5:1-7 Christ is God's beloved Son, and our beloved Saviour. The care of the Lord over the church of Israel, is described by the management of a vineyard. The advantages of our situation will be brought into the account another day. He planted it with the choicest vines; gave them a most excellent law, instituted proper ordinances. The temple was a tower, where God gave tokens of his presence. He set up his altar, to which the sacrifices should be brought; all the means of grace are denoted thereby. God expects fruit from those that enjoy privileges. Good purposes and good beginnings are good things, but not enough; there must be vineyard fruit; thoughts and affections, words and actions, agreeable to the Spirit. It brought forth bad fruit. Wild grapes are the fruits of the corrupt nature. Where grace does not work, corruption will. But the wickedness of those that profess religion, and enjoy the means of grace, must be upon the sinners themselves. They shall no longer be a peculiar people. When errors and vice go without check or control, the vineyard is unpruned; then it will soon be grown over with thorns. This is often shown in the departure of God's Spirit from those who have long striven against him, and the removal of his gospel from places which have long been a reproach to it. The explanation is given. It is sad with a soul, when, instead of the grapes of humility, meekness, love, patience, and contempt of the world, for which God looks, there are the wild grapes of pride, passion, discontent, and malice, and contempt of God; instead of the grapes of praying and praising, the wild grapes of cursing and swearing. Let us bring forth fruit with patience, that in the end we may obtain everlasting life.
Isa 5:1-30. Parable of Jehovah's Vineyard.
A new prophecy; entire in itself. Probably delivered about the same time as the second and third chapters, in Uzziah's reign. Compare Isa 5:15, 16 with Isa 2:17; and Isa 5:1 with Isa 3:14. However, the close of the chapter alludes generally to the still distant invasion of Assyrians in a later reign (compare Isa 5:26 with Isa 7:18; and Isa 5:25 with Isa 9:12). When the time drew nigh, according to the ordinary prophetic usage, he handles the details more particularly (Isa 7:1-8:22); namely, the calamities caused by the Syro-Israelitish invasion, and subsequently by the Assyrians whom Ahaz had invited to his help.
1. to—rather, "concerning" [Gesenius], that is, in the person of My beloved, as His representative [Vitringa]. Isaiah gives a hint of the distinction and yet unity of the Divine Persons (compare He with I, Isa 5:2, 3).
of my beloved—inspired by Him; or else, a tender song [Castalio]. By a slight change of reading "a song of His love" [Houbigant]. "The Beloved" is Jehovah, the Second Person, the "Angel" of God the Father, not in His character as incarnate Messiah, but as God of the Jews (Ex 23:20, 21; 32:34; 33:14).
vineyard—(Isa 3:14; Ps 80:8, &c.). The Jewish covenant-people, separated from the nations for His glory, as the object of His peculiar care (Mt 20:1; 21:33). Jesus Christ in the "vineyard" of the New Testament Church is the same as the Old Testament Angel of the Jewish covenant.
fruitful hill—literally, "a horn" ("peak," as the Swiss shreckhorn) of the son of oil; poetically, for very fruitful. Suggestive of isolation, security, and a sunny aspect. Isaiah alludes plainly to the Song of Solomon (So 6:3; 8:11, 12), in the words "His vineyard" and "my Beloved" (compare Isa 26:20; 61:10, with So 1:4; 4:10). The transition from "branch" (Isa 4:2) to "vineyard" here is not unnatural.