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.
tower to the temple, and the winepress to the altar as well as to the ty#$, i.e. the channel in which the sacrificial blood flows away 42.
As to substance, 4Q500 so far does not add any new information to our knowledge of later interpretations of Isa 5,1-7. This is of course a direct consequence of the fact that we link this small fragment with already known texts of which we are relatively sure that the tower and the winepress refer to the temple in Jerusalem and to the altar. However, it is a new fact that this interpretation now proves to be much older than originally thought. If the few words from 4Q500 indeed refer to Isa 5,1-7 and allude to the temple, the altar and the channel under the altar, it can be postulated that at a very early period, the vineyard material was conceived as referring to Jerusalem and to the temple.
The fragment of 4Q500 predates Mark's gospel. The final edition of Targum Jonathan is dated much later than Mark, but according to B.D. Chilton "the Targum on its Tannaitic level reflects Jewish traditional thinking in the first century A.D" 43. Consequently, these Jewish texts presenting an exegesis of Isa 5,1-7 that supports a better understanding of the New Testament parable need not be refuted straight away.
There are some similarities as far as the vocabulary is concerned. The word lytmd in the opening verse refers to the literary genre of the text and is, in that sense, comparable to parabolai/ in Mark 12,1 (cf. parabolh/ in 12,12). The noun )nsx) in Tg.Isa 5,1 (= "inheritance") corresponds to klhronomi/a in Mark 12,7.
In the Targum and 4Q500, the tower and the winepress stand for the temple and its altar. Moreover, the targumist announces that God will not continue to reside in the temple because the people have rebelled against the law and are not willing to repent. This prophetic criticism is absent in the short text from Qumran. The few words in this fragment sketch a mere positive picture of the temple. Here we see that 4Q500 does not refer to the functioning of the national cult centre at the time this text was written. Instead, the imagery of Isa 5,1-7 is taken up to describe the eschatological sanctuary, which will be a source of blessings.