I'll sing a ballad to the one I love, a love ballad about his vineyard: The one I love had a vineyard, a fine, well-placed vineyard.
He hoed the soil and pulled the weeds, and planted the very best vines. He built a lookout, built a winepress, a vineyard to be proud of. He looked for a vintage yield of grapes, but for all his pains he got junk grapes.
"Now listen to what I'm telling you, you who live in Jerusalem and Judah. What do you think is going on between me and my vineyard?
Can you think of anything I could have done to my vineyard that I didn't do? When I expected good grapes, why did I get bitter grapes?
"Well now, let me tell you what I'll do to my vineyard: I'll tear down its fence and let it go to ruin. I'll knock down the gate and let it be trampled.
I'll turn it into a patch of weeds, untended, uncared for - thistles and thorns will take over. I'll give orders to the clouds: 'Don't rain on that vineyard, ever!'"
Do you get it? The vineyard of God-of-the-Angel-Armies is the country of Israel. All the men and women of Judah are the garden he was so proud of. He looked for a crop of justice and saw them murdering each other. He looked for a harvest of righteousness and heard only the moans of victims. You Who Call Evil Good and Good Evil
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)