Israel, the Lord’s Vineyard
5 Now I will sing for my ·friend [or beloved] a song about his vineyard [C Israel is the vineyard and God is its owner].
My ·friend [or beloved] had a vineyard
on a ·hill with very rich soil [fertile hillside].
2 He ·dug [or fenced it] and cleared the field of stones
and planted the best grapevines there.
He built a ·tower [watchtower; C for protection] in the middle of it
and ·cut [carved] out a winepress as well [C symbolizing God’s protection of Israel].
He ·hoped [expected; looked to see if] good grapes would grow there,
but ·only bad ones grew [L it produced only wild/sour grapes].
3 [C The vineyard owner now speaks:] “You ·people living in [residents/citizens of] Jerusalem,
and you people of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard [C the scene changes from a love song to a courtroom indictment].
4 What more could I have done for my vineyard
than I have already done?
Although I ·expected [waited/looked for] good grapes to grow,
why ·were there [did it produce] only ·bad [sour; wild] ones?
5 Now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard:
I will remove the hedge,
and it will ·be burned [be purged/destroyed; or become a pasture].
I will break down the stone wall,
and it will be ·walked [trampled; C referring to the Assyrian conquest in 722 bc].
6 I will ·ruin my field [make it a wasteland; leave it untended].
It will not be ·trimmed [pruned] or hoed,
and ·weeds [briers] and thorns will grow there.
I will command the clouds
not to rain on it.”
7 [L For; Because] The vineyard belonging to the Lord ·All-Powerful [Almighty; of Heaven’s Armies; T of hosts]
is the ·nation [L house] of Israel;
and the people of Judah
are the ·garden [vines; plants] that he ·loves [delights in].
He looked for justice, but ·there was [look; behold] only ·killing [bloodshed; or oppression; injustice; C the Hebrew words for “justice” and “killing” sound alike].
He hoped for ·right living [righteousness], but ·there were [look; behold] only ·cries of pain [cries of distress; or an outrcy; C the Hebrew words for “righteousness” and “cries of pain” sound alike].