The Bible in Its Traditions

Isaiah 5:1–30

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Let me sing of my well-beloved, a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well-beloved had a vineyard in a very fruitful hill;

Now I will sing to my beloved a song of my beloved concerning my vineyard. My beloved had a vineyard on a high hill in a fertile place.

I will sing to my beloved the canticle of my paternal cousin, about his vineyard. A vineyard was made for my beloved, at the horn in the son of oil.

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And he digged it, and cleared it of stones, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also hewed out a vat therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

And he fenced it in, and he picked the stones out of it, and he planted it with the best vines, and he built a tower in the middle of it, and he set up a winepress within it. And he expected it to produce grapes, but it produced wild vines.

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

And now, ye dwellers in Jerusalem, and every man of Juda, judge between me and my vineyard.

Now then, inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah: judge between me and my vineyard.

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?

What shall I do any more to my vineyard, that I have not done to it? Whereas I expected it to bring forth grapes, but it has brought forth thorns.

What more should I have done for my vineyard that I did not do for it? Should I not have expected it to produce grapes, though it produced wild vines?

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

And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it shall be for a spoil; and I will pull down its walls, and it shall be left to be trodden down.

And now, I will reveal to you what I will do to my vineyard. I will take away its fence, and it will be plundered. I will pull down its wall, and it will be trampled.

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

And I will forsake my vineyard; and it shall not be pruned, nor dug, and thorns shall come up upon it as on barren land; and I will command the clouds to rain no rain upon it.

And I will make it desolate. It will not be pruned, and it will not be dug. And briers and thorns will rise up. And I will command the clouds not to rain upon it.

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For the vineyard of YHWH of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah the plant of His delight; and He looked for justice, but behold violence; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Juda his beloved plant: I expected it to bring forth judgement, and it brought forth iniquity; and not righteousness, but a cry.

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Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no room, and ye be made to dwell alone in the midst of the land!

Woe to you who join house to house, and who combine field to field, even to the limits of the place! Do you intend to live alone in the midst of the earth?

Woe to those who trespass the boundaries between houses, who remove the landmarks between the fields, to steal the land, that they may dwell alone in the midst of the earth!

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

For these things have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts: for though many houses should be built, many and fair houses shall be desolate, and there shall be no inhabitants in them.

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

10  For where ten yoke of oxen plough the land shall yield one jar-full, and he that sows six homers shall produce three measures.

10  Then ten acres of vineyard will produce one small bottle of wine, and thirty measures of seed will produce three measures of grain.

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

11  Woe to you who rise up in the morning to pursue drunkenness, and to drink even until evening, so as to be inflamed with wine.

11  Woe to them who rise up early in the morning, and run after strong drink; that continue drinking until night, till wine inflames them!

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12  And the harp and the psaltery, the tabret and the pipe, and wine, are in their feasts; but they regard not the work of YHWH, neither have they considered the operation of His hands.

12  For they drink wine with harp, and psaltery, and drums, and pipes: but they regard not the works of the Lord, and consider not the works of his hands.

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13  Therefore My people are gone into captivity, for want of knowledge; and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude are parched with thirst.

13  Therefore my people have been taken captive, because they know not the Lord: and there has been a multitude of dead bodies, because of hunger and of thirst for water.

13  Because of this, my people have been led away as captives, for they did not have knowledge, and their nobles have passed away from famine, and their multitudes have dried up from thirst.

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14  Therefore the nether-world hath enlarged her desire, and opened her mouth without measure; and down goeth their glory, and their tumult, and their uproar, and he that rejoiceth among them.

14  Therefore hell has enlarged its desire and opened its mouth without ceasing: and her glorious and great, and her rich and her pestilent men shall go down into it.

14  For this reason, Hell has expanded its soul, and has opened its mouth without any limits. And their strong ones, and their people, and their exalted and glorious ones will descend into it.

15  And man is bowed down, and man is humbled, and the eyes of the lofty are humbled;

15  And the mean man shall be brought low, and the great man shall be disgraced, and the lofty eyes shall be brought low.

15  And man will be bowed down, and man will be humbled, and the eyes of the exalted will be brought low.

16  But YHWH of hosts is exalted through justice, and God the Holy One is sanctified through righteousness.

16  But the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgement, and the holy God shall be glorified in righteousness.

