There is a word play in verse 7: he waited for משׁפת (mishpat) and behold משׁפה (mishpah), for צדקה (tsedekah) and behold צעקה (ts`aqah). ִI have stretched judgment to lessons in judgment to rhyme with lesions. Can you imagine variations on justice/righteousness and outcry? The prophet is not making up words (in this case).
I have mined a few words from other places and changed them there. Job 3:6 cannot say 'be joined to the days of the year', creative though that is, but 'let it not be cheered with the days of the year', a much more appropriate metaphor that also happens to be the gloss for the word (חדה). That lets me stay with join here in Isaiah as a variation on touch (נגע).
I also rescued hedge from my reading of the Song 4. (But I did not use it here. It is used in Isaiah 17. Such a juggling act.) There are plenty of times that the traditional rendering of a word suits me just fine. What I don't like is a single English root being used for multiple Hebrew roots. I cannot totally succeed with this rule, but I can have much less overlap than a free translation whether considered phrase by phrase or not. (Since a Hebrew lexeme is already a phrase, not a word, a word by word translation is out of the question.)
Another issue for this exercise, is that nothing is final before everything is done (with the exception of the Aramaic which is mostly a unit unto itself). The puzzle problem is that I may have coloured a particular piece a shade of red that I now want in another place. I.e. I may have used a gloss carelessly at one point which now I see better fits at another. The use of the flexible word דבר will suffice as an example. For מטה I threw in a gloss (routine) in Ezekiel 4 that I have now withdrawn so I can use it for an instance of דבר in this chapter. These are words you might not notice because of their generality, but you would notice if I used an odd gloss for both of them. Then somehow the English reader might think it was significant and built a whole theology around a misplaced word. Just look at that flexible word דבר, which may be glossed as word, thing, matter, speak, designate, pestilence, subjugate, and so on.
I am still debating whether to use stupid as a gloss. And then I look at my use of stupidity in Psalm 38 and I realize how apt it is. So wherever you read dullard, remember stupidity, a word that we may well apply to our own actions.
Now back to Isaiah 5 - the chapter I thought I had read. The tender chapter is a confrontation with consequence, of behaviour that is fundamentally shortsighted if not stupid. And we follow the same exploitative patterns today.
It was verses 1 and 2 that had me laughing. One has to read into the puzzle so often. סגל used here to ring with stones, is the word used of stoning to death elsewhere. It has a threat in it regardless of whether it is freeing of stones or pelting with stones. I was also surprised to find bindweed as a choice for what is traditionally sour grapes. I was on a walk yesterday where blackberry and bindweed had taken over and had been driven back to allow the growth of the native Gary Oak. There must be a fight for nutrients going on underground.
Note also Sheol gawking, its 'soul' enlarged as without warning (decree) it has to open its mouth so wide. Alternative facts have a long history. (Verse 20). There are a lot of somewhat unresolved singular pronouns in the final verses. Make what you can of them. Both the vineyard and the whirlwind of nations called to the attacking standard are treated as singular, though a plural pronoun would work as well.
|אָשִׁ֤ירָה נָּא֙ לִֽידִידִ֔י שִׁירַ֥ת דּוֹדִ֖י לְכַרְמ֑וֹ |
כֶּ֛רֶם הָיָ֥ה לִֽידִידִ֖י בְּקֶ֥רֶן בֶּן־שָֽׁמֶן
|1||I will sing, if you will, for my beloved, a song of my beloved for his vineyard. |
A vineyard there is for my beloved against an intensely bright destiny of density.
|וַֽיְעַזְּקֵ֣הוּ וַֽיְסַקְּלֵ֗הוּ וַיִּטָּעֵ֙הוּ֙ שֹׂרֵ֔ק וַיִּ֤בֶן מִגְדָּל֙ בְּתוֹכ֔וֹ וְגַם־יֶ֖קֶב חָצֵ֣ב בּ֑וֹ |
וַיְקַ֛ו לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת עֲנָבִ֖ים וַיַּ֥עַשׂ בְּאֻשִֽׁים
|2||And he barricaded it and ringed it with stones and planted it, a noble vine. And he built a tower in the midst of it, and moreover, a wine-vat he hewed in it, |
and he waited for the making of grapes, and it made bindweed.
|וְעַתָּ֛ה יוֹשֵׁ֥ב יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם וְאִ֣ישׁ יְהוּדָ֑ה |
שִׁפְטוּ־נָ֕א בֵּינִ֖י וּבֵ֥ין כַּרְמִֽי
|3||And now, O inhabitant of Jerusalem, and those of Judah, |
judge, if you will, between me and my vineyard.
