Isaiah 5:2
Parallel Verses
New International Version
He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.

King James Bible
And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

Darby Bible Translation
And he dug it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine; and he built a tower in the midst of it, and also hewed out a winepress therein; and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes.

World English Bible
He dug it up, gathered out its stones, planted it with the choicest vine, built a tower in its midst, and also cut out a winepress therein. He looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.

Young's Literal Translation
And he fenceth it, and casteth out its stones, And planteth it with a choice vine, And buildeth a tower in its midst, And also a wine press hath hewn out in it, And he waiteth for the yielding of grapes, And it yieldeth bad ones!

Isaiah 5:2 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

And gathered out the stones "And he cleared it from the stones" - This was agreeable to the husbandry: "Saxa, summa parte terrae, et vites et arbores laeduct; ima parte refrigerant;" Columell. de arb. 3: "Saxosum facile est expedire lectione lapidum;" Id. 2:2. "Lapides, qui supersunt, [al. insuper sunt], hieme rigent, aestate fervescunt; idcirco satis, arbustis, et vitibus nocent;" Pallad. 1:6. A piece of ground thus cleared of the stones Persius, in his hard way of metaphor, calls "exossatus ager," an unboned field; Sat. 6:52.

The choicest vine "Sorek" - Many of the ancient interpreters, the Septuagint, Aquila, and Theod., have retained this word as a proper name; I think very rightly. Sorek was a valley lying between Ascalon and Gaza, and running far up eastward in the tribe of Judah. Both Ascalon and Gaza were anciently famous for wine; the former is mentioned as such by Alexander Trallianus; the latter by several authors, quoted by Reland, Palaest., p. 589 and 986. And it seems that the upper part of the valley of Sorek, and that of Eshcol, where the spies gathered the single cluster of grapes, which they were obliged to bear between two upon a staff, being both near to Hebron were in the same neighborhood, and that all this part of the country abounded with rich vineyards. Compare Numbers 13:22, Numbers 13:23; Judges 16:3, Judges 16:4. P. Nau supposes Eshcol and Sorek to be only different names for the same valley. Voyage Noveau de la Terre Sainte, lib. iv., chap. 18. See likewise De Lisle's posthumous map of the Holy Land. Paris, 1763. See Bochart, Hieroz. ii., Colossians 725. Thevenot, i, p. 406. Michaelis (note on Judges 16:4 (note), German translation) thinks it probable, from some circumstances of the history there given, that Sorek was in the tribe of Judah, not in the country of the Philistines.

The vine of Sorek was known to the Israelites, being mentioned by Moses, Genesis 49:11, before their coming out of Egypt. Egypt was not a wine country. "Throughout this country there are no wines;" Sandys, p. 101. At least in very ancient times they had none. Herodotus, 2:77, says it had no vines and therefore used an artificial wine made of barley. That is not strictly true, for the vines of Egypt are spoken of in Scripture, Psalm 78:47; Psalm 105:33; and see Genesis 40:11, by which it should seem that they drank only the fresh juice pressed from the grape, which was called οινος αμπελινος; Herodot., 2:37. But they had no large vineyards, nor was the country proper for them, being little more than one large plain, annually overflowed by the Nile. The Mareotic in later times is, I think, the only celebrated Egyptian wine which we meet with in history. The vine was formerly, as Hasselquist tells us it is now, "cultivated in Egypt for the sake of eating the grapes, not for wine, which is brought from Candia," etc. "They were supplied with wine from Greece, and likewise from Phoenicia," Herodot., 3:6. The vine and the wine of Sorek therefore, which lay near at hand for importation into Egypt, must in all probability have been well known to the Israelites, when they sojourned there. There is something remarkable in the manner in which Moses, Genesis 49:11, makes mention of it, which, for want of considering this matter, has not been attended to; it is in Jacob's prophecy of the future prosperity of the tribe of Judah: -

"Binding his foal to the vine,

And his ass's colt to his own sorek;

He washeth his raiment in wine,

And his cloak in the blood of grapes."

I take the liberty of rendering שרקה sorekah, for שרקו soreko, his sorek, as the Masoretes do by pointing עירה iroh, for עירו iro, his foal. עיר ir, might naturally enough appear in the feminine form; but it is not at all probable that שרק sorek ever should. By naming particularly the vine of Sorek, and as the vine belonging to Judah, the prophecy intimates the very part of the country which was to fall to the lot of that tribe. Sir John Chardin says, "that at Casbin, a city of Persia, they turn their cattle into the vineyards after the vintage, to browse on the vines." He speaks also of vines in that country so large that he could hardly compass the trunks of them with his arms. Voyages, tom. iii., p. 12, 12mo. This shows that the ass might be securely bound to the vine, and without danger of damaging the tree by browsing on it.

And built a tower in the midst of it - Our Savior, who has taken the general idea of one of his parables, Matthew 21:33; Mark 12:1, from this of Isaiah, has likewise inserted this circumstance of building a tower; which is generally explained by commentators as designed for the keeper of the vineyard to watch and defend the fruits. But for this purpose it was usual to make a little temporary hut, (Isaiah 1:8), which might serve for the short season while the fruit was ripening, and which was removed afterwards. The tower therefore should rather mean a building of a more permanent nature and use; the farm, as we may call it, of the vineyard, containing all the offices and implements, and the whole apparatus necessary for the culture of the vineyard, and the making of the wine. To which image in the allegory, the situation the manner of building, the use, and the whole service of the temple, exactly answered. And so the Chaldee paraphrast very rightly expounds it: Et statui eos (Israelitas) ut plantam vineae selectae et aedificavi Sanctuarium meum in medio illorum. "And I have appointed the Israelites as a plant of a chosen vine, and I have built my sanctuary in the midst of them." So also Hieron. in loc. Aedificavit quoque turrim in medio ejus; templum videlicet in media civitate. "He built also a tower in the midst of it, viz., his own temple in the midst of the city." That they have still such towers or buildings for use or pleasure, in their gardens in the East, see Harmer's Observations, 2 p.

