Isaiah 5:8-10 Greedy Real Estate Moguls

Isaiah 5:8-9 Woe to those who add house to house and join field to field, until there is no more room, so that you have to live alone in the midst of the land! In my ears the LORD of hosts has sworn, “Surely, many houses shall become desolate, even great and fine ones, without occupants”.

These two verses further the notion of materialism and greed. This is a theme of the era. A couple of examples include the material girls of Isaiah 3:16-24 and the corruption of the leadership in Isaiah 1:23 Your rulers are rebels and companions of thieves; everyone loves a bribe and chases after rewards. They do not defend the orphan, nor does the widow’s plea come before them.

Commentators (McGee, Wycliffe Bible Translators, NET Bible) have noted the underhanded deals that took place in regards to the acquisition of real estate. People’s property was acquired by forced sales and foreclosures of mortgages. And we thought this only occurred during our time. Nothing has changed. Greed always wants more and is never satisfied. It is coveting.

It is not a good day if God proclaims “Woe” in your direction. Woe can be translated many ways. Woe can mean: dead, as good as dead, poor, those doomed, judged, sure to be judged, danger awaits, grave danger, or sinful.

Owning and acquiring real estate are not bad. Using real estate and property acquired in a constructive manner are not bad. Renting, leasing, or selling those homes to others for a place to live is providing shelter. Buying land and farming the land are productive and beneficial to others.

The goal and soul purpose of these people is the acquisition of property and wealth. This is a demonstration of gross materialism and greed. No one is living in these properties. The properties are not being loaned or rented to others. This is impractical. A person can only live in one house at a time. This is selfishness. The land and property grab is to the point that all others have been pushed out. The greed is living in isolation.

The guy could have hired workers to farm the land. Employment could have been created. The land is not being farmed or leased to be farmed. The end result is poor crop yields in verse 10. “For ten acres of vineyard will yield only one bath of wine, and a homer of seed will yield but an ephah of grain.” Translated, the vineyard produces 6-12 gallons of wine. It is estimated the land produces 5-10 bushels total output. The harvest is a complete disaster.

These are nice, huge, plentiful homes. Look at the adjectives that describe these houses.

Rab: much, many, great, abounding in, more numerous than, abundant, enough, strong, greater than

Gadowl: great, large (in magnitude and extent)

Towb: good, pleasant, agreeable (to the senses), excellent (of its kind),
good, rich, valuable in estimation, becoming, better (comparative). Definitions per Strong’s Concordance.

Congratulations to the greedy.  You have won and you have the most stuff. Good for you! Your reward, God has pronounced judgment.

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