and planted a vine.
He built a tower in the middle of it,
and constructed a winepress.
He waited for it to produce edible grapes,
but it produced sour ones instead. 2
5:4 What more can I do for my vineyard
beyond what I have already done?
When I waited for it to produce edible grapes,
why did it produce sour ones instead?
the people 5 of Judah are the cultivated place in which he took delight.
He waited for justice, but look what he got – disobedience! 6
He waited for fairness, but look what he got – cries for help! 7
and salvation does not reach us.
59:11 We all growl like bears,
we coo mournfully like doves;
we wait for deliverance, 16 but there is none,
for salvation, but it is far from us.
1 tn Or, “dug it up” (so NIV); KJV “fenced it.’ See HALOT 810 s.v. עזק.
sn At this point the love song turns sour as the Lord himself breaks in and completes the story (see vv. 3-6). In the final line of v. 2 the love song presented to the Lord becomes a judgment speech by the Lord.
3 tn Or “For” (KJV, ASV, NASB, NRSV).
4 tn Heb “the house of Israel” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).
5 tn Heb “men,” but in a generic sense.
6 tn Heb “but, look, disobedience.” The precise meaning of מִשְׂפָּח (mishpakh), which occurs only here in the OT, is uncertain. Some have suggested a meaning “bloodshed.” The term is obviously chosen for its wordplay value; it sounds very much like מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat, “justice”). The sound play draws attention to the point being made; the people have not met the Lord’s expectations.
7 tn Heb “but, look, a cry for help.” The verb (“he waited”) does double duty in the parallelism. צְעָקָה (tsa’qah) refers to the cries for help made by the oppressed. It sounds very much like צְדָקָה (tsÿdaqah, “fairness”). The sound play draws attention to the point being made; the people have not met the Lord’s expectations.
8 tn מִשְׁפָּט (mishpat), which refers to “justice” in the earlier verses, here refers to “justice from God,” or “vindication.” Because the people are unjust, God refuses to vindicate them before their enemies. See v. 11.
9 sn The prophet speaks on behalf of the sinful nation and confesses its sins.
10 sn Light here symbolizes prosperity and blessing.
11 tn Heb “but, look, darkness”; NIV “but all is darkness.”
12 tn The words “we wait for” are supplied in the translation; the verb is understood by ellipsis (note the preceding line).
13 tn The plural noun form may indicate degree here.
14 tn Or “walk about”; NCV “all we have is darkness.”
15 tn The plural noun form may indicate degree here.