Isaiah 5:1

ESV Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill.
NIV I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside.
NASB Let me sing now for my beloved A song of my beloved about His vineyard. My beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill.
CSB I will sing about the one I love, a song about my loved one's vineyard: The one I love had a vineyard on a very fertile hill.
NLT Now I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a rich and fertile hill.
KJV Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

What does Isaiah 5:1 mean?

The first seven verses of chapter 5 contain a parable. A parable is an example in the format of a story which contains a spiritual truth or lesson. In these verses Isaiah begins with a love song and ends with condemnation It becomes clear later on that Isaiah is speaking of the Lord as his "beloved".

This is unusual language from Isaiah, but not unheard of for writers of Scripture. The prophet is humble before the Lord. He also obeys the commandment to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and might. (Deuteronomy 6:5). His use of the title "beloved" shows his affection for God goes beyond mere obedience and service.

The singer's beloved is said to have a vineyard on a hill. A vineyard is a field used for farming grapes. These were common metaphors in the Bible, as they were common in and around Israel's more mountainous region. This example was relevant to Isaiah's audience. Everyone in that era knew something about how vineyards were developed and maintained to produce the best crops of wine grapes possible.

When selecting the location for a vineyard, soil would be the first consideration on a farmer's mind. If the soil wasn't good, nothing good was likely to grow properly from it. The soil for this hilltop vineyard was perfectly fertile and would be useful for growing vines. For the purposes of this parable, neither the soil nor the location of the vineyard could be blamed for any worthless produce.
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