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.
present three arguments to support this statement. Firstly, the choice of the term poie/w in Matt 21,43 links up with the frequent use of this verb in Isa 5,2.4b (LXX: poie/w / Hebrew text: h#&(). Secondly, the moral orientation of Matt 21,43 is a development of the emphasis that is placed on correct moral behaviour (righteousness and justice) in Isa 5,7. Thirdly, Matt 21,43 says that the former tenants are replaced by a nation that produces the fruits of the kingdom. This implies that the vineyard produced no fruits at all during the time of the former tenants. (This implication is contrary to the parable itself, where it is said that the vineyard does produce fruits!). The reproach in Matt 21,43 that the expected yield has not materialized links up remarkably well with the complaint of the owner in Isa 5,2.4 52.
The redactor of the first gospel obviously greatly strengthened the relation between the parable and Isa 5,1-7. On the basis of the uncovered connections I will now briefly discuss Matthew's own accents in his interpretation of the parable.
In Matthew's version the fruits are very important. In 21,34 the fruits are mentioned twice; in Mark 12,2, however, they are mentioned only once. The contract with the tenants in Matthew differs from that in Mark. In Matthew they must hand over the entire harvest to the owner, in Mark it is only part of the yield. This stipulation is repeated in Matt 21,41. The vineyard will be let out to others, but their task will be the same as that of the previous tenants. This is clear from the relative clause which is absent in Mark: oi3tinej a0podw/sousin au0tw|~ tou\j karpou\j e0n toi~j kairoi~j au0tw~n. Even more so than his source, in 21,34.41 Matthew emphasizes the handing over of the harvest. In order to express this central theme, Matthew's version would be more appropriately named the parable of the fruits, rather than the parable of the tenants.