|מַה־לַּעֲשׂ֥וֹת עוֹד֙ לְכַרְמִ֔י וְלֹ֥א עָשִׂ֖יתִי בּ֑וֹ |
מַדּ֧וּעַ קִוֵּ֛יתִי לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת עֲנָבִ֖ים וַיַּ֥עַשׂ בְּאֻשִֽׁים
|4||What is to be done further for my vineyard that I have not done in it? |
Why do I wait for it to do grapes when it does bindweed?
|וְעַתָּה֙ אוֹדִֽיעָה־נָּ֣א אֶתְכֶ֔ם אֵ֛ת אֲשֶׁר־אֲנִ֥י עֹשֶׂ֖ה לְכַרְמִ֑י |
הָסֵ֤ר מְשׂוּכָּתוֹ֙ וְהָיָ֣ה לְבָעֵ֔ר פָּרֹ֥ץ גְּדֵר֖וֹ וְהָיָ֥ה לְמִרְמָֽס
|5||And now I will make known, if you will, to you, what I am doing for my vineyard, |
to put aside its entwining, and it will be for kindling, to breach its fences, and will be trampled.
|וַאֲשִׁיתֵ֣הוּ בָתָ֗ה לֹ֤א יִזָּמֵר֙ וְלֹ֣א יֵעָדֵ֔ר וְעָלָ֥ה שָׁמִ֖יר וָשָׁ֑יִת |
וְעַ֤ל הֶעָבִים֙ אֲצַוֶּ֔ה מֵהַמְטִ֥יר עָלָ֖יו מָטָֽר
|6||And I will set it fallow. It will not be pruned, nor will it be hoed, and spike and gibe will come up, |
and I will command to the thick clouds, to refrain from raining rain upon it.
|כִּ֣י כֶ֜רֶם יְהוָ֤ה צְבָאוֹת֙ בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאִ֣ישׁ יְהוּדָ֔ה נְטַ֖ע שַׁעֲשׁוּעָ֑יו |
וַיְקַ֤ו לְמִשְׁפָּט֙ וְהִנֵּ֣ה מִשְׂפָּ֔ח לִצְדָקָ֖ה וְהִנֵּ֥ה צְעָקָֽה
|7||B||For the vineyard of Yahweh of hosts is the house of Israel and those of Judah, his muddy plant, |
and he waited for lessons in judgment, and behold, lesions, for justice, and behold, an outcry.
|ה֗וֹי מַגִּיעֵ֥י בַ֙יִת֙ בְּבַ֔יִת שָׂדֶ֥ה בְשָׂדֶ֖ה יַקְרִ֑יבוּ |
עַ֚ד אֶ֣פֶס מָק֔וֹם וְהֽוּשַׁבְתֶּ֥ם לְבַדְּכֶ֖ם בְּקֶ֥רֶב הָאָֽרֶץ
|8||~||Alas those who join house with house. Field with field they bring together, |
until there is no place. And you are those who settle, you alone, within the land.
|בְּאָזְנָ֖י יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת |
אִם־לֹ֞א בָּתִּ֤ים רַבִּים֙ לְשַׁמָּ֣ה יִֽהְי֔וּ גְּדֹלִ֥ים וְטוֹבִ֖ים מֵאֵ֥ין יוֹשֵֽׁב
|9||In the ears of Yahweh of hosts, |
without fail many houses will be desolate, the great and the good without inhabitant.
|כִּ֗י עֲשֶׂ֙רֶת֙ צִמְדֵּי־כֶ֔רֶם יַעֲשׂ֖וּ בַּ֣ת אֶחָ֑ת |
וְזֶ֥רַע חֹ֖מֶר יַעֲשֶׂ֥ה אֵיפָֽה
|10||~||For ten acres of of vineyard will make one bath, |
and the seed of a homer will make an ephah.
|ה֛וֹי מַשְׁכִּימֵ֥י בַבֹּ֖קֶר שֵׁכָ֣ר יִרְדֹּ֑פוּ |
מְאַחֲרֵ֣י בַנֶּ֔שֶׁף יַ֖יִן יַדְלִיקֵֽם
|11||d||Alas, those who rise early in the morning, strong drink to pursue, |
and late in the twilight, for wine to inflame them.
