The Use of Isaiah 5,1-7 in the Parable of the Tenants
(Mark 12,1-12; Matthew 21,33-46)

Wim J.C. Weren

In the past few decades our scientific knowledge of Isaiah's song of the vineyard (Isa 5,1-7) has expanded in two ways. Firstly, the literary and rhetorical aspects of the Hebrew text have been closely studied. The result was almost general consensus as regards the literary genre of this text: Isa 5,1-7 is an example of a juridical parable 1. Secondly, the publication of 4Q500 has filled up a gap in our knowledge of the interpretation history of Isa 5,1-7. For information on this subject we previously had to rely on the corresponding text in the Septuagint (LXX), the Targum Jonathan and a number of rabbinic texts. On the basis of this material it was not possible to determine with full certainty how Isa 5,1-7 was interpreted in first century Palestine. The publication of 4Q500 changed this. In all probability the first fragment of this papyrus manuscript contains an exegesis of Isaiah's song of the vineyard 2.

In this article I will investigate whether the new insights concerning Isa 5,1-7 and the later interpretation of this text shed new light on the use of Isa 5,1-7 in the parable of the tenants (Mark 12,1-12; Matt 21,33-46). My contribution is structured as follows. I will begin with a discussion of the literary and rhetorical aspects of the Hebrew text of Isa 5,1-7. Subsequently, I will map the traces which the Hebrew text and its rendition in the LXX, the Targum and 4Q500 have left in Mark's version of the parable of the tenants. After that I will try to find out whether Matthew's version contains points of contact with Isa 5,1-7 which cannot have been derived from Mark. If there are such points, we may presume that the colourful gamut of interpretations that sprang from the Hebrew text of Isa 5,1-7 not only influenced the genesis of Mark 12,1-12 but also the way in which the parable was adapted by Matthew at a later phase of the tradition.

I. Literary and rhetorical aspects of Isaiah 5,1-7 (Hebrew text)

Isa 5,1-7 is a textual unit, at least on a redactional level 3. This poetic text consists of three stanzas: A: vv. 1-2; B: vv. 3-6; C: v. 7 4. The main argument for this tripartition is the frequent change of subject: v. 1a is in the first person ("I") and vv. 1b-2 are in the third person ("he"); verses 3-6 revert to the first person ("I") and in v. 7 it is again the third person ("he") 5.

It is characteristic of this passage that the identity of the various speakers is not immediately clear. Only after repeated reading it appears that the speaker of vv. 1b-2 and in v. 7 is the same. This speaker calls the owner of the vineyard his friend. In v. 7 he identifies the owner with God. Thus he also reveals his own identity: the words of vv. 1b-2.7 are spoken by the prophet. In vv. 3-6 the owner himself speaks. This is evidenced by the shift away from "his vineyard" (v. 1a) to "my vineyard" (v. 3).

Verse 1a is truly mysterious. The opening words (ydydyl )n hry#$)) create the impression that a girl is going to sing a song for her beloved. This impression is later corrected, when it turns out that the prophet is the speaker and that ydydyl is best translated as "of my friend". The next problem in v. 1a is formed by ydwd try#$. The usual translation ("the song of my friend") is incompatible with vv. 1b-2 as in this passage the friend is not speaking himself, but is introduced in the third person. This problem is removed if we read ydwd try#$ as an objective genitive ("the song about my friend concerning his vineyard") 6.

Verse 1a is rather detached from the rest of the pericope (despite the repetition of "my friend" in v. 1b). This section of the verse includes a large number of /i/-sounds in Hebrew. It is an opening which functions as an introduction to vv. 1b-2, in which the second person is used to indicate the owner of the vineyard 7. The prophet announces that he is going to sing a song about his friend concerning his vineyard. This vineyard is on a very fertile hill. From the verbs in v. 2 it appears that the owner has created excellent conditions for an abundant harvest. Therefore, he expects that the vineyard will yield good grapes. At the end of the first stanza, the vineyard itself is the grammatical subject. Then we hear the first jarring note: the actual produce contrasts sharply with the produce expected by the owner as a result of his exertions.

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 prophet formulates the contrast between the Lord's positive expectations and the people's negative output 11. This contrast echoes the antithesis already mentioned in vv. 2.4. The corruption of the judiciary in particular is denounced here; it is a source of social abuse.

