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He spaded it, cleared it of stones,
    and planted the choicest vines;
Within it he built a watchtower,
    and hewed out a wine press.
Then he waited for the crop of grapes,
    but it yielded rotten grapes.(A)
Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem, people of Judah,
    judge between me and my vineyard:
What more could be done for my vineyard
    that I did not do?(B)
Why, when I waited for the crop of grapes,
    did it yield rotten grapes?
Now, I will let you know
    what I am going to do to my vineyard:
Take away its hedge, give it to grazing,
    break through its wall, let it be trampled![a]
Yes, I will make it a ruin:
    it shall not be pruned or hoed,
    but will be overgrown with thorns and briers;
I will command the clouds
    not to rain upon it.
The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,
    the people of Judah, his cherished plant;
He waited for judgment, but see, bloodshed!
    for justice, but hark, the outcry![b]

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Footnotes

  1. 5:5–6 Trampled…thorns and briers: this judgment is echoed in the description of the devastated land in 7:23–25.
  2. 5:7 Judgment…bloodshed…justice…outcry: in Hebrew there is an impressive play on words: mishpat parallels mispah, sedaqah parallels se‘aqah. See also the threefold “waited for” in vv. 2, 4, 7.

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