Isaiah 5:1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:

2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.

4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?

5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:

6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

16 But the LORD of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.

MEMORY VERSE: In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine. I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root: Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit. —Isaiah 27:2-3; 6

CENTRAL THOUGHT: A song sang to Jehovah of His love and care for His people, which included a lament that His own people, to whom He had given so much, would return to Him so little; a judgment against their wickedness, and a promise that His judgments would produce the fruits of righteousness.


Isaiah 5:1 “My wellbeloved…my beloved”: Jehovah. “His vineyard”: Israel (Psalm 80:14). “Very fruitful hill”: peak; literally, horn of oil; horn being a biblical symbol of fertility. The word horn was also used for describing height by the Arabs and the Germans (Matterhorn, Aarhorn, etc.)

Isaiah 5:2 “Fenced…gathered out the stones”: dug it over, gathered the stones, and built a protective wall with it. When someone wanted to “mar” a land, they would tear down the wall and scatter the stones around in it. “Choice vine”: literally, the vine of Sorek, which means the richest variety, of deep red color; the same word as “choice vine” in Genesis 49:11 and “noble vine” in Jeremiah 2:21. “Tower”: a watchtower which was built in vineyards and orchards so the keeper could watch for thieves or marauders. “Built a winepress”: dug a winepress, which had an upper vat, where the grapes were pressed, and a lower trough or hollow excavated in the rock; this was for the purpose of keeping the wine cool and safe from winds. “He looked”: to look eagerly and wait patiently. “Wild grapes”: not the domestic or cultivated kind.


Isaiah may very well have been trained as a psalmist. This poignant but elegant ode inspired by God’s love and care for His people was a beginning of his compositions. Chapters 12, 25, and 26 also contain songs, and chapter 27 seems to add a verse or two to the song in chapter five; we have included those verses in our lesson. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges says this of Isaiah’s song: “One of the finest exhibitions of rhetorical skill and power which the book contains. The prophet appears in the guise of a minstrel before an assemblage of his countrymen, and proceeds to recite the unfortunate experience of a “friend” of his with his vineyard. The simple story, told in light popular verse, disarms the suspicions of the crowd, and the singer, having secured their sympathy, demands a verdict on the course which a man might be expected to pursue with so refractory a vineyard as this.” In a similar manner, Jesus told a parable of a vineyard to the Jews in His day, inviting their judgment on the wicked husbandmen, by which they actually incriminated themselves before they perceived where Jesus was heading with the story (Matthew 21:33-46).

The picture of a well-cared-for vineyard so aptly describes God’s dealings with Israel. The metaphor was also used in Psalm 80 and in the Song of Solomon. Jesus repeatedly mentioned vineyards and fruit in His parables. Grapes, wine, and wine presses were also very common metaphors in Scripture, representing the blood that Jesus shed for the redemption of mankind and the vengeance of God toward man’s sin (Isaiah 63:1-6; Revelation 14:14-20).

More can be explained about Sorek, the word used to describe the particular species of grapevine in the passage. “Sorek was a valley lying between Ascalon and Gaza…Both Ascalon and Gaza were anciently famous for wine…The upper part of the valley of Sorek, and that of Eshcol, where the spies gathered the single cluster of grapes, which they were obliged to bear between two upon a staff, being both near to Hebron were in the same neighborhood…all this part of the country abounded with rich vineyards” (Clarke’s Commentary).

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


  1. To whom and about whom is Isaiah singing his song?
  2. Name other places in Scripture which use the vine/vineyard metaphor for God’s people.
  1. Share your thoughts about the pathetic question in verse 4: “What could have been done more for my vineyard?”
  2. Share the words in the memory verse which describe God’s tender care over his people.
  3. What promises does God give of redemption and victory?


Our verses today show us so many ways that God cares for us—His people and His vineyard. Consider the fence or wall: His laws, instructions, testimonies, judgments, counsels, commandments and precepts. Other places speak of His salvation being placed as walls and bulwarks or that He is a wall of fire about His people.

This speaks also of a hedge, which surely means His protection. Nothing can pass through this hedge but what He specifically allows, and if it comes, even a purpose meant to harm is turned into that which blesses us.

He prunes and cultivates and waters us—night and day and every moment! Is that not the finest of nurturing care? We really have no lack, and there is no reason not to bear Him the finest fruit!

He provides a watch tower within us. I believe this points first to every man’s conscience, but especially to the ever-vigilant Holy Spirit who guards and guides us, warns us, and brings things to our remembrance.

And it says He looks. He watches. He waits for us. Patiently and cheerfully, with hope and expectation, He anticipates our harvest and rich fruit. He provides a winepress from which He extracts the very choicest wine to bring comfort and blessing from our lives to the lives of others. It is equipped with an underground storage vat to cool and safely store His rich treasures. The good fruits He gathers from our lives only ripen with age. He always saves the best wine until last. And the very best is reserved for when we sit down with Him and feast for eternity.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck


What makes a song so powerful? Simple words, a simple melody, yet their union creates a distinct language all its own—a language of the soul. This unique combination of words and music is a vital part of the worship experience here on earth as well as in heaven.

This language is understood not only with the mind but with the spirit as well. It has the capacity to penetrate to the core of our being and relay a message in a much more meaningful way. It speaks to our emotions. It changes our mood.

It is universal. Everyone with an ear to hear can relate to and be moved by a song. It is eternal. The creation of God and the collaboration of saints and angels joining in never- ending worship.

When sung with the spirit and with the understanding it has the power to rout the enemy. It is a vital part of the Christian arsenal. A compilation of God’s promises and declarations fused with our experiences and observations, then set to music—how powerful!

One such song that has blessed saints for many years, “Press On, My Soul, To Glory”, was penned by a pioneer minister of the Church of God in California, Sis Naomi Eddens. She was a woman of faith and fight, who stood firm in the midst of adversity and encouraged others to do so as well. Her family tells the story of how she endured affliction and many trials that were peculiar to women ministers of her day. She had a resolve to be faithful to God as well as to care for her husband and children. Her song was born out of the trials and challenges of balancing family life and the weight of ministry as a woman. While going through a particularly difficult trial, the Lord gave her a song that continues to inspire decades beyond her earthly journey.

When I’m passing through the furnace, He won’t forsake me there; He has promised to protect me, and my burdens He will bear.

Press on, my soul, to Glory, my journey won’t be long. Through trials and tribulations is the way He calls us home

Then why should I be fearful while the raging storm winds blow? If I trust in God Almighty, then the powers of hell must go.

Press on, my soul, to glory, my courage is renewed.
The devil stands defeated, and I’m feasting on heavenly food.

—Bro. Darrell Johnson

Click here to listen to “Press On, My Soul, to Glory,” sung by a group of saints in Sacramento, CA: