The Meaning of Isaiah 5:12 Explained

Isaiah 5:12

KJV: And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.

YLT: And harp, and psaltery, tabret, and pipe, And wine, have been their banquets, And the work of Jehovah they behold not, Yea, the work of His hands they have not seen.

Darby: And harp and lyre, tambour and flute, and wine are in their banquets; but they regard not the work of Jehovah, nor do they see the operation of his hands.

ASV: And the harp and the lute, the tabret and the pipe, and wine, are in their feasts; but they regard not the work of Jehovah, neither have they considered the operation of his hands.

What does Isaiah 5:12 Mean?

Context Summary

Isaiah 5:1-17 - A Disappointing Harvest
In a picture of great beauty, Isaiah describes a vineyard situated on one of the sunny heights visible from Jerusalem. Every care which an experienced vine-dresser could devise had been expended on it, but in vain. The vine-dresser himself is introduced, demanding if more could have been done. When God selects a nation, a church, or an individual for high and holy work in the world and expends care and pains on the preparation of the instrument, and His plans miscarry through no failure on His part but through the obstinancy or obtuseness of the human soul, the measure of what might have been is the gauge of its doom. The worst weeds grow on the richest soil. This picture is the counterpart of Paul's dread of being a castaway, 1 Corinthians 9:27.
The six woes which follow, arising from drunkenness and avarice remind us of sorrows that menace the selfish heart. How different such a lot to the blessedness of the humblest soul that possesses God and is possessed by Him! "Evil shall slay the wicked; and they that hate the righteous shall be condemned. Jehovah redeemeth the soul of His servants; and none of them that take refuge in Him shall be condemned," Psalms 34:21-22. [source]

Chapter Summary: Isaiah 5

1  Under the parable of a vineyard, God excuses his severe judgment
8  His judgments upon covetousness
11  Upon lasciviousness
13  Upon impiety
20  And upon injustice
26  The executioners of God's judgments

What do the individual words in Isaiah 5:12 mean?

And are the harp and the strings the tambourine and flute and wine in their feasts but the work of Yahweh not they do regard and the operation of His hands nor consider
וְהָיָ֨ה כִנּ֜וֹר וָנֶ֗בֶל תֹּ֧ף וְחָלִ֛יל וָיַ֖יִן מִשְׁתֵּיהֶ֑ם וְאֵ֨ת פֹּ֤עַל יְהוָה֙ לֹ֣א יַבִּ֔יטוּ וּמַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָדָ֖יו לֹ֥א רָאֽוּ

וְהָיָ֨ה  And  are 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶהְיֶה 
Sense: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.
כִנּ֜וֹר  the  harp 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: כִּנּׄור  
Sense: lyre, harp.
וָנֶ֗בֶל  and  the  strings 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular
Root:  
Sense: a skin-bag, jar, pitcher.
תֹּ֧ף  the  tambourine 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: כְּתֹף 
Sense: timbrel, tambourine.
וְחָלִ֛יל  and  flute 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular
Root: חָלִיל  
Sense: pipe, flute.
וָיַ֖יִן  and  wine 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular
Root: יַיִן  
Sense: wine.
מִשְׁתֵּיהֶ֑ם  in  their  feasts 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct, third person masculine plural
Root: מִשְׁתֶּה  
Sense: feast, drink, banquet.
פֹּ֤עַל  the  work 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: פֹּעַל  
Sense: work, deed, doing.
יְהוָה֙  of  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
יַבִּ֔יטוּ  they  do  regard 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Imperfect, third person masculine plural
Root: נָבַט  
Sense: to look, regard.
וּמַעֲשֵׂ֥ה  and  the  operation 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: מַעֲשֶׂה  
Sense: deed, work.
יָדָ֖יו  of  His  hands 
Parse: Noun, fdc, third person masculine singular
Root: יָד  
Sense: hand.
לֹ֥א  nor 
Parse: Adverb, Negative particle
Root: הֲלֹא 
Sense: not, no.
רָאֽוּ  consider 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: רָאָה 
Sense: to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider.