What does Isaiah 5:4 mean?
ESV: What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?
NIV: What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?
NASB: What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it? Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?
CSB: What more could I have done for my vineyard than I did? Why, when I expected a yield of good grapes, did it yield worthless grapes?
NLT: What more could I have done for my vineyard that I have not already done? When I expected sweet grapes, why did my vineyard give me bitter grapes?
KJV: What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
NKJV: What more could have been done to My vineyard That I have not done in it? Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes, Did it bring forth wild grapes?
Verse Commentary:
At this point in Isaiah's parable, his beloved calls out to the men of Jerusalem and Judah. He specifically asks if there was anything more he could have done to avoid this outcome. The answers of those who hear these questions are not recorded. In a region with so many vineyard workers, it's likely that many men would have had opinions about what could have been done differently or what should be done next.

The great strength of a parable like this is that it could get the reader thinking about how he or she would answer these questions. Parables are most helpful when they engage the audience and have the reader put themselves inside the story. This will likely cause the impact to be that much stronger when Isaiah reveals the true meaning behind the song in Isaiah 5:7. In this case, the question is more of a statement: I did everything correctly, so the blame is not mine.
Verse Context:
Isaiah 5:1–7 contains Isaiah's parable about his beloved about their vineyard. His beloved invests time and money to dig stones from the field, plant vines, build a watchtower, and make vats. He does all this work only to find the resulting grapes are sour and useless. The owner declares he will lay waste to the vineyard since the fruit is not good. Isaiah reveals that the vineyard is Israel and the owner is the Lord. He expected Judah to produce justice and integrity, but instead it has yielded trampling down of the weak and an ignoring of God's ways.
Chapter Summary:
Isaiah 5 begins with a parable about a farmer who builds a vineyard that produces sour grapes. The owner says he will lay waste to the vineyard. Isaiah reveals the owner to be the Lord and the vineyard to be Israel. Israel's bad fruit includes the greed of the wealthy and the hedonism of the people. They will go hungry and thirsty, into exile, and the grave. The Lord will be exalted for His righteousness. Isaiah pronounces woe on the sinners, the mockers, and the unjust rulers. The Lord will summon the nations to judge His people.
Chapter Context:
Early chapters (Isaiah 1—4) established a prophetic message given to the people of Israel. Isaiah 5 begins a new section with a parable about a vineyard that produces wild grapes despite all the work the owner has done. The vineyard is Israel, and the owner is the Lord. He will lay waste to the vineyard for the greed and drunkenness of the people. They will go into exile and the grave. The Lord will be exalted, but woe to those who embrace sin, and mock God's judgment. As well as those who take bribes against the poor. He has summoned the nations. Judgment is coming. The next chapter includes one of the Bible's most famous visions (Isaiah 6).
Book Summary:
Isaiah is among the most important prophetic books in the entire Bible. The first segment details God's impending judgment against ancient peoples for sin and idolatry (Isaiah 1—35). The second part of Isaiah briefly explains a failed assault on Jerusalem during the rule of Hezekiah (Isaiah 36—39). The final chapters predict Israel's rescue from Babylonian captivity (Isaiah 40—48), the promised Messiah (Isaiah 49—57), and the final glory of Jerusalem and God's people (Isaiah 58—66).
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