16  And the Lord of hosts will be exalted in judgment, and the holy God will be sanctified in justice.

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17  Then shall the lambs feed as in their pasture, and the waste places of the fat ones shall wanderers eat.

17  And they that were spoiled shall be fed as bulls, and lambs shall feed on the waste places of them that are taken away.

17  And the lambs will pasture in proper order, and new arrivals will eat from the deserts turned into fertile lands.

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

18  Woe to them that draw sins to them as with a long rope, and iniquities as with a thong of the heifer’s yoke

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19  That say: 'Let Him make speed, let Him 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!'

19  who say, Let him speedily hasten what he will do, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel come, that we may know it.

19  and who say: “Let him hurry, and let his work arrive soon, so that we may see it. And let the plan of the Holy One of Israel approach and arrive, so that we may know it.”

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20  Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that change darkness into light, and light into darkness; that change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter!

20  Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; who make darkness light, and light darkness; who make bitter sweet, and sweet bitter.

20  Woe to you who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light, and light for darkness; who exchange bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

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

21  Woe to them that are wise in their own conceit, and knowing in their own sight.

21  Woe to you who are wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own sight!

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

22  Woe to you who are powerful at drinking wine, who are strong men in contriving inebriation!

22  Woe to those who are mighty to drink wine, and strong men who mix strong drink;

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

23  who justify the ungodly for rewards, and take away the righteousness of the righteous.

23  For you justify an impious man in exchange for bribes, and you carry away the justice of a just man from him.

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24  Therefore as the tongue of fire devoureth the stubble, and as the chaff is consumed in the flame, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust; because they have rejected the law of YHWH of hosts, and contemned the word of the Holy One of Israel.

24  Therefore as stubble shall be burnt by a coal of fire, and shall be consumed by a violent flame, their root shall be as chaff, and their flower shall go up as dust: for they rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and insulted the word of the Holy One of Israel.

24  Because of this, as the tongue of fire devours stubble, and as the heat of a flame burns it completely, so will their root become like glowing embers, and so will their offshoot ascend like dust. For they have cast aside the law of the Lord of hosts, and they have blasphemed the eloquence of the Holy One of Israel.

25  Therefore is the anger of YHWH kindled against His people, and He hath stretched forth His hand against them, and hath smitten them, and the hills did tremble, and their carcasses were as refuse in the midst of the streets. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still.

25  Therefore the Lord of hosts was greatly angered against his people, and he reached forth his hand upon them, and smote them: and the mountains were troubled, and their carcasses were as dung in the midst of the way: yet for all this his anger has not been turned away, but his hand is yet raised.

25  For this reason, the fury of the Lord has been enraged against his people, and he has extended his hand over them, and he has struck them. And the mountains were disturbed. And their carcasses became like dung in the midst of the streets. After all this, his fury was not turned away; instead, his hand was still extended.

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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;

26  Therefore shall he lift up a signal to the nations that are afar, and shall hiss for them from the end of the earth; and, behold, they are coming very quickly.

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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;

27  They shall not hunger nor be weary, neither shall they slumber nor sleep; neither shall they loose their girdles from their loins, neither shall their shoe-latchets be broken.

27  There is no one weak or struggling among them. They will not become drowsy, and they will not sleep. Neither will the belt around their waist be loosened, nor the laces of their boots be broken.

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

28  Their arrows are sharp, and all their bows are taut. The hoofs of their horses are like flint, and their wheels are like the force of a tempest.

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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 carry it away safe, and there shall be none to deliver.

29  They rage as lions, and draw nigh as a lion’s whelps: and he shall seize, and roar as a wild beast, and he shall cast them forth, and there shall be none to deliver them.

29  Their roaring is like the lion; they will roar like young lions. They will both roar and seize their prey. And they will wrap themselves around it, and there will be no one who can rescue it.

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30  And they shall roar against them in that day like the roaring of the sea; and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and distress, and the light is darkened in the skies thereof.

30  And he shall roar on account of them in that day, as the sound of the swelling sea; and they shall look to the land, and, behold, there shall be thick darkness in their perplexity.