Isaiah Chapter 5
The conclusion of the extended discourse (begun at 2:1), comes by way of a comparison of God’s people to a vineyard which He cultivated, but which did not bear fruit.
These verses (from 5:1-7) explain a parable of the vineyard, which symbolizes Israel. The poem is called the song of my believed, and resembles the Song of Solomon, but in this passage, it becomes a song of lament. The beloved is the lord, and Israel is the vineyard that has brought forth wild grapes.
There is a play on sounds and letters in the Hebrew of “he looked for judgment, (mishpat), but behold oppression, (mispach); for righteousness (tsedaqah), but behold a cry (tse’aqah). The prophet’s point is that the judgment of God will bring the opposite of what they expect.
Isaiah 5:1 “Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:”
The Lord is the friend who is well-beloved by Isaiah. The vineyard belongs to Him (5:7).
“Well-beloved” is speaking of the Lord. The vineyard is His followers. The word “Well-beloved” is an expression of appreciation to Creator God and God our Savior. When we sing to God, we are expressing joy for what He has done. Song is a form of praise.
The “vineyard in a very fruitful hill” is speaking of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, which cannot be hid. The “vineyard” can also mean, the house of physical Israel. Both physical and spiritual Israel is spoken of as God’s vineyard. The difference is the very fruitful hill.
Isaiah 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.”
The owner made every conceivable provision for the vine’s productivity and protection, illustrating the Lord’s purely gracious choice of Israel. Justifiably, He expected a good yield from His investment, but the vine’s product was “sour berries,” inedible and fit only for dumping.
The Hebrew nation was chosen from all of mankind to be God’s people. They, in the beginning, were the choicest vine. The “tower” symbolized the protection they had from their enemies. The “winepress” was a source of squeezing the choice wine out of the grape. “Wine” symbolizes the Holy Spirit of God.
The sad thing about this vine was the fact that the grapes were not fit to be used to make pure grape juice. This, in a sense, is saying they went back to their worldliness. “Wild grapes” symbolize worldliness. They were not acceptable for God’s purposes, because they were worldly.
We Christians, must be careful how we grow, as well. God has planted the seed of the Word of God within us. We must grow toward Him and not go back into worldliness. The new Christian is like the baby vine. It is just planted. What kind of fruit the vine produces has to do with the way we feed it. The way to have beautiful fruit is to feed the vine the pure Word of God, regularly.
The Christian must not be drawn back into the world by getting fed the impure teachings. Read your Bible for yourself and feed upon God’s Word as you would your daily food. Then you will produce fruit fit for God.
Isaiah 5:3 “And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.”
Jesus Christ is the holy One. Christians should be Christ like. Some should drop the name, Christian, because they follow the world, instead of Christ.
Isaiah 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?”
This is primarily speaking of God sending the prophets and judges of old to His vineyard, and yet they did not receive them. They killed them and went the way of the world.
Isaiah 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:”
As punishment for her unfruitfulness, Israel became desolate and accessible to any nation wishing to invade her, such as happened in the Babylonian invasion of 586 B.C., and will happen repeatedly until her national repentance at the second coming of the Messiah.
When the LORD was with the Hebrews, they won their battles against the enemy. The LORD was their very present help. It was as if He had built a fence of protection around them, and the enemy could not destroy them.
When they became worldly, the LORD removed His protection from them, and they were overcome by their enemies. In the basic sense, this is speaking of them being overcome by the Babylonians.
Isaiah 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.”
This is speaking of a time when the protection of the LORD is removed, and their enemies come and destroy them. Even the blessing of rain is withheld, because of their unfaithfulness to God.
Isaiah 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.”
As we have said before, there is a physical house of Israel and a spiritual house of Israel. This is primarily speaking of the physical house of Israel.
God expected them to produce good fruit. He expected them to be fair in their judgments and to be righteous, but instead they oppressed others and caused a cry to go forth. They were a great disappointment to God.
In this lesson, we are looking primarily at the judgment that came upon the physical house of Israel, and primarily the men of Judah. As I have said before in these lessons, we are looking at all of the Scriptures in the Bible as a guide to us and what brings blessings from God.
We must also, be aware of the curses that come from disobeying God. I cannot stress enough the need to study the Bible for yourself, so that you will not be deceived by many of the modern (worldly), teachings. It is just as dangerous today to let the world creep into your worship as it was for the people of those days.
In the parable of the wheat and the tares, the tares were growing with the wheat. They possibly, were in the same church together. One was worldly (tares), and the other was Godly (wheat). The thing that makes one different from the other is the fact that the wheat was fed on the Truth. The tares listened to the call of the world.
Just as in this lesson today, it was possible for the vineyard to produce two types of grapes. One pleasing unto God, and the other was pleasing to the flesh and the world. Be careful to please God. His Word (Bible), will set you free from worldliness.
Isaiah Chapter 5 Questions
- Who is “Well-beloved” speaking of?
- Who is His vineyard?
- What are we doing, when we sing to the LORD?
- The “vineyard of the fruitful hill” is who?
- What kind of vine was planted in chapter 5:2?
- What does the “tower” symbolize?
- What kind of grapes did the vine produce?
- What is the brand new Christian like?
- Who had God sent to help the vine to grow good grapes?
- What special thing did the LORD do for these Hebrews as long as they followed Him?
- What must be done, to bring forth good fruit?
- Disobedience to God’s teachings brought ________ to the house of Israel?
- What time is verse 6 of chapter 5 referring to?
- From what standpoint are these lessons written?