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Isaiah 5:11

    Isaiah 5:11 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Woe to them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that tarry late into the night, till wine inflame them!

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Cursed are those who get up early in the morning to give themselves up to strong drink; who keep on drinking far into the night till they are heated with wine!

    Webster's Revision

    Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that tarry late into the night, till wine inflame them!

    World English Bible

    Woe to those who rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; who stay late into the night, until wine inflames them!

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that tarry late into the night, till wine inflame them!

    Definitions for Isaiah 5:11

    Woe - An expression of grief or indignation.

    Clarke's Commentary on Isaiah 5:11

    Wo unto them that rise up early - There is a likeness between this and the following passage of the prophet Amos, Amos 6:3-6, who probably wrote before Isaiah. If the latter be the copier, he seems hardly to have equalled the elegance of the original: -

    "Ye that put far away the evil day

    And affect the seat of violence;

    Who lie upon beds of ivory,

    And stretch yourselves upon your couches;

    And eat the lambs from the flock,

    And calves from the midst of the stall;

    Who chant to the sound of the viol,

    And like David invent for yourselves instruments of music;

    Who quaff wine in large bowls,

    And are anointed with the choicest ointments:

    But are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph."

    Kimchi says, "they consider not the heavens nor their hosts: they pray not the morning nor the evening prayer unto the Lord."

    Follow strong drink - Theodoret and Chrysostom on this place, both Syrians, and unexceptionable witnesses in what belongs to their own country, inform us that שכר shechar (σικερα in the Greek of both Testaments, rendered by us by the general term strong drink) meant properly palm wine, or date wine, which was and is still much in use in the Eastern countries. Judea was famous for the abundance and excellence of its palm trees; and consequently had plenty of this wine. "Fiunt (vina) et e pomis; primumque e palmis, quo Parthi et Indi utun tur, et oriens totus: maturarum modio in aquae congiis tribus macerato expressoque." Plin. lib. 14:19. "Ab his cariotae [palmae] maxime celebrantur; et cibo quidem, sed et succo, uberrimae. Ex quibus praecipua vina orienti; iniqua capiti, unde porno nomen." Id. 13:9. Καρος signifies stupefaction: and in Hebrew likewise the wine has its name from its remarkably inebriating quality.

    Barnes' Notes on Isaiah 5:11

    Wo unto them - The prophet, having denounced "avarice," proceeds now to another vice - that of "intemperance, or dissipation."

    That rise up early ... - That rise "for this purpose," when nothing else would rouse them. It may illustrate this somewhat, to remark, that it was not common among the ancients to become intoxicated at an early hour of the day; see the note at Acts 2:15; compare 1 Thessalonians 5:7. It indicated then, as it does now, a confirmed and habitual state of intemperance when a man would do this early in the morning. 'The Persians, when they commit a debauch, arise betimes, and esteem the morning as the best time for beginning to drink wine, by which means they carry on their excess until night.' - "Morier."

    That they may follow strong drink - - שׁכר shêkār, or sichar. This word is derived from a verb signifying to drink, to become intoxicated. All nations have found out some intoxicating drink. That which was used by the Hebrews was made from grain, fruit, honey, dates, etc., prepared by fermentation. The word sometimes means the same as wine Numbers 28:7, but more commonly it refers to a stronger drink, and is distinguished from it, as in the common phrase, 'wine and strong drink;' Leviticus 10:9; Numbers 6:3; Judges 13:4, Judges 13:7. Sometimes it may be used for "spiced wine" - a mixture of wine with spices, that would also speedily produce intoxication. The Chaldee renders the words עתיק חמר chămar ‛atı̂yq, 'old fermented liquor;' denoting the "mode" in which strong drink was usually prepared. It may be remarked here, that whatever may be the "form" in which intoxicating drink is prepared, it is substantially the same in all nations. Intoxication is caused by "alcohol," and that is produced by fermentation. It is never created or increased by distillation. The only effect of distillation is, to collect and preserve the alcohol which existed in the beer, the wine, or the cider. Consequently, the same substance produces intoxication when wine is drank, which does when brandy is drank; the same in cider or other fermented liquor, as in ardent spirits.

    That continue until night - That drink all day. This shows that the "strong drink" intended here, did not produce "sudden," intoxication. This is an exact description of what occurs constantly in oriental nations. The custom of sitting long at the wine, when they have the means of indulgence, prevails everywhere. D'Ar-vieux says, that while he was staying among the Arabs on mount Carmel, a wreck took place on the coast, from which one of the emirs obtained two large casks of wine. He immediately sent to the neighboring emirs, inviting them to come and drink it. They gladly came, and continued drinking for two days and two nights, until not a drop of the wine was left. In like manner, Tavernier relates that the king of Persia sent for him early one morning to the palace, when, with other persons, he was obliged to sit all the day, and late at night, drinking wine with the shah; but at last, 'the king growing sleepy, gave us leave to depart, which we did very willingly, having had hard labor for seventeen hours together.'

    Inflame them - Excite them; or stimulate them. We have the same phrase - denoting the "burning" tendency of strong drink. The American Indians appropriately call "fire-water."