I will now conclude this section with a few remarks about the effect of the text on the listeners. This requires some insight into the literary genre of Isa 5,1-7 12. The text itself contains a signal concerning the literary genre that is used here. In v. 1, the prophet says that he is going to sing a song (cf. 23,15-16 and 26,1). He gives the impression that his song is about a fictitious situation. In this way he masks his real intentions. He chooses this line of action to trick his audience into passing judgment. It is manipulated into seconding the crushing judgment which the owner himself pronounces on his vineyard in vv. 5-6. Only from the commentary in v. 7 it appears that the audience has, in fact, passed judgment on itself.

Thus, in Isa 5,1-7, two different literary forms are cleverly linked up: the whole poem takes the form of a song, but that song has the function of a parable. This is in fact a juridical parable 13.

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 quotation: the Hebrew text or the LXX? The answer to this question requires a careful comparison between the three texts. For the sake of clarity I present a comparative table:

Isa 5,2
(Hebrew text)
Isa 5,2
Mark 12,1
1. whqz(yw
2. whlqsyw
1. kai\ fragmo\n perie/qhka 1. a0mpelw~na [...] e0fu/teusen
2. kai\ e0xara/kwsa
3.qr#& wh(+yw 3. kai\ e0fu/teusa a1mpelon swrhx 2. kai\ perie/q0hken fragmo\n
4. wkwtb ldgm Nbyw 4. kai\ w|0kodo/mhsa pu/rgon e0n me/sw| au0tou~ 3. kai\ w1rucen u9polh/nion
5. wb bcx bqy-Mgw 5. kai\ prolh/nion w1ruca
e0n au0tw~|
4. kai\ w0|kodo/mhsen pu/rgon

The LXX differs from the Hebrew text on a number of points. In the first place it should be mentioned that the change in subject which we saw in the Hebrew text does not occur in the LXX. In the LXX, the verbs in v. 2 are in the first person singular, not in the third person, as they were in the Hebrew text (cf. also 5,7 where wqyw has been substituted for e1meina). The result of these modifications is that in the LXX not only vv. 3-6 but also v. 2 and v. 7 are spoken by the owner of the vineyard. His words however are voiced by the prophet: he announces in v. 1a that he is going to sing a song of his friend, vv. 2-7 forming the song. The translators of the LXX have apparently sought to reinforce the connection between v. 1a and vv. 2-7; to achieve this they make the voice of the prophet shade off into that of his friend (the prophet thus proclaiming Gods' words) 18.

In the Hebrew text as well as in the LXX, the owner's concern for the vineyard is expressed by five verbs. Only the last three activities are similar: planting, building, and hacking. In the Hebrew text, we find two other activities ("he dug it and cleared it of stones") which are not found in the LXX 19. Conversely, the LXX mentions two activities (fragmo\n perie/qhka kai\ e0xara/kwsa) which are not found in the Hebrew text. These two activities both concern fencing the vineyard round to separate it from the surrounding area: the vineyard is walled in and in addition it is surrounded by a fence 20. In the Hebrew text, it only appears in v. 5 that the vineyard was surrounded by a hedge and a wall in order to protect it against the penetration of animals and men. In the LXX, verses 2 and 5 are associated more strongly: here, the building of a fence (v. 2: fragmo\n perie/qhka) is linked to v. 5 where it is said that the fence shall be removed (a0felw~ to\n fragmo\n au0tou~) 21.

Let us now look at the use of Isa 5,2 in Mark 12,1. On a number of points the parable gives the impression of having been influenced not only by the LXX but also by the Hebrew text. Dependence on the LXX appears from the four activities mentioned in Mark which are also present in the LXX. The most striking of this foursome is the fencing in of the vineyard. This element can only have been taken from the LXX, which differs from the Hebrew text on this point 22. This activity is described twice in the LXX: e0xara/kwsa and fragmo\n perie/q0hka. In Mark the first verb is missing, perhaps because e0xara/kwsa partly covers fragmo\n perie/q0hka. Further differences are that in Mark a1mpelon swrhx 23 is replaced by a0mpelw~na (this word is used in Isa 5,1), that the exact place of the tower (e0n me/sw| au0tou~) is not mentioned and that e0n au0tw=| has been omitted. Mark's having u9polh/nion instead of prolh/nion suggests his independence of the LXX 24. The use of third person singular verb forms in Mark 12,1 corresponds to the formulation of Isa 5,2 in the Hebrew text.

