Isaiah 5:1-7

Isaiah 5:1-7
Ordinary A45


Let me singA for my belovedB

  my loveC-song concerning his vineyard:D
My beloved had a vineyard
    on a very fertileE hill.F

Notes on verse 1

A {untranslated} = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
B “beloved” = yadid. 9x in OT. Perhaps from the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle, love token; root may mean to boil). This is lovely, amiable, beloved.
C “love” = dod. Perhaps related to “beloved” in v1. See note B above.
D “vineyard” = kerem. This is a vineyard, garden, vines, or a vintage.
E “very fertile” = ben + shemen. Literally “a son of fatness.” Shemen is from shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.
F “hill” = qeren. This is horn or hill. It can be a flask or cornet, ivory, altar corner, mountain peak, or figuratively power.

He dugG it and cleared it of stones,H
    and plantedI it with choice vines;J

Notes on verse 2a

G “dug” = azaq. 1x in OT. To dig around, fence about.
H “cleared it of stones” = saqal. Properly, this mean being weighty. However, it is used for stoning someone (to death) or for removing stones.
I “planted” = nata. To fix or fasten, establish or plant. This is planting in a literal or figurative sense.
J “choice vines” = soreq. 3x in OT. From sharaq (to be shrill, hiss, whistle). This is best species of vine – one that gives rich, purple grapes. It can also refer to noble wine.

he builtK a watchtowerL in the midst of it,
    and hewedM out a wine vatN in it;

Notes on verse 2b

K “built” = banah. This is to build, make, set up, restore, repair, or obtain children. It is to build literally or figuratively
L “watchtower” = Migdal. From gadal (to grow, grow up, be great, magnify, exalt). This is a tower, podium, bed of flowers. This is perhaps the root of “Magdalene.”
M “hewed” = chatsab. This is to hew or cut material like wood or stone. It can also be to dig, quarry, split, or engrave.
N “wine vat” = yeqeb. 16x in OT. This is wine vat or wine press. Root may mean to excavate – so it would be the trough as excavated. Specifically, it could refer to a vat that collects wine or an upper vat where grapes are crushed.

he expectedO it to yield grapes,P
    but it yielded wild grapes.Q

Notes on verse 2c

O “expected” = qavah. It can mean to bind or gather together, especially in the sense of twisting together. In that light, it can mean collect. Figuratively, this can mean to wait, await, expect, or tarry.
P “grapes” = enab. 19x in OT. Root may mean to bear fruit. This is a grape, raisin, or wine. It can be used for the literal crop or as a metaphor for God’s relationship with Israel.
Q “wild grapes” = beushim. 2x in OT. From beosh (stink); from baash (to have a stink, act foul or loathsome – morally offensive) or bo’r (a pit – generally a cistern or dungeon; a well); from baar (to inscribe, dig, engrave, explain). This is wild grapes or worthless things.

And now, inhabitantsR of JerusalemS
    and peopleT of Judah,U
judgeV, W between me
    and my vineyard.

What more was there to do for my vineyard
    that I have not done in it?
When I expected it to yield grapes,
    why did it yield wild grapes?

Notes on verses 3-4

R “inhabitants” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
S “Jerusalem” = yerushalaim. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalem (to make amends, to be complete or sound). This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.
T “people” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
U “Judah” = yehudah. Probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judah, meaning “praised.”
V “judge” = shaphat. This is to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, or govern. It can refer to God judging or to human judges. This is pronouncing a verdict in favor or against so it implies consequences or punishment. It can also mean to litigate or govern as one with authority.
W {untranslated} = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”

And now I will tellX, Y you
    what I will do to my vineyard.
I will removeZ its hedge,AA
    and it shall be devoured;BB

Notes on verse 5a

X “tell” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
Y {untranslated} = na. Same as {untranslated} in v1. See note W above.
Z “remove” = sur. This is to turn aside in a literal or figurative sense – to depart, decline, rebel, remove, or withdraw.
AA “hedge” = mesukah. 2x in OT. From suk (to fence up, make a hedge, shut in to create, protect, or hold back). This is a hedge.
BB “devoured” = ba’ar. This is to burn, consume, heat, remove. It can also be to consume by a fire or through eating, being brutish or wasting.

