New Defender's Study Bible Notes
5:1 vineyard. The “vineyard” in this song represents Israel (Isaiah 5:7), a figure that was later appropriated by Christ (Matthew 21:33-45). The “pleasant plant” in the vineyard, which represents Judah, is probably the “fig tree planted in his vineyard” (Luke 13:6). Sadly, however, the vineyard produced wild grapes and the fig tree was barren, so God eventually had to “lay it waste” (Isaiah 5:6).
5:7 the house of Israel. See above note for Isaiah 5:1.
5:10 ten acres of vineyard. This verse describes famine-like conditions that would be visited upon the greedy rich in Israel (Isaiah 5:8). The “bath” was a liquid measure, believed to be equivalent to about six gallons. A homer was about six and one-half bushels (dry measure), and equal to ten ephahs.
5:11 wine inflame them. The greatest danger of intoxicating drink is that it eventually leads men to forget God (Isaiah 5:12). See also notes on Proverbs 20:1; 23:31; Ephesians 5:18.
5:20 Woe. Six woes are pronounced on Judah in this section (Isaiah 5:8,11,18,20,21,22).
5:20 call evil good. Inversion of God’s standards of right and wrong characterizes times of apostasy and precedes times of divine judgment. This phenomenon is increasingly characteristic of Christendom today.
5:21 in their own eyes. It is typical of evolutionary pantheism, both ancient and modern, that men will be “professing themselves to be wise,” while becoming “fools” (Romans 1:22).
5:22 drink wine. This is one of many Scriptures that warns against strong drink.
5:26 with speed swiftly. The foreboding prophecy of this section was fulfilled repeatedly as nation after nation invaded the land of Israel, devastating its cities and carrying away its people. First Assyria, then Babylonia, Syria, Rome, Arabia, Turkey, “nations from far,” have “come with speed swiftly,” as God’s rod of judgment on His rebellious people.