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.
A juridical parable is "a realistic story about a violation of the law, related to someone who had committed a similar offence with the purpose of leading the unsuspecting hearer to pass judgment on himself" 14. With his parable of the vineyard, the prophet holds up a mirror to his audience. What he wants to achieve is that they should connect the narrated fictitious situation with their own situation. God's concern for the house of Israel requires social justice; however, Israel reacts by perpetrating social injustice. This is what the prophet wants to convey to his audience 15.
This analysis produces the following results. In Isa 5,1-7, the metaphor of the vineyard is applied to the house of Israel. The connection between v. 7 and v. 3 makes it clear that the house of Israel refers to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the people of Judah, i.e. to the southern kingdom, which must now perform the task which was originally meant for the whole of Israel 16. The prophet brings his audience to a negative evaluation of the way in which they are fulfilling that task. The question of whether this evaluation will lead to better behaviour is not answered in this text.
II. The Use of Isaiah 5,1-7 in Mark 12,1-12
In this section, I try to find out whether Mark 12,1-12 has been influenced by Isaiah's song of the vineyard. I begin with a comparison between Mark, the Hebrew text and the LXX. Subsequently, I present a short discussion about the Targum and 4Q500.
1. Mark 12,1-12 and Isaiah 5,1-7 (Hebrew text and LXX)
The description of the planting of the vineyard in Mark 12,1 contains a quotation from Isa 5,2 17. What is the origin of the