And also made a wine-press therein. "And hewed out a lake therein" - This image also our Savior has preserved in his parable. יקב yekeb; the Septuagint render it here προληνιον, and in four other places ὑποληνιον, Isaiah 16:10; Joel 3:13; Haggai 2:17; Zechariah 14:10, I think more properly; and this latter word St. Mark uses. It means not the wine-press itself, or calcatorium, which is called גת gath, or פורה purah; but what the Romans called lacus, the lake; the large open place or vessel, which by a conduit or spout received the must from the wine-press. In very hot countries it was perhaps necessary, or at least very convenient, to have the lake under ground, or in a cave hewed out of the side of the rock, for coolness, that the heat might not cause too great a fermentation, and sour the must. Vini confectio instituitur in cella, vel intimae domus camera quadam a ventorum ingressu remota. Kempfer, of Shiras wine. Amaen. Exot. p. 376. For the wind, to which that country is subject, would injure the wine. "The wine-presses in Persia," says Sir John Chardin, "are formed by making hollow places in the ground, lined with masons' work." Harmer's Observations, i., p. 392. See a print of one in Kempfer, p. 377.

Nonnus describes at large Bacchus hollowing the inside of a rock, and hewing out a place for the wine-press, or rather the lake: -

Και σκοπελους ελαχηνε· πεδοσκαφεος δε σιδηρου

Θηγαλεῃ γλωχινι μυχον κοιληνατο πετρης·

Λειηνας δε μετωπα βαθυνομενων κενεωνων

continued...

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

fenced it. or, made a wall about it

Exodus 33:16 For wherein shall it be known here that I and your people have found grace in your sight? is it not in that you go with us?...

Numbers 23:9 For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: see, the people shall dwell alone...

Deuteronomy 32:8,9 When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam...

Psalm 44:1-3 We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work you did in their days, in the times of old...

Romans 9:4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertains the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God...

planted

Jeremiah 2:21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then are you turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine to me?

the choicest vine. Sorek, in Arabic, sharik, certainly denotes an excellent vine; but some with Bp. Lowth, retain it as a proper name. Sorek was a valley lying between Askelon and Gaza, so called from the excellence of its vines.

Judges 16:4 And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

and built

Isaiah 1:8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.

Micah 4:8 And you, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, even the first dominion...

made. Heb. hewed
a winepress

Isaiah 63:2,3 Why are you red in your apparel, and your garments like him that treads in the winefat...

Nehemiah 13:15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading donkeys; as also wine, grapes...

Revelation 14:18-20 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying...

he looked

Isaiah 5:7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment...

Isaiah 1:2-4,21-23 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD has spoken, I have nourished and brought up children...

Deuteronomy 32:6 Do you thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he your father that has bought you? has he not made you...

Matthew 21:34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers, that they might receive the fruits of it.

Mark 11:13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it...

Mark 12:1 And he began to speak to them by parables. A certain man planted a vineyard, and set an hedge about it, and dig a place for the winefat...

Luke 13:7 Then said he to the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none...

Luke 20:10 And at the season he sent a servant to the farmers, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the farmers beat him...

1 Corinthians 9:7 Who goes a warfare any time at his own charges? who plants a vineyard, and eats not of the fruit thereof? or who feeds a flock...

wild grapes

Deuteronomy 32:32,33 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter...

Hosea 10:1 Israel is an empty vine, he brings forth fruit to himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he has increased the altars...

Library
A Prophet's Woes
'Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may he placed alone in the midst of the earth! 9. In mine ears said the Lord of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall he desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant. 10. Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah. 11. Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Of Confession and Self-Examination
Of Confession and Self-examination Self-examination should always precede Confession, and in the nature and manner of it should be conformable to the state of the soul: the business of those that are advanced to the degree of which we now treat, is to lay their whole souls open before God, who will not fail to enlighten them, and enable them to see the peculiar nature of their faults. This examination, however, should be peaceful and tranquil, and we should depend on God for the discovery and knowledge
Madame Guyon—A Short and Easy Method of Prayer

"For to be Carnally Minded is Death; but to be Spiritually Minded is Life and Peace. "
Rom. viii. 6.--"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." It is true, this time is short, and so short that scarce can similitudes or comparisons be had to shadow it out unto us. It is a dream, a moment, a vapour, a flood, a flower, and whatsoever can be more fading or perishing; and therefore it is not in itself very considerable, yet in another respect it is of all things the most precious, and worthy of the deepest attention and most serious consideration;
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

a survey of the third and closing discourse of the prophet
We shall now, in conclusion, give a survey of the third and closing discourse of the prophet. After an introduction in vi. 1, 2, where the mountains serve only to give greater solemnity to the scene (in the fundamental passages Deut. xxxii. 1, and in Is. 1, 2, "heaven and earth" are mentioned for the same purposes, inasmuch as they are the most venerable parts of creation; "contend with the mountains" by taking them in and applying to [Pg 522] them as hearers), the prophet reminds the people of
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Cross References
Matthew 21:19
Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered.

Matthew 21:33
"Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place.

Mark 11:13
Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.

Mark 12:1
Jesus then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place.

Luke 13:6
Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any.

2 Samuel 7:10
And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning

Psalm 80:8
You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.

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