in Isaiah 1:18 that if they did not deal with their sinful ways then they would reap what they have sown.  Here the vineyard will reap briers and thorns which means they will be so sinful that the only thing they would be good for is the fires of judgment.  Since the LORD is in charge of the weather he will not command the clouds to rain on the vineyard which means they will get no nourishment which would be spiritual nourishment.  They will increase in their dryness which means they will increase in their sin until the time they are judged. 


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


Now the plain meaning of the parable is made known to them.  The vineyard constitutes the entire house of Israel which at this time may also include the northern ten tribes which may not have been taken yet by Assyria.  Then the men of Judah were the vine in the vineyard which was supposed to be the fruit bearing plants.  The LORD looked for judgment among them, that is, to see that the poor and the widows and orphans were given the same treatment in legal matters.  Instead, he found oppression of the poor people by the rich and judges who were bribed.  He searched for righteousness among them instead he found the cry of the poor who had brought their situation to the LORD and heard their cries.  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (Psalm 34:6) 


Isa 5:8

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 earth!


Here is Isaiah’s third woe which condemns the wealthy who make an attempt to buy more houses to build up their holdings and increase their wealth and also they purchase vineyards and attempt to monopolize themselves in purchasing them so no one else has the opportunity to buy a house or vineyard and would have to pay the rich people rent for living or leasing a field.  The last phrase carries with it the meaning of the wealthy people will be the only ones on earth and no one would be able to live close to them as they sequester themselves from the poor people.  This verse is apropos for today as wealthy people live behind walls in their estates and attempt to dictate policy and rules for the people who are not wealthy.


Isa 5:9

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


Then the LORD states in responses to the poor people of the land that many houses shall become desolate and then he points to two classes of homes.  The great homes will be the ones who are the king and the princes and the fair homes will be the ones will be the ones that the wealthy people live in.  These homes shall be desolate because one of the main reasons that the Babylonians are going to desolate the land is because of the wealthy who have abused the poor.  They will be removed from their homes and taken to Babylon where they will experience the same treatment as the poor folk who are taken to Babylon.


Isa 5:10

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


The desolation will be so bad that the LORD tells them what they can expect.  Ten acres of land will only yield only one bath which is approximately six gallons.  The homer which is about 6.25 bushels or 220 liters will produce a crop of an ephah which is .625 (5/8) of a bushel or 22 liters of grain.  A very tiny crop for the amount of land the wealthy people have purchased or stolen.  Laying field to field yielded them nothing.