However, there are more fundamental changes. Recently, P.C. Beentjes has pointed at two remarkable phenomena. First, the order in which the various activities are presented in Mark differs from the order in the LXX 25. Numbers 1 and 3 from the LXX reoccur in Mark, but in exactly the reversed order; the same goes for numbers 4 and 5. Secondly, in Mark 12,1, the verb and the corresponding object have changed places in three cases out of four, compared to the LXX 26:

Mark:     order:       LXX:

1 a0mpelw~na ... e0fu/teusen      <--->      e0fu/teusa a1mpelon swrhx

2 perie/qhken fragmo/n      <--->       fragmo\n perie/qhka

3 w1rucen u9polh/nion   <--->      prolh/nion w1ruca

4 w0|kodo/mhsen pu/rgon   =   w0|kodo/mhsa pu/rgon

Beentjes calls this an "inverted quotation". He has collected a number of examples of such quotations. This phenomenon occurs in the Hebrew bible, the LXX, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament and also in texts originating from different periods in Antiquity. On the basis of these examples Beentjes assumes that this is a fixed literary procedure, to which he attributes the following function: "[...] in an existing formulation [...] the author reverses the sequence. And by this deviating model he attains a moment of extra attention in the listener (or the reader), because the latter hears something else than the traditional words" 27. The double inversion of the order in Mark 12,1 indicates that a statement about Isa 5 is going to be made that differs from the original gist of that text 28.

Stimulated by the quotation in Mark 12,1 the reader will be on the look-out for further references to Isaiah's song of the vineyard. I observe the following similarities. The word a0gaphto/j in Mark 12,6 is reminiscent of a0gaphto/j and h0gaphme/noj in Isa 5,1 29. The killing of the servants and the destruction of the vineyard link up to some nuances in the Hebrew text which are absent in the LXX: "I will make it [= the vineyard] a waste" (Isa 5,6) and "bloodshed" (Isa 5,7) 30. The question Jesus asks in Mark 12,9 (ti/ ou}n poih/sei toi~~j gewrgoi~j e0kei/noij;) strongly resembles the interrogative sentence from Isa 5,4a (HT: ymrkl dw( tw#&(l-hm; LXX: ti/ poih/sw e1ti tw~| a0mpelw~ni/ mou ...;) 31. A resemblance to Isa 5,7 (HT: tw)bc hwhy Mrk; LXX: o9 ... a0mpelw\n kuri/ou) is found in Mark 12,9 (o9 ku/rioj tou~ a0mpelw~noj: again an inversion of the word order!).

Last but not least there is a similarity as far as the literary genre is concerned. In the Hebrew bible and in the LXX, Isa 5,1-7 functions as a juridical parable. We can place Mark 12,1-12 in the same category. One of the characteristics of a juridical parable is that the listeners themselves judge the given legal case. In Isa 5,1-7, the listeners are invited to pass judgement, but the speaker does not wait for their reaction and gives the answer himself. The same pattern is followed in Mark 12,9: Jesus asks a question and answers it himself. In the last verse of Isa 5,1-7, it becomes clear that the speaker has been referring to his own listeners. In the same manner, and only at the end of the passage, do Jesus' listeners come to the conclusion that the parable is aimed at them (12,12).

From the above I draw the following conclusions. (a) The connections between Mark 12,1-12 and Isa 5,1-7 are striking. They are found not only in Mark 12,1 where Isa 5,2 is quoted explicitly but also in the following parts of the parable. (b) The parable has been influenced not only by the LXX but also by the Hebrew text. This is of importance regarding the reconstruction of the parable's genesis. The connections with Isa 5 are not merely the result of a later development. This would be the case if it were only the LXX that would have left traces in the parable of the tenants 32. From the similarities Mark shares with the Hebrew text it appears that references to Isa 5 were already present in the earliest strata of the tradition and probably already formed part of the parable as it was told by Jesus himself 33.

Above, I discussed the similarities between Mark 12,1-12 and Isa 5,1-7. There are also great differences. The New Testament text is not a mere copy of its pendant from the Old Testament. In this context the inverted quotation in Mark 12,1 clearly is an indicator. The reader must be alive to the fact that also in the rest of the parable certain elements from Isa 5,1-7 are transformed, and new elements are introduced.

In Isaiah, the vineyard unexpectedly plays a negative role: it produces bad fruit (Hebrew text); it brings forth thorns (LXX). The vineyard in Mark, however, meets the expectations and produces good grapes. This links up with the following transformation. In Isaiah, the vineyard will be destroyed, but in Mark its existence is not threatened. This latter change is connected to the introduction of a new group of characters: the tenants. The vineyard is spared, but the tenants are to be executed because they are not willing to hand over the fruits of the vineyard.

