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Go to Bible: Isaiah 5
|Isa 5:1||- (top)|
“watchtower.” To protect the crops from pests and thieves it was the custom to build temporary booths or more permanent watchtowers in the fields. This was one of the more permanent watchtowers. [For more on booths and watchtowers, see commentary on Isa. 1:8].(top)
|Isa 5:3||- (top)|
|Isa 5:4||- (top)|
|Isa 5:5||- (top)|
|Isa 5:6||- (top)|
|Isa 5:7||- (top)|
“add house to house.” The wicked people accumulated houses and lands until there is no more room for the poor and righteous.
“live alone in the midst of the land.” The wicked grab more and more houses until they own huge tracts of land and can live alone and as they please, and that also meant that the poor would be forced to be tenant farmers and live in housing provided by the landowner and live lives of toil and poverty. The Law stated that on the year of Jubilee the land acquired had to be returned to the original families (Lev. 25:10-13, 28-34), but in practical reality that never happened.(top)
|Isa 5:9||- (top)|
“ten-yoke vineyard.” The term “ten-yoke” is a custom that refers to the amount of land that ten yoke of oxen could plow in a certain period of time. Unfortunately we do not know how much land that is. We felt it better to leave the literal Hebrew “ten-yoke” than to say something like “ten acre vineyard,” because that gives the reader the impression that we know the size of the vineyard, which we don’t.
“six gallons.” The Hebrew measure is a “bath,” a liquid measure that is about six gallons or 22 liters.
“ten bushels” The Hebrew reads, “homer,” which was a dry measure, but the exact size is unknown. The word “homer” is related to the Hebrew word for “donkey,” so it is assumed that a homer was originally a donkey’s load, and estimated to be about ten bushels, although other scholars estimate it at 6 bushels. An “ephah” is one-tenth of a homer, so if the homer is ten bushels, the yield of the field will be only one bushel, if the homer is six bushels, the yield will be about three pecks.(top)
|Isa 5:11||- (top)|
|Isa 5:12||- (top)|
|Isa 5:13||- (top)|
“Sheol has enlarged her throat and opened her mouth.” This is the figure of speech personification. Sheol is pictured as a woman who cannot get enough to eat, and many people are dying and thus becoming “food for Sheol.”
“beyond measure.” This continues the figure of speech personification. So many people are dying that Sheol has opened her mouth wider than can be measured so that she can eat all the dead people.
and into her will descend.” That is, into Sheol will descend the evil people of Jerusalem, which is also a “her” in this text.
“dignitaries.” The Hebrew is “splendor,” but in this context it refers to the dignitaries, nobles, or leaders in Jerusalem.(top)
|Isa 5:15||- (top)|
|Isa 5:16||- (top)|
|Isa 5:17||- (top)|
|Isa 5:18||- (top)|
|Isa 5:19||- (top)|
|Isa 5:20||- (top)|
“and prudent in their own sight.” The Hebrew is more literally, “and before their faces, prudent.” People often do not see themselves clearly, which is why having wise and honest counselors is very important.(top)
|Isa 5:22||- (top)|
|Isa 5:23||- (top)|
“sinks down.” If you set fire to a pile of dry grass, as it burns up the grass on top sinks down into the flame until it is on fire and then consumed. This verse gives different illustrations of the destruction of the wicked, who will be consumed in the Lake of Fire until they exist no more. They will be like stubble or grass that the fire burns up, like a root that rots away, and like a blossom that turns to dust and is gone. [For more on annihilation in the Lake of Fire, see Appendix 5, “Annihilation in the Lake of Fire”].(top)
“their dead bodies are as refuse in the midst of the streets.” To not be buried was considered a terrible curse (see commentary on Jer. 14:16).(top)
|Isa 5:26||- (top)|
“nor will the belt of their waist be untied.” This refers to the custom of a man tying up his long clothing so he could move more quickly. In the biblical culture of the Old Testament, both men and women wore long outer robes, with the man’s robe being slightly shorter than the woman’s robe. When men wanted to move quickly, they would take the bottom part of their robe and pull it up and secure it with a belt. This was called “girding up the loins.” 1 Peter 1:13 (KJV) says, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end….” (cp. 2 Kings 4:29; 9:1; Job. 38:3; 40:7; Jer. 1:17).(top)
“bows bent.” The armies of the nations will come ready to do battle. Their arrows are sharp and their bows strung and bent.
“like a windstorm.” The chariot wheels move fast across the earth and stir up clouds of dust.(top)
|Isa 5:29||- (top)|
|Isa 5:30||- (top)|