|וְהָיָ֨ה כִנּ֜וֹר וָנֶ֗בֶל תֹּ֧ף וְחָלִ֛יל וָיַ֖יִן מִשְׁתֵּיהֶ֑ם |
וְאֵ֨ת פֹּ֤עַל יְהוָה֙ לֹ֣א יַבִּ֔יטוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָדָ֖יו לֹ֥א רָאֽוּ
|12||And harp and lute, tambourine and flute and wine, are in their parties, |
and the work of Yahweh they do not notice, and what his hands make, they do not see.
|לָכֵ֛ן גָּלָ֥ה עַמִּ֖י מִבְּלִי־דָ֑עַת |
וּכְבוֹדוֹ֙ מְתֵ֣י רָעָ֔ב וַהֲמוֹנ֖וֹ צִחֵ֥ה צָמָֽא
|13||So gone into exile are my people, without knowledge, |
and its glory, how famished, their tumult sobered by thirst.
|לָכֵ֗ן הִרְחִ֤יבָה שְּׁאוֹל֙ נַפְשָׁ֔הּ וּפָעֲרָ֥ה פִ֖יהָ לִבְלִי־חֹ֑ק |
וְיָרַ֨ד הֲדָרָ֧הּ וַהֲמוֹנָ֛הּ וּשְׁאוֹנָ֖הּ וְעָלֵ֥ז בָּֽהּ
|14||So Sheol has enlarged her throat, and her mouth gawking without decree, |
and descending are the honoured and the tumult, and the commotion and the exultant, into her.
|וַיִּשַּׁ֥ח אָדָ֖ם וַיִּשְׁפַּל־אִ֑ישׁ |
וְעֵינֵ֥י גְבֹהִ֖ים תִּשְׁפַּֽלְנָה
|15||And humanity will be pressed down and each will be abased, |
and the eyes of the haughty humbled.
|וַיִּגְבַּ֛ה יְהוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת בַּמִּשְׁפָּ֑ט |
וְהָאֵל֙ הַקָּד֔וֹשׁ נִקְדָּ֖שׁ בִּצְדָקָֽה
|16||But haughty will be Yahweh of hosts in the judgment, |
and the One, the Holy, will be sanctified in righteousness.
|וְרָע֥וּ כְבָשִׂ֖ים כְּדָבְרָ֑ם |
וְחָרְב֥וֹת מֵחִ֖ים גָּרִ֥ים יֹאכֵֽלוּ
|17||Then young lambs will graze according to their routine, |
and the deserts of those fattened on marrow, guests will eat.
|ה֛וֹי מֹשְׁכֵ֥י הֶֽעָוֺ֖ן בְּחַבְלֵ֣י הַשָּׁ֑וְא |
וְכַעֲב֥וֹת הָעֲגָלָ֖ה חַטָּאָֽה
|18||d||Alas those who draw out iniquity with vain pledges, |
and as cords for the wagon, use sin.
|הָאֹמְרִ֗ים יְמַהֵ֧ר ׀ יָחִ֛ישָׁה מַעֲשֵׂ֖הוּ לְמַ֣עַן נִרְאֶ֑ה |
וְתִקְרַ֣ב וְתָב֗וֹאָה עֲצַ֛ת קְד֥וֹשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וְנֵדָֽעָה
|19||Those saying, Let it rush headlong, and let it hurry its deeds, so that we may see, |
and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel be brought near and come, so we may know.
|ה֣וֹי הָאֹמְרִ֥ים לָרַ֛ע ט֖וֹב וְלַטּ֣וֹב רָ֑ע |
שָׂמִ֨ים חֹ֤שֶׁךְ לְאוֹר֙ וְא֣וֹר לְחֹ֔שֶׁךְ שָׂמִ֥ים מַ֛ר לְמָת֖וֹק וּמָת֥וֹק לְמָֽר
|20||B||Alas those saying to evil, Good, and to good, Evil, |
setting darkness for light and light for darkness, setting bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
|ה֖וֹי חֲכָמִ֣ים בְּעֵֽינֵיהֶ֑ם |
וְנֶ֥גֶד פְּנֵיהֶ֖ם נְבֹנִֽים
|21||g||Alas the wise in their own eyes, |
and before their own faces, are the ones who understand.
|ה֕וֹי גִּבּוֹרִ֖ים לִשְׁתּ֣וֹת יָ֑יִן |
וְאַנְשֵׁי־חַ֖יִל לִמְסֹ֥ךְ שֵׁכָֽר
|22||~||Alas the valiant to imbibe wine, |
and persons of ability to mix strong drink.
|מַצְדִּיקֵ֥י רָשָׁ֖ע עֵ֣קֶב שֹׁ֑חַד |
וְצִדְקַ֥ת צַדִּיקִ֖ים יָסִ֥ירוּ מִמֶּֽנּוּ
|23||Who justify one who is wicked, foot planted for a bribe, |
and the righteousness of those who are righteous, they put aside from them.
|לָכֵן֩ כֶּאֱכֹ֨ל קַ֜שׁ לְשׁ֣וֹן אֵ֗שׁ וַחֲשַׁ֤שׁ לֶֽהָבָה֙ יִרְפֶּ֔ה שָׁרְשָׁם֙ כַּמָּ֣ק יִֽהְיֶ֔ה וּפִרְחָ֖ם כָּאָבָ֣ק יַעֲלֶ֑ה |
כִּ֣י מָאֲס֗וּ אֵ֚ת תּוֹרַת֙ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת וְאֵ֛ת אִמְרַ֥ת קְדֽוֹשׁ־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל נִאֵֽצוּ
|24||So as a tongue of fire devours stubble and a flame makes hay timid, their root will be rot, and their flourish as powder will ascend, |
for they refused the instruction of Yahweh of hosts, and the sayings of the Holy One of Israel they have spurned.
|עַל־כֵּ֡ן חָרָה֩ אַף־יְהוָ֨ה בְּעַמּ֜וֹ וַיֵּ֣ט יָד֧וֹ עָלָ֣יו וַיַּכֵּ֗הוּ וַֽיִּרְגְּזוּ֙ הֶֽהָרִ֔ים וַתְּהִ֧י נִבְלָתָ֛ם כַּסּוּחָ֖ה בְּקֶ֣רֶב חוּצ֑וֹת |
בְּכָל־זֹאת֙ לֹא־שָׁ֣ב אַפּ֔וֹ וְע֖וֹד יָד֥וֹ נְטוּיָֽה
|25||Therefore the anger of Yahweh burned against his people, and he has stretched out his hand upon him, and struck him, and the hills shuddered, and their corpses were cut away from within the streets. |
In all this his anger will not turn, but yet his hand is stretched out.
|וְנָֽשָׂא־נֵ֤ס לַגּוֹיִם֙ מֵרָח֔וֹק וְשָׁ֥רַק ל֖וֹ מִקְצֵ֣ה הָאָ֑רֶץ |
וְהִנֵּ֥ה מְהֵרָ֖ה קַ֥ל יָבֽוֹא
|26||And he will lift up a standard for the nations from afar, and will hiss for himself from the extremity of the earth, |
and behold, swiftly, fleet, he will come.
|אֵין־עָיֵ֤ף וְאֵין־כּוֹשֵׁל֙ בּ֔וֹ לֹ֥א יָנ֖וּם וְלֹ֣א יִישָׁ֑ן |
וְלֹ֤א נִפְתַּח֙ אֵז֣וֹר חֲלָצָ֔יו וְלֹ֥א נִתַּ֖ק שְׂר֥וֹךְ נְעָלָֽיו
|27||There is none exhausted, and there is none who stumble among it. None will snooze or sleep, |
nor open the girdle of his reins, nor snap the thong of his sandal.
|אֲשֶׁ֤ר חִצָּיו֙ שְׁנוּנִ֔ים וְכָל־קַשְּׁתֹתָ֖יו דְּרֻכ֑וֹת |
פַּרְס֤וֹת סוּסָיו֙ כַּצַּ֣ר נֶחְשָׁ֔בוּ וְגַלְגִּלָּ֖יו כַּסּוּפָֽה
|28||Whose arrows are sharp, and all its bows directed. |
The hoofs of its horses, like rock they are reckoned, and its whirlwind spreads havoc.
|שְׁאָגָ֥ה ל֖וֹ כַּלָּבִ֑יא |
יִשְׁאַ֨ג כַּכְּפִירִ֤ים וְיִנְהֹם֙ וְיֹאחֵ֣ז טֶ֔רֶף וְיַפְלִ֖יט וְאֵ֥ין מַצִּֽיל
|29||Its roaring is like a great cat. |
It roars like young lions, and it growls. It will hold fast prey securely, and there is none to deliver.
|וְיִנְהֹ֥ם עָלָ֛יו בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא כְּנַהֲמַת־יָ֑ם |
וְנִבַּ֤ט לָאָ֙רֶץ֙ וְהִנֵּה־חֹ֔שֶׁךְ צַ֣ר וָא֔וֹר חָשַׁ֖ךְ בַּעֲרִיפֶֽיהָ
|30||And it will growl over him in that day like the growling of the sea. |
And take note of the land, and behold, darkness, trouble, and the light is darkened in its spray.