1 Let me sing my beloved the song of my friend for his vineyard. My beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hillside.
2 He dug it, cleared it of stones, and planted it with red grapes. In the middle he built a tower, he hewed a press there too. He expected it to yield fine grapes: wild grapes were all it yielded.
3 And now, citizens of Jerusalem and people of Judah, I ask you to judge between me and my vineyard.
4 What more could I have done for my vineyard that I have not done? Why, when I expected it to yield fine grapes, has it yielded wild ones?
5 Very well, I shall tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I shall take away its hedge, for it to be grazed on, and knock down its wall, for it to be trampled on.
6 I shall let it go to waste, unpruned, undug, overgrown by brambles and thorn-bushes, and I shall command the clouds to rain no rain on it.
7 Now, the vineyard of Yahweh Sabaoth is the House of Israel, and the people of Judah the plant he cherished. He expected fair judgement, but found injustice, uprightness, but found cries of distress.
8 Woe to those who add house to house and join field to field until there is nowhere left and they are the sole inhabitants of the country.
9 Yahweh Sabaoth has sworn this in my hearing, 'Many houses will be brought to ruin, great and fine ones left untenanted;
10 for ten acres of vineyard will yield only one barrel, and ten bushel of seed will yield only one bushel.'
11 Woe to those who get up early to go after strong drink, and stay up late at night inflamed with wine.
12 Nothing but harp and lyre, tambourine and pipe, and wine for their drinking bouts. Never a thought for the works of Yahweh, never a glance for what his hands have done.
13 That is why my people is in exile, for want of perception; her dignitaries starving, her populace parched with thirst.
14 That is why Sheol opens wide its throat and gapes with measureless jaw and down go her noblemen and populace and her loud revellers merry to the last!
15 Human nature has been humbled, humankind brought low, and the eyes of the proud have been humbled.
16 Yahweh Sabaoth is the more respected for his judgement, God the Holy One has displayed his holiness by his justice!
17 Now the lambs will graze in their old pastures, and the fields laid waste by fat cattle will feed the kids.
18 Woe to those who drag guilt along by the reins of duplicity, drag along sin as though with a cart rope;
19 to those who say, 'Why doesn't he do his work quickly so that we can see it; why doesn't the Holy One of Israel's design hurry up and come true so that we can experience it?'
20 Woe to those who call what is bad, good, and what is good, bad, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
21 Woe to those who think themselves wise and believe themselves enlightened.
22 Woe to those whose might lies in wine bibbing, their heroism in mixing strong drinks,
23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe and deny justice to the upright.
24 Yes, as the flame devours the stubble, as the straw flares up and disappears, their root will be like decay and their shoot be carried off like dust, for having rejected the law of Yahweh Sabaoth, for having despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 This is why Yahweh's anger has blazed out against his people; and he has raised his hand against them to strike them; why the mountains have shuddered and why corpses are lying like dung in the streets. After all this, his anger is not spent. No, his hand is still raised!
26 He hoists a signal for a distant nation, he whistles them up from the ends of the earth; and see how swift, how fleet they come!
27 None of them tired, none of them stumbling, none of them asleep or drowsy, none of them with belt unfastened, none of them with broken sandal-strap.
28 Their arrows are sharpened, their bows all strung, their horses' hoofs you would think were flint and their wheels, a whirlwind!
29 Their roar is like that of a lioness, like fierce young lions they roar, growling they seize their prey and carry it off, with no one to prevent it,
30 growling at it, that day, like the growling of the sea. Only look at the country: darkness and distress, and the light turned to darkness by the clouds.