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God’s Vineyard
Isaiah’s prophecy as vintner’s textbook
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Isaiah’s Song of the Vineyard is one of the most vivid and precise poetic passages in the Bible. In seven verses (Isaiah 5:1–7; see the sidebar to this article), the prophet presents a sustained metaphor for God’s care for his people, by portraying the deity as a meticulous, attentive vintner and his people as disappointing, fetid fruit. The detailed imagery of Isaiah’s song both fuels the power of the prophecy and offers a historically reliable glimpse of a vital agricultural practice in eighth-century B.C.E. Jerusalem.

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