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 second stanza is characterized by the frequent occurrence of verbs in the first person singular and by the use of the first person suffix. Here the owner is speaking. He addresses his audience directly. This is clear from the double vocative used in v. 3 ("inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah"), from the use of the imperative in v. 3 ()n-w+p#$) and from the second person plural in v. 5 (Mkt)). These data confirm that verses 3-6 should be seen as a unit 8. In this second stanza, the owner acts as the accuser and he invites his addressees to assume the role of the judge. He asks them two questions; the first one is about his own activities, the second one is about the produce of the vineyard 9. In the second question, the contrast from the end of v. 2 is repeated almost literally. There is only one possible answer to this question: the owner of the vineyard is not in the least at fault; the vineyard must be blamed entirely. The expectation that this answer would be given by the audience, which after all must act as the judge, is not fulfilled. It does not get the opportunity to fulfil the role of the judge. In verses 5-6, the owner himself assumes that role. He announces what he is going to do in the future. This is elaborated in verses 5b-6, where destructive activities are enumerated which contrast sharply with the constructive activities in v. 2.
In the third stanza, verses 7a and 7b are closely related. These verse parts show a chiastic structure and, unlike v. 7c, contain nominal clauses. In this last stanza, the prophet cuts across the double pseudonymity that characterized the preceding verses. He identifies his friend, the owner of the vineyard, with God 10, and the vineyard with the audience mentioned in v. 3. The people addressed here, which first played the part of the judge, have now become the accused; the judgment from the previous stanza refers to them. The climax of the passage is reached in v. 7c, where the