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  • Joe Norton

Greed (2/25/2024)

A Study of the Woes of Isaiah 5


Woe to those who join house to house;

“They add field to field,

“Till there is no place

“Where they may dwell alone in the midst of the land!” (Isaiah 5:8).


Having introduced his message with a parable of a vineyard, Isaiah launches into a discussion of what are called “Woes” in which God pronounces judgment against Judah. The parable identifies what God has done for His people only to have them rebel against Him.


A clearer wording of the last two lines is:

 “…until there is no more room,

and you are made to dwell alone in the midst of the land” (ESV).


This first Woe is about greed, condemning those whose hearts are centered on worldly gain and those who find happiness only in the wealth of the world. Specifically, he condemns land owners who continue to increase the size of their property without regard for the methods they use to do so, even defrauding other landowners out of their land. They give no consideration to the welfare of others; thus, they are selfish and will end up in isolation.


While this teaching does not condemn owning land or working to better oneself, it does condemn having greed and materialism as the focus of life without regard for others. It condemns selfishness, dishonesty, and specifically fraud.



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