5* I would sing of my dearest my love-song of his vineyard. My dearest had a vineyard on the side of a hill of richest soil; 2 and he dug it over and picked out the stones and planted it with Sorek vines and built a tower in the middle and cut out a winepress in it and all, and expected it to bear grapes, and it bore nubbins. 3 And now, residents of Jerusalem and men of Judah, give judgment between my vineyard and me. 4 What more was to be done for my vineyard that I did not do in it? how comes it I expected it to bear grapes and it bore nubbins?
5 Now let me give you notice what I am going to do to my vineyard: remove its thorn-fence and have it eaten down; break its wall and have it trampled. 6* And I will render it a glen-side, unpruned, unhoed, grown up to brambles and briers; and I will order the clouds not to drop any rain on it. 7 For the house of Israel is the vineyard of Jehovah of Armies, and the men of Judah his labor of love; and he expected justice and found butcheries, expected integrity and found outcry.
8 Ha, you that add house to house, annex field to field, till there is no place at all and you are seated by yourselves in the heart of the country! 9 in my ears is Jehovah of Armies, “many houses shall be desolate, great fine ones, without inhabitant,” 10** for a five-acre vineyard shall make ten gallons, and sowing a peck shall produce a quart.
11* Ha, you that are chasing after beer the first thing in the morning, that have wine dogging you the last thing in the evening! 12 and your banquets are lyre and harp, tambourine and flute and wine, but you do not look at Jehovah’s activity nor see the work of his hands. 13* So my people is deported because of not knowing, and its glory is starving men and its host parched with thirst. 14* So the realm of death has expanded its appetite and opened its mouth monstrously, and down goes her stateliness and her activity and her hubbub and her hilarity, 15 and humanity is abased and men brought low, and high society’s eyes are brought low, 16 and Jehovah of Armies rises high in judgment and the holy Deity hallows himself in righteousness; 17** and sheep shall pasture where they will, and tegs shall eat on devastated sites.
18 Ha, you that draw guilt with lines of futility, and sin as if with a cart-rope, 19 that say “Let him be quick and hurry up his work that we may see it; let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel come on and come to something, that we may know it!”
20 Ha, you that call bad good and good bad, that make darkness light and light darkness, that make bitter sweet and sweet bitter!
21 Ha, you that look upon yourselves as wise and envisage yourselves as sensible!
22 Ha, you that are champions at drinking wine and stalwart at mixing drinks, 23 that give a wrong-doer a verdict in return for a bribe and deprive a man who is in the right of his deserts! 24 So, as a tongue of fire eats up stubble and dry grass in a flame sinks down, your root shall go rotten and your budding go up like dust, because you rejected the instructions of Jehovah of Armies and treated the say of the Holy One of Israel with contempt. 25 On this account Jehovah is angry with his people and has stretched out his hand over it and struck it, and the mountains quivered, and their bodies were like offal out in the streets. With all this his anger has not gone back, his hand is still stretched out.
26 And he will signal for a nation from far away and whistle for it from the end of the earth, and forthwith it comes at full speed, 27 in which there is no one faint and no one stumbling; which never grows drowsy nor sleeps; whose loincloth never comes undone and its shoestring never breaks; 28* whose arrows are sharpened and all its bows strung, whose ponies’ hoofs seem like flint and the running of its wheels like a gale of wind; 29 it has a roar like a lioness, it roars like two-year-old lions, and it growls and seizes a prey and carries it to safety and there is no rescuer. 30 And it will growl over it that day like the growling of a sea, and one will look at the country and find distressful darkness, and light turned dark by its thick clouds.