1 Let me sing for my beloved A song of my lover about his vineyard. My beloved had a vineyard On a fruitful hill.
a-SHEE-ra NA lee-dee-DEE shee-RAT do-DEE l’-khar-MO KE-rem ha-YAH lee-dee-DEE b’-KE-ren ben SHA-men
א אָשִׁירָה נָּא לִידִידִי שִׁירַת דּוֹדִי לְכַרְמוֹ כֶּרֶם הָיָה לִידִידִי בְּקֶרֶן בֶּן־שָׁמֶן׃
5:1 A song of my lover about his vineyard
This chapter presents one of the most famous parables in the Bible, known as the song of the vineyard. Yeshayahu gathers the people together to pass judgment on a disobedient vineyard. Despite the owner’s efforts to care for the vineyard that he loves (a metaphor for God’s care for the Children of Israel), it produces unripe grapes. Therefore, the owner announces that he will tear down the walls that protect the vineyard from thorns and other dangers of the forest. With beautiful word-play, Yeshayahu states, though the men of Yehuda are “the seedlings He lovingly tended,” instead of ‘justice,’ in Hebrew mishpat (משפט), they caused ‘injustice,’ mispach (משפח). Instead of ‘equity,’ tzedaka (צדקה), they caused ‘iniquity,’ tza’aka (צעקה) (verse 7). Hashem will therefore remove His protection from Israel and allow for its enemies to enter. The theme of injustice and oppression leading to destruction plays a prominent role in Yeshayahu’s prophecies. Ultimately, Tzion will be redeemed through justice and righteousness (Isaiah 1:27).