Chapter five is the final message of the introduction and contains two sections. The first section is a kind of parable about Jehovah and his vineyard (Isaiah 5:1-7). In a manner similar to the Song of Songs (written approximately 300 years earlier), the vineyard represents a bride (Song 2:15; 8:12). The explanation is given in verse seven: Israel is Jehovah’s vineyard. He planted her expecting a great harvest of sweet grapes but instead received only inedible, sour fruit. Because of this he promised to give up on his vineyard, allowing it to go wild, ravaged by animals, weeds, and drought.
The second section of the chapter contains a series of six “woes” on various sins that the Israelites were committing in Isaiah’s day, some with an appropriate punishment. These were:
- Accumulating houses and land, rather than allowing the families to keep possession as God had commanded (Isaiah 5:8-10)
- Getting up early and spending their days and nights becoming drunk and partying instead of working for their food and family (Isaiah 5:11-17)
- Being so attached to their sin that they dragged it with them wherever they went as normal lifestyle (Isaiah 5:18-19)
- Calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20)
- Viewing themselves as wise and full of understanding when actually foolish (Isaiah 5:21)
- Leaders being good only at getting drunk and not protecting the people (Isaiah 5:22-24)
These sins caused God to be “furious with his people” (Isaiah 5:25-30). As punishment, he would bring foreign nations against them. Because their leaders were worthless (“champions at drinking wine,” Isaiah 5:22-24), the defeat would be easy. The foreign army was ready and would make quick work of Israel, like a lion with its prey.