December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 Let me now sing of my friend, my friend's song concerning his vineyard. My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside;
- He spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines; Within it he built a watchtower, and hewed out a wine press. Then he looked for the crop of grapes, but what it yielded was wild grapes.
- Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard:
- What more was there to do for my vineyard that I had not done? Why, when I looked for the crop of grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?
- Now, I will let you know what I mean to do to my vineyard: Take away its hedge, give it to grazing, break through its wall, let it be trampled!
- Yes, I will make it a ruin: it shall not be pruned or hoed, but overgrown with thorns and briers; I will command the clouds not to send rain upon it.
- 2 The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his cherished plant; He looked for judgment, but see, bloodshed! for justice, but hark, the outcry!
- 3 Woe to you who join house to house, who connect field with field, Till no room remains, and you are left to dwell alone in the midst of the land!
- In my hearing the LORD of hosts has sworn: Many houses shall be in ruins, large ones and fine, with no one to live in them.
- 4 Ten acres of vineyard shall yield but one liquid measure, And a homer of seed shall yield but an ephah.
- Lambs shall graze there at pasture, and kids shall eat in the ruins of the rich.
- Woe to those who demand strong drink as soon as they rise in the morning, And linger into the night while wine inflames them!
- With harp and lyre, timbrel and flute, they feast on wine; But what the LORD does, they regard not, the work of his hands they see not.
- Therefore my people go into exile, because they do not understand; Their nobles die of hunger, and their masses are parched with thirst.
- 5 Therefore the nether world enlarges its throat and opens its maw without limit; Down go their nobility and their masses, their throngs and their revelry.
- Men shall be abased, each one brought low, and the eyes of the haughty lowered,
- But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted by his judgment, and God the Holy shall be shown holy by his justice.
- Woe to those who tug at guilt with cords of perversity, and at sin as if with cart ropes!
- To those who say, "Let him make haste and speed his work, that we may see it; On with the plan of the Holy One of Israel! let it come to pass, that we may know it!"
- Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who change darkness into light, and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter!
- Woe to those who are wise in their own sight, and prudent in their own esteem!
- Woe to the champions at drinking wine, the valiant at mixing strong drink!
- To those who acquit the guilty for bribes, and deprive the just man of his rights!
- Therefore, as the tongue of fire licks up stubble, as dry grass shrivels in the flame, Even so their root shall become rotten and their blossom scatter like dust; For they have spurned the law of the LORD of hosts, and scorned the word of the Holy One of Israel.
- Therefore the wrath of the LORD blazes against his people, he raises his hand to strike them; When the mountains quake, their corpses shall be like refuse in the streets. For all this, his wrath is not turned back, and his hand is still outstretched.
- 6 He will give a signal to a far-off nation, and whistle to them from the ends of the earth; speedily and promptly will they come.
- None of them will stumble with weariness, none will slumber and none will sleep. None will have his waist belt loose, nor the thong of his sandal broken.
- Their arrows are sharp, and all their bows are bent. The hoofs of their horses seem like flint, and their chariot wheels like the hurricane.
- Their roar is that of the lion, like the lion's whelps they roar; They growl and seize the prey, they carry it off and none will rescue it.
- (They will roar over it, on that day, with a roaring like that of the sea.)
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1  My friend had a vineyard: the Lord and his chosen people.
2  Judgment . . . bloodshed . . . justice . . . outcry: in Hebrew, these adversative terms constitute a play on words.
3 [8-10] Land-grabbers who unjustly acquire property will be impoverished instead of enriched.
4  Ten acres: a field requiring ten days of plowing by a yoke of oxen. Liquid measure: in Hebrew, a "bath," i.e., about ten gallons. Homer: a dry measure of about ten bushels. Ephah: a dry measure of about one bushel.
5  (14) Nether world: cf note on Psalm 6:5.
6 [26-30] A description of the invading Assyrian army, God's instrument for punishing his people.
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