“Ten Acres of Vineyard”

Brant Gardner

Not only will there be a desolation of people. but even the land itself shall fail and yield less than at previous times. “The phrase ”ten acres“ is derived from the Hebrew phrase ”ten yokes,“ meaning the amount of land ten yoke of oxen can plough in a day. Ten acres or ”yokes“ would equal about five acres. A harvest of grapes from this much land would normally yield dozens of gallons of wine. For the cursed land of Israel, however, this large area produces only one ”bath“ or from four to eight gallons of wine. Similarly, a ”homer“ of seed (about six bushels, also called a ”donkey’s load") yields only ephah of harvest (four gallons or twenty two litres). The complete irony of the situation can be seen in this last comparison, since ten ephahs equal one homer. Isaiah is promising that the harvest will be only one-tenth of the original planting. Instead of the soil yielding thirty, sixty, or one hundred fold, it produces only a fraction of the seed originally planted. This is such a drastic contrast from whit is expect that if a farmer wanted food for the next year, he would be better off not to plant at all. (Ludlow, pp. 117-8.)

Multidimensional Commentary on the Book of Mormon