Isaiah 5:8
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Woe to those who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is no more room, and you are made to dwell alone in the midst of the land.

King James Bible
Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!

American Standard Version
Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no room, and ye be made to dwell alone in the midst of the land!

Douay-Rheims Bible
Woe to you that join house to house and lay field to field, even to the end of the place: shall you alone dwell in the midst of the earth?

English Revised Version
Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no room, and ye be made to dwell alone in the midst of the land!

Webster's Bible Translation
Woe to them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there is no place, that they may be placed alone in the midst of the earth!

Isaiah 5:8 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The prophet commenced his first address in chapter 1 like another Moses; the second, which covered no less ground, he opened with the text of an earlier prophecy; and now he commences the third like a musician, addressing both himself and his hearers with enticing words. Isaiah 1:1. "Arise, I will sing of my beloved, a song of my dearest touching his vineyard." The fugitive rhythm, the musical euphony, the charming assonances in this appeal, it is impossible to reproduce. They are perfectly inimitable. The Lamed in lı̄dı̄dı̄ is the Lamed objecti. The person to whom the song referred, to whom it applied, of whom it treated, was the singer's own beloved. It was a song of his dearest one (not his cousin, patruelis, as Luther renders it in imitation of the Vulgate, for the meaning of dōd is determined by yâdid, beloved) touching his vineyard. The Lamed in l'carmo is also Lamed objecti. The song of the beloved is really a song concerning the vineyard of the beloved; and this song is a song of the beloved himself, not a song written about him, or attributed to him, but such a song as he himself had sung, and still had to sing. The prophet, by beginning in this manner, was surrounded (either in spirit or in outward reality) by a crowd of people from Jerusalem and Judah. The song is a short one, and runs thus in Isaiah 1:1, Isaiah 1:2 : "My beloved had a vineyard on a fatly nourished mountain-horn, and dug it up and cleared it of stones, and planted it with noble vines, and built a tower in it, and also hewed out a wine-press therein; and hoped that it would bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes." The vineyard was situated upon a keren, i.e., upon a prominent mountain peak projecting like a horn, and therefore open to the sun on all sides; for, as Virgil says in the Georgics, "apertos Bacchus amat colles." This mountain horn was ben-shemen, a child of fatness: the fatness was innate, it belonged to it by nature (shemen is used, as in Isaiah 28:1, to denote the fertility of a nutritive loamy soil). And the owner of the vineyard spared no attention or trouble. The plough could not be used, from the steepness of the mountain slope: he therefore dug it up, that is to say, he turned up the soil which was to be made into a vineyard with a hoe (izzēk, to hoe; Arab. mi‛zak, mi‛zaka); and as he found it choked up with stones and boulders, he got rid of this rubbish by throwing it out sikkēl, a privative piel, lapidibus purgare, then operam consumere in lapides, sc. ejiciendos, to stone, or clear of stones: Ges. 52, 2). After the soil had been prepared he planted it with sorek, i.e., the finest kind of eastern vine, bearing small grapes of a bluish-red, with pips hardly perceptible to the tongue. The name is derived from its colour (compare the Arabic zerka, red wine). To protect and adorn the vineyard which had been so richly planted, he built a tower in the midst of it. The expression "and also" calls especial attention to the fact that he hewed out a wine-trough therein (yekeb, the trough into which the must or juice pressed from the grapes in the wine-press flows, lacus as distinguished from torcular); that is to say, in order that the trough might be all the more fixed and durable, he constructed it in a rocky portion of the ground (Châtsēb bo instead of Chătsab bo, with a and the accent drawn back, because a Beth was thereby easily rendered inaudible, so that Châtsēb is not a participial adjective, as Bttcher supposes). This was a difficult task, as the expression "and also" indicates; and for that very reason it was an evidence of the most confident expectation. But how bitterly was this deceived! The vineyard produced no such fruit, as might have been expected from a sorek plantation; it brought forth no ‛anâbim whatever, i.e., no such grapes as a cultivated vine should bear, but only b'ushim, or wild grapes. Luther first of all adopted the rendering wild grapes, and then altered it to harsh or sour grapes. But it comes to the same thing. The difference between a wild vine and a good vine is only qualitative. The vitis vinifera, like all cultivated plants, is assigned to the care of man, under which it improves; whereas in its wild state it remains behind its true intention (see Genesis, 622). Consequently the word b'ushim (from bâ'ash, to be bad, or smell bad) denotes not only the grapes of the wild vine, which are naturally small and harsh (Rashi, lambruches, i.e., grapes of the labrusca, which is used now, however, as the botanical name of a vine that is American in its origin), but also grapes of a good stock, which have either been spoiled or have failed to ripen.

(Note: In the Jerusalem Talmud such grapes are called ūbshin, the letters being transposed; and in the Mishnah (Ma'aseroth i. 2, Zeb'ith iv 8) הבאישׁ is the standing word applied to grapes that are only half ripe (see Lwy's Leshon Chachamim, or Wrterbuch des talmudischen Hebrisch, Prag 1845). With reference to the wild grape (τὸ ἀγριόκλημα), a writer, describing the useful plants of Greece, says, "Its fruit (τὰ ἀγριοστάφυλα) consists of very small berries, not much larger than bilberries, with a harsh flavour.")

These were the grapes which the vineyard produced, such as you might indeed have expected from a wild vine, but not from carefully cultivated vines of the very choicest kind.

Isaiah 5:8 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

them

Jeremiah 22:13-17 Woe to him that builds his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that uses his neighbor's service without wages...

Micah 2:2 And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house...

Habakkuk 2:9-12 Woe to him that covets an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high...

Matthew 23:14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayer...

Luke 12:16-24 And he spoke a parable to them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully...

field

1 Kings 21:16-20 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite...

they. Heb. ye placed

Ezekiel 11:15 Son of man, your brothers, even your brothers, the men of your kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly...

Ezekiel 33:24 Son of man, they that inhabit those wastes of the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land...

Cross References
Job 15:28
and has lived in desolate cities, in houses that none should inhabit, which were ready to become heaps of ruins;

Jeremiah 22:13
"Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice, who makes his neighbor serve him for nothing and does not give him his wages,

Jeremiah 22:14
who says, 'I will build myself a great house with spacious upper rooms,' who cuts out windows for it, paneling it with cedar and painting it with vermilion.

Amos 1:13
Thus says the LORD: "For three transgressions of the Ammonites, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they have ripped open pregnant women in Gilead, that they might enlarge their border.

Micah 2:2
They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.

Habakkuk 2:9
"Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house, to set his nest on high, to be safe from the reach of harm!

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