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The Jewish Study Bible Contextualizes the Hebrew Bible with accompanying scholarly text on Jewish traditions and history.

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Commentary on Isaiah

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5.1–30 :

A poem of rebuke.

1–7.

The song of the vineyard. A parable, in which God is the farmer and Israel the vineyard. At first, the identity of the characters is not evident, and only gradually does the audience realize that it is they themselves who are being rebuked. Nathan's parable and its explanation in 2 Sam. 12.1–12 are structured similarly.

8–24 :

A series of divine complaints, each introduced by the word Ah (Heb “hoy”). The term may simply be a call for attention (“Hey!”), or it may be an exclamation of woe concerning a punishment that will soon take place (“Warning!”).

8–10 :

The first complaint is directed against wealthy landowners who expand their own property at the expense of farmers of modest means. The eviction of peasants and the growth of massive estates was a major problem in the 8th century (cf. Amos ch 2; Mic. ch 2 ). In Israelite thought (as reflected in both prophetic literature and the Torah), land was ideally supposed to remain in the hands of a family in perpetuity, so that both tremendous wealth and penury would become unlikely. The Torah includes several laws to prevent poor or modest families from losing their land; see Lev. 25.8; Num. 27.1–11, 35; Deut. 27.17 .

11–17 :

The second complaint: parties instead of piety. Appropriately, the people whose appetite is insatiable will feed the insatiable appetite of Sheol, the underworld (v. 14 ). Sheol is not comparable to later Jewish and Christian notions of hell; all humans, not just evil ones, go to Sheol when they die. See further 14.9–11 n. and 26.19 n.

13 :

Suffer exile may refer to the fate of northern Israelites in the late 8th century (especially if the verb is in fact a past tense, which is likely); or it may predict the fate of the southern Judeans, some of whom will be exiled even though Zion will not fall.

18–19 :

The third complaint. The people in v. 19 are guilty in one of two ways. The sinners quoted speak sarcastically and do not believe that God will in fact fulfill His purpose (so accord‐ ing to the translators' note c). Or the v. quotes faithful Israelites who impatiently demand that God act immediately.

20–21 :

Two brief complaints dealing with sophistry.

22–24 :

The last complaint mixes the themes of vv. 8–10 and 11–17 . Misplaced abilities are focused on fine tasting wine; officials pervert justice for money.

22 :

Doughty, or “mighty, heroic” (Heb “gibor”).

25–30 :

The coming disaster. God is portrayed as bludgeoning the nation, both through an earthquake that has already taken place (v. 25 ) and—in greater detail— a foreign invasion yet to come.

26 :

Ensign: God acts as commander of the foreign army, showing them the way to Israel.

30 :

This seems to belong to the description of the punishment. Elsewhere in Isaiah, however, the portrayal of a devastating invasion suddenly switches to a report of the invaders' defeat (see 28.16 n.; 29.1–14 n.; 31.5 n. ; 31.15–20 n.). If translators' note b is correct, this v. may have originally functioned this way. Some have suggested that this passage originally belonged after 10.1–4 , with which it has much in common.

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