Wim J.C. Weren, «The Use of Isaiah 5,1-7 in the Parable of the Tenants (Mark 12,1-12; Matthew 21,33-46)», Vol. 79 (1998) 1-26
This article attempts to prove the following theses. The parable of the tenants in Mark 12,1-12 has been constructed on the basis of the vineyard song in Isa 5,1-7. There are connections with the Hebrew text as well as with the LXX version. The later exegesis of Isa 5,1-7 as it is found in the Targum and in 4Q500 has also left traces in the parable. The connections with Isaiah were already present in the original form and they are enlarged in the subsequent phases of the tradition. Matthew has taken almost all references from Mark but he additionaly made links to Isa 5,1-7 which he did not derive from Mark.
killing of the servants and the destruction of the vineyard link up to some nuances in the Hebrew text which are absent in the LXX: "I will make it [= the vineyard] a waste" (Isa 5,6) and "bloodshed" (Isa 5,7) 30. The question Jesus asks in Mark 12,9 (ti/ ou}n poih/sei toi~~j gewrgoi~j e0kei/noij;) strongly resembles the interrogative sentence from Isa 5,4a (HT: ymrkl dw( tw#&(l-hm; LXX: ti/ poih/sw e1ti tw~| a0mpelw~ni/ mou ...;) 31. A resemblance to Isa 5,7 (HT: tw)bc hwhy Mrk; LXX: o9 ... a0mpelw\n kuri/ou) is found in Mark 12,9 (o9 ku/rioj tou~ a0mpelw~noj: again an inversion of the word order!).
Last but not least there is a similarity as far as the literary genre is concerned. In the Hebrew bible and in the LXX, Isa 5,1-7 functions as a juridical parable. We can place Mark 12,1-12 in the same category. One of the characteristics of a juridical parable is that the listeners themselves judge the given legal case. In Isa 5,1-7, the listeners are invited to pass judgement, but the speaker does not wait for their reaction and gives the answer himself. The same pattern is followed in Mark 12,9: Jesus asks a question and answers it himself. In the last verse of Isa 5,1-7, it becomes clear that the speaker has been referring to his own listeners. In the same manner, and only at the end of the passage, do Jesus' listeners come to the conclusion that the parable is aimed at them (12,12).
From the above I draw the following conclusions. (a) The connections between Mark 12,1-12 and Isa 5,1-7 are striking. They are found not only in Mark 12,1 where Isa 5,2 is quoted explicitly but also in the following parts of the parable. (b) The parable has been influenced not only by the LXX but also by the Hebrew text. This is of importance regarding the reconstruction of the parable's genesis. The connections with Isa 5 are not merely the result of a