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.
The redactional changes in 21,34.41 are a preparation for Matt 21,43 53, where the image of the fruits from the parable is applied to the attitude of Jesus' discussion partners. There is a close connection between v. 43 and v. 41. Still, they are not completely the same. When we make a closer comparison between the two verses, many slight shifts emerge:
(1) Since the previous tenants refused to hand over the produce, the owner will let out the vineyard to other tenants who will render the fruits (v. 41). Verse 43, however, mentions a nation that brings forth the fruits of the kingdom.
(2) In connection with this, the verb e0kdi/dwmi from v. 41 (cf. v. 33) is replaced by di/dwmi in v. 43 54. That verse no longer refers to a new lease; the kingdom is not let out, but is conferred as a present.
(3) The expectation expressed in v. 41 that the murderers will themselves be destroyed is replaced by the even more ominous perspective that the last judgment will reveal a negative result especially for the Jewish leaders with whom Jesus is speaking. The fact that in v. 43 the emphasis is shifted to the last judgment, can be deduced from the relation of this verse to the saying in 13,12 and in 25,29 where we also encounter the combination of a0rqh/setai and doqh/setai that is used here.
These shifts show what the main point is in Matthew's view. As in Mark, the parable has a polemic function. In Mark the parable must primarily be understood as an attack on those who are in charge of the temple area. They are referred to as the chief priests, the scribes and the elders (Mark 11,27). In Matt 21,23 only two of these three groups are mentioned: the chief priests and the elders. Matthew significantly does not always refer to Jesus' opponents in the same way. In 21,45 the elders are substituted by the Pharisees; finally in 22,15 only the Pharisees are mentioned. Matthew obviously increasingly emphasizes the fact that the opposition to Jesus originates with the Pharisees. Historically speaking it is likely that