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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Isaiah 5

Verses 1-7



1. Isaiah sings of his beloved Friend (Jehovah) whose vineyard is located on a fertile hill, (Verse 1-2).

a. With tender care the divine husbandman has prepared the soil and planted His vineyard with the choicest of vines, (Jeremiah 2:21).

b. Every necessary preparation has been made, in expectation of a fruitful harvest; but the grapes are wild - unfit for the intended purpose, (comp. Matthew 22:19; Luke 13:6-9).

c. The Lord always expects fruit from His planting-even in this century, (Matthew 3:8; Colossians 1:10; Galatians 5:22-23; John 12:24; John 15:2; John 15:5; John 15:16).

2. Then the Lord Himself speaks through the prophet -commanding the men of Judah to judge between him and themselves, (Verse 3-4; Romans 3:4; Jeremiah 2:5; 2 Chronicles 36:15-16).

a. Surely His loving provision for the vineyard has been adequate! What more could He have done? (Psalms 80:8-11).

b. Here is a genuine lamentation; an expression of deep sorrow, (Jeremiah 7:25-26; Micah 6:3-4).

c. There must be an accounting for the unsatisfactory return on this divine investment! (Mark 12:1-12; Matthew 21:33-44; Matthew 23:37-39).

3. Dissatisfied with the produce of His vineyard, the Lord will remove the hedge of divine protection from it (Psalms 89:40), so that it will be "eaten up", (Is 6:13; Hosea 2:12).

4. Furthermore, He will break down its wall, so that it may be trodden down and laid waste, (Psalms 80:12-13; Psalms 80:16; Isaiah 10:6; Isaiah 28:18; Jeremiah 25:11; La 1:5; Micah 7:10; 2 Chronicles 36:17-21; Revelation 11:2).

5. No longer will the vineyard be pruned and cultivated, but left to be over-run by briars and thorns; nor will the Lord permit it to enjoy refreshing showers from on high, (1 Kings 8:35; Psalms 80:8-13; Jeremiah 12:10; Jeremiah 14:1-22).

6. Israel is the Lord’s vineyard; the men of Judah His pleasant plant, (Psalms 80:8-11).

7. Since they have exchanged justice for oppression, and righteousness for cruelty, they must face the consequence of divine judgment - as all must who transgress God’s law and holy purpose, (Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10; comp. Galatians 6:7-8).

Verses 8-10


Verse 8-10:

1. Here is a selfish, unlawful and immoral grasping after property - to the hurt of others, (Verse 18; Jeremiah 22:13-17; Micah 2:2; Hebrews 2:9-12).

2. But, what is one profited if he acquires the whole world at the loss of his own soul? (Verse 9; Isaiah 22:14; Jeremiah 6:13; Ezekiel 33:31; Luke 12:15; Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 16:26).

3. Divine punishment will lead to the destruction (emptying) of their houses (Isaiah 6:11-12; Matthew 23:37-38), and the barrenness of their fields; their harvest will be only one tenth of that which was sown, (Isa Leviticus 26:23-26; Isaiah 7:23; Haggai 1:6; Haggai 2:16).

Verses 11-17

Verse 11-17:

1. This woe is for those who devote themselves to the gratification of their own lusts by strong drink (Verse 11, 22; Isaiah 22:12-13; Isaiah 28:1; Isaiah 28:3; Isaiah 28:7-8), amusements and gluttony (Amos 6:1; Amos 6:5-6; 2 Peter 2:12-15) - while ignoring the Lord and his plan for their lives, (Job 21:13-15; Psalms 28:5).

2. Willful ignorance will result in their captivity, humiliation, shame and utter ruin, (Isaiah 1:3; Isaiah 27:11; Deuteronomy 32:28-29; Jeremiah 8:7); hell (the holding place of the dead) has opened its mouth wide to consume those who, in pomp, pride and vainglory, have exalted themselves against Jehovah, their God, (Verse 14-15; Proverbs 30:15-16; Habakkuk 2:5; comp. Numbers 16:30-34).

3. The righteous Lord will be exalted by the judgment that He executes upon their wretched heads, (Verse 16; Isaiah 28:17; Isaiah 30:18; Isaiah 2:11; Isaiah 2:17; Isaiah 33:5; Isaiah 33:10; Isaiah 8:13), while the flocks of aliens and strangers graze the pasture-land of an inconsiderate people, (Verse 17; Isaiah 7:25).

Verses 18-23

Verse 18-23: WOE TO THE WICKED!

Here is a series of "woes" addressed:

1. To those who, instead of being drawn away by sin (James 1:14), gluttonously, laboriously and persistently draw it to themselves - in spite of divine warnings, (Verse 18; Isaiah 59:4-8).

2. To those who complain that God’s hand moves so slowly they cannot see His work, and that His purpose is so obscure they cannot understand it, (Verse 19; Ezekiel 12:22-25; 2 Peter 2:3-4).

3. To those whose pervert the truth, (Verse 20; Proverbs 17:15; Amos 5:7; Matthew 6:22-23; Luke 11:33-36).

4. To those who consider themselves wise and clever, (Verse 21; Proverbs 3:7; Romans 11:25; Romans 12:16; 1 Corinthians 3:18-20).

5. To those who pride themselves on being able to "handle their wine", and to be most efficient at mixing tempting intoxicants, (Verse 22; Isaiah 56:12; Proverbs 21:17; Proverbs 23:20-21; Habakkuk 2:15-16).

6. To those magistrates who, for a bribe, corrupt justice, (Verse 23; Exodus 23:8; Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 10:1-3; Micah 3:11; Micah 7:3; James 5:6).

Verses 24-30

Verse 24-30:

1. Because they despised the word of God, and cast His law from them, they will be consumed by His wrath, (Verse 24; comp. Isaiah 8:6-7; Isaiah 30:9; Isaiah 30:12-13; Habakkuk 1:5).

2. Though the hand of the Lord is stretched out against this people, until "the hills tremble" and their carcasses are torn in the midst of the street, His anger is still unrequited, (Verse 25; 2 Kings 22:13; 2 Kings 22:17; Isaiah 64:1-4; Psalms 18:7; Nahum 1:5; 2 Kings 9:37; comp. Jeremiah 16:4; Jeremiah 4:8; Daniel 9:16).

3. Thus, He will set up an ensign, and "hiss" to the ends of the earth, for nations that will swiftly assemble, (Verse 26; comp. Isaiah 7:18; Deuteronomy 28:49; Isaiah 13:2-5).

a. The instruments of divine judgment are pictured as alert, and ready for action, (Verse 27; comp. Joel 2:7-8; Daniel 5:6).

b. Their .arrows are sharp, their bows bent, the hoofs of their horses like flint; the wheels of their chariots are like a tornado, (Verse 28; comp. Isaiah 13:18; Psalms 7:11-13; Psalms 45:5).

c. Like young lions, they will roar, seize the prey and, concealing it, take it away; there will be no rescue! (Verse 29; comp. Jeremiah 51:38; Zechariah 11:3; Isaiah 10:6; contr. 49:24-25).

d. When the roar of the enemy is like the roar of the sea, those who have forsaken the Lord will find no hope; in darkness and sorrow will their days be spent, (Verse 30; comp. Isaiah 17:12; Jeremiah 6:23; Luke 21:25-28).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Isaiah 5". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.