27:1 At that time the LORD will punish
with his destructive, great, and powerful sword
Leviathan the fast-moving serpent,
Leviathan the squirming serpent;
he will kill the sea monster.
27:2 When that time comes,
sing about a delightful vineyard!

A delightful vineyard – AV ‘a vineyard of red wine’; NIV ‘a fruitful vineyard’; NRSV ‘a pleasant vineyard’.

Some, arguing from the AV, suppose that this verse is referring to unfermented grape juice.  But this (a) is based on a questionable reading of the underlying text; and (b) it is nevertheless perfectly consistent with the view that the vineyard was capable of producing fermented wine: the expression could simply mean, ‘a wineyard producing red wine.’

Albert Barnes (no enemy of abstention), comments: ‘Lowth proposes to read instead of this, חֶמֶר (hhēmēdh), pleasantness, beauty, or beloved. He observes that many MSS. have this meaning, and that it is followed by the LXX. and the Chaldee. The LXX. read it, Αμπελὼν καλλὸς—‘Beautiful vineyard.’ This would well suit the connection, and this slight error in transcribing might have easily occurred. But the authority in the MSS. for the change is not conclusive. The word which now occurs in the text denotes properly wine, from חָמַר, to ferment. The word חָמַר also has the signification to be red (Ps. 75:9; Job 16:16); and according to this, our translators have rendered it ‘of red wine.’ Bochart (Geog. Sac. ii. 1, 29) renders it, ‘A vineyard fertile in producing wine.’ The correct translation would be one that would not seem very congruous in our language, ‘a vineyard of wine,’ or ‘a wine-vineyard.’

The key textual problem is centred on the fact that the word for ‘wine’ and the word for ‘delight’ are very similar.  The uncertainty as to translation is also expressed in modern commentaries, such as that by Watts (WBC).

27:3 I, the LORD, protect it;
I water it regularly.
I guard it night and day,
so no one can harm it.
27:4 I am not angry.
I wish I could confront some thorns and briers!
Then I would march against them for battle;
I would set them all on fire,
27:5 unless they became my subjects
and made peace with me;
let them make peace with me.
27:6 The time is coming when Jacob will take root;
Israel will blossom and grow branches.
The produce will fill the surface of the world.
27:7 Has the LORD struck down Israel like he did their oppressors?
Has Israel been killed like their enemies?
27:8 When you summon her for divorce, you prosecute her;
he drives her away with his strong wind in the day of the east wind.
27:9 So in this way Jacob’s sin will be forgiven,
and this is how they will show they are finished sinning:
They will make all the stones of the altars
like crushed limestone,
and the Asherah poles and the incense altars will no longer stand.
27:10 For the fortified city is left alone;
it is a deserted settlement
and abandoned like the desert.
Calves graze there;
they lie down there
and eat its branches bare.
27:11 When its branches get brittle, they break;
women come and use them for kindling.
For these people lack understanding,
therefore the one who made them has no compassion on them;
the one who formed them has no mercy on them.