“Ten Acres of Vineyard Shall Yield One Bath”

Bryan Richards

This verse uses three unfamiliar measures, “bath,” “homer,” and “ephah.” In the Bible Dictionary, under “weights and measures,” we learn that a bath is a volume of liquid—approximately 8 ¼ gallons. An ephah is the dry equivalent to a bath, and a homer is ten times the amount of an ephah.

The significance in these verses is that the crops and land will be cursed so that they will produce much less than would be expected.

“In verse ten the seriousness of the desolation in the fields is demonstrated by the terms used. Ordinarily, a farmer would hope to get a thirty-, sixty-, or even a hundred-fold increase from the seed he planted. But instead he would only get one tenth back, because one homer of seed (equal to ten ephahs) would yield only one ephah of harvest. This is a unique type of ”reverse tithing." (Victor L. Ludlow, Unlocking the Old Testament, 149 as taken from Commentaries on Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, ed. by K. Douglas Bassett, [American Fork, UT: Covenant Publishing Co., 2003], 103)