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.
passage is in the first person. By explicitly mentioning the prophet in vv. 1.3, the Targum indicates that the prophet is acting as God's spokesperson. In the Targum, Isa 5,1-7 contains the words of God given to the people through the prophet. In the Hebrew text and in the LXX, it only appears from v. 7 that the vineyard is analogous to the predicament of the audience; in the Targum, however, it is already stated in v. 1 that Israel is like a vineyard and that God's words are aimed at his people.
I already pointed out that Isa 5,1-7 formulates a very sharp contrast between the planting of the vineyard (v. 2) and its destruction (vv. 5-6). Neither in the Hebrew text nor in the LXX does this description refer to any particular incident in Israel's history. The Targum, however, does give a historical interpretation to the establishment and destruction of the vineyard. In fact, the Targum turns Isa 5,1-7 into an allegory. The planting of the vineyard on a fertile hill represents Israel's settlement in a fruitful land; instead of "he built a watchtower in the midst of it and hewed out a wine press in it", the Targum reads "I built my sanctuary in their midst, and I even gave them my altar to make atonement for their sins". The destruction of the vineyard, too, is interpreted in a historical way. Breaking down the wall is replaced by the breaking down of the sanctuaries. The command to the clouds to stop raining upon it represents a command to the prophets that they stop prophesying to the people. The rebellion against the Torah leads to the taking up of God's Shekhinah from Israel. Thus, the Targum links the destruction of the vineyard to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. This interpretation was very likely inspired by the catastrophic events in the year 70 CE 37.
The preceding remarks demonstrate that the translation of the Hebrew text into Aramaic resulted in several changes in meaning which were influenced by later historical events. In fact, the Targum of Isa 5,1-7 is a very free paraphrase of the Hebrew text.