I will break downCC its wall,DD
    and it shall be trampled down.EE

Notes on verse 5b

CC “break down” = parats. This is to make a breach, burst out, compel, disperse. It is to break out literally or figuratively.
DD “wall” = gader. 11x in OT. From gadar (to build a wall or wall off, mason, repair, hedge, enclose; to wall in or wall around). This is any kind of enclosure – wall, fence, or hedge.
EE “trampled down” = mirmas. 7x in OT. From ramas (to trample or tread down; to work as a potter, to walk, or to be abusive). This is trampling a place that is trampled, abasement.

I will make it a waste;FF
    it shall not be pruned or hoed,GG
    and it shall be overgrownHH with briersII and thorns;JJ
I will also commandKK the cloudsLL
    that they rain no rain upon it.

Notes on verse 6

FF “waste” = bathah. 1x in OT. From the same as bath (bath as a unit of measurement for liquid); probably from battah (precipice, desolation, steep). Root may mean to break to pieces. This is end, desolation, destruction.
GG “hoed” = adar. 10x in OT. This is to dig, help, keep rank. Properly, it is to muster troops as for battle. So, it could be to miss or lack since you can see who is missing following muster. Also, to arrange like a vineyard and so to hoe.
HH “be overgrown” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
II “briers” = shamir. 11x in OT. Perhaps related to shamar (to keep, watch, or preserve; to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something). This is a thorn, brier, hard stone, diamond.
JJ “thorns” = shayith. 7x in OT. Perhaps from shith (to place, set, bring, appoint, consider, bring, array or look). This is a thorn-bush or thorn. It is some kind of wild growth.
KK “command” = tsavah. This is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).
LL “clouds” = ab. Perhaps from uwb (to be a think or dark cloud, a cloud covering). This is a dark or thick cloud that can envelope in darkness. It can also refer to a copse or to clay.

For the vineyard of the LordMM of hostsNN
    is the houseOO of Israel,PP

Notes on verse 7a

MM “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
NN “hosts” = tsaba. From tsaba (to wage war, serve, assemble, fight, perform, muster, wait on). This is a large group of persons (used figuratively for a group of things). It implies a campaign literally as with army, war, warfare, battle, company, soldiers. Can also be used figuratively for hardship or for worship.
OO “house” = bayit. Probably from banah (to build, make, set up, obtain children; to build literally or figuratively). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
PP “Israel” = yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.

and the people of Judah
    are his pleasantQQ planting;RR
he expected justice,SS
    but sawTT bloodshed;UU

Notes on verse 7b

QQ “pleasant” = shaashuim. 9x in OT. From shaa (to delight, play) OR form sha’a’ (to stare, cry out, amuse self, be blinded, play). This is a delight, pleasure, or enjoyment.
RR “planting” = neta. Related to “planted” in v2. 4x in OT. From nata (see note I above). This is a plant, planting, or plantation.
SS “justice” = mishpat. Related to “judge” in v3. From shaphat (see note V above). This is a verdict or formal sentence whether from humans or from God. It includes the act of judging as well as the place that judging takes place, the suit itself, and the penalty. Abstractly, this is justice, which includes the rights of the participants.
TT “saw” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
UU “bloodshed” = mispach. 1x in OT. Form the same as saphiach (outpouring; something that grows spontaneously or falls of its own accord; figuratively, a freshet); form saphach (to join, assign, gather, mix, scrape, have a scab). This is probably an outpouring and so it could be bloodshed or oppression.

    butWW heard a cry!XX

Notes on verse 7c

VV “righteousness” = tsedaqah. From the same as tsedeq (rightness, righteousness, vindication. It is everything that is just or ethical. That which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense. It also includes just weights (i.e. true weights). Figuratively, this is justice, righteousness, equity – even prosperity). This is righteousness, justice, righteous acts, and moral virtue.
WW {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as “saw” in v7. See note TT above.
XX “cry” = tseaqah. From tsaaq (to cry out or call together, to shriek; by implication, calling for an assembly). This is a cry for help, shriek or outcry.

Image credit: “Copse, Evening” by A.Y. Jackson, 1918.

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