Isaiah 5: Woe to the Vineyard

(30 verses, 5:21 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • Isaiah 5 is a preaching of the law, and a warning of the Lord’s judgment.


  • 5:1-7, The love song of the vineyard destroyed
  • 5:8-12, Two Woes, one to those who “join house to house”, and another to those who wake up early to drink wine.
  • 5:13-17, The threat of exile to the people of Israel, in which they will be humbled but the Lord will be exalted.
  • 5:18-23, Four Woes, to lying sinners, to false teachers (who call evil good and good evil), to the wise in their own eyes, and to “heroes at drinking wine.”
  • 5:24-25, The Lord’s judgment will burn like a fire in the land.
  • 5:26-30, The Gentile nations will be the Lord’s instrument to overthrow Jerusalem.


  • There are a number of important passages in this chapter, and it is well worth it to read it two or three times.
  • The reason the Lord is uprooting His own beloved vineyard is given in verse 7: “For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
    is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, an outcry!” The Lord was looking for justice and righteousness, but instead finds murder and trouble. The people had rejected both the Lord’s Law and His Gospel, and now faced the Lord’s wrath.
  • Twice in the chapter the Lord gets after the drunkard, and by extension the Epicurean who lives only for pleasure (see verse 11 and the humor in verse 22, “Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink!”).
  • Verse 20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil.” To distinguish between what is good and what is evil is the most fundamental way of telling the truth, but these two adjectives are particularly confused in our own day.
  • Note the reason given from the judgment of the people in verse 24: “For they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”


  • Prayer: O Lord we give You thanks that You have turned away Your wrath in the death and resurrection of Your Son. Grant us Your Holy Spirit, so that when You visit us You find justice and righteousness, that Your Law and Gospel may have its way with us. Amen.

Questions? Comments? Join the conversation in our facebook group here.

Lord’s Blessings,
Pr. Bryan Wolfmueller
Hope Lutheran Church, Aurora, CO



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