The differences contribute to the new interpretation which Isa 5,1-7 acquires. In Mark, that Old Testament text is used to express fierce criticism of the attitude of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders (11,27). It is with them that Jesus here has an argument 34. At the end of that debate, they discover that Jesus has told the parable against them (12,12). Through the citation from Ps 118,22-23 they have understood that the parable is actually a mirror that reflects their own opposition to Jesus 35. This is certainly the case if we may regard "the builders" as a title which the leaders liked to apply to themselves. According to 12,12 the leaders draw the wrong conclusion from the parable. By looking for a pretext to detain Jesus, they follow the steps of the tenants and consciously set in motion a scenario which they know will have a fatal ending for themselves.

2. The Targum and 4Q500

The rendition of Isa 5,1-7 in the Targum Jonathan strongly differs from the Hebrew text 36. As in the LXX, almost the entire passage is in the first person. By explicitly mentioning the prophet in vv. 1.3, the Targum indicates that the prophet is acting as God's spokesperson. In the Targum, Isa 5,1-7 contains the words of God given to the people through the prophet. In the Hebrew text and in the LXX, it only appears from v. 7 that the vineyard is analogous to the predicament of the audience; in the Targum, however, it is already stated in v. 1 that Israel is like a vineyard and that God's words are aimed at his people.

I already pointed out that Isa 5,1-7 formulates a very sharp contrast between the planting of the vineyard (v. 2) and its destruction (vv. 5-6). Neither in the Hebrew text nor in the LXX does this description refer to any particular incident in Israel's history. The Targum, however, does give a historical interpretation to the establishment and destruction of the vineyard. In fact, the Targum turns Isa 5,1-7 into an allegory. The planting of the vineyard on a fertile hill represents Israel's settlement in a fruitful land; instead of "he built a watchtower in the midst of it and hewed out a wine press in it", the Targum reads "I built my sanctuary in their midst, and I even gave them my altar to make atonement for their sins". The destruction of the vineyard, too, is interpreted in a historical way. Breaking down the wall is replaced by the breaking down of the sanctuaries. The command to the clouds to stop raining upon it represents a command to the prophets that they stop prophesying to the people. The rebellion against the Torah leads to the taking up of God's Shekhinah from Israel. Thus, the Targum links the destruction of the vineyard to the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. This interpretation was very likely inspired by the catastrophic events in the year 70 CE 37.

The preceding remarks demonstrate that the translation of the Hebrew text into Aramaic resulted in several changes in meaning which were influenced by later historical events. In fact, the Targum of Isa 5,1-7 is a very free paraphrase of the Hebrew text.

A second relevant text to be considered is 4Q500. Fragment 1 of this papyrus manuscript contains the remains of seven lines of writing, which are translated by F. García Martínez as follows 38:

[...] may your mulberry trees blossom .... [...]

[...] your winepress, built of stone [...]

[...] at the gate of the holy height [...]

[...] your plantation and the channels of your glory [...]

[...] the branches of your delight to ... [...]

[...] .... [....]

According to García Martínez the last line is blank. Baillet prints the following letters 39: hkm. Presumably it should read hkmrk: "your vineyard" 40.

The fragment, which probably dates from the first century BCE, is so short that only with the greatest reserve can something be said about the words it contains. An obvious possibility to open up this text is to find out whether the many botanical references might indicate a relation with the Hebrew bible. That study was carried out by Baumgarten and by Brooke 41. These scholars come to the same conclusion: "your winepress" and "your delights" refer to Isa 5,2 and Isa 5,7 respectively. The description of the wine-press as "built of stones" picks up the verb )nb from Isa 5,2. If the last line can indeed be read as containing the words "your vineyard", the fragment contains as many as four allusions to Isa 5,1-7.

The interpretation of these references is supported by a number of texts which have been known to us longer. The first is the version of Isa 5,2 in the Targum. There the vineyard is the promised land. The tower and the winepress probably refer to the temple and the altar in Jerusalem. This is not entirely certain, for in Isa 5,5 the Targum speaks of "the place of their sanctuaries". This plural indicates that also other cult centres besides the temple in Jerusalem are in the author's mind. The second text is t.Suk 3,15. Here, R. Jose takes Isa 5,2 to refer to the cult centre in Jerusalem: he links the 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.

A few elements indicate that Mark 12,1-12 might be understood in light of this ancient exegesis of Isa 5,1-7 44. (a) The detailed description of the laying out of the vineyard in Mark 12,1 does not merely serve the embellishment of the story. No, the fencing in of the vineyard, the hacking out of a winepress and the building of a tower get a proper function when they are understood as references to the temple 45. (b) The parable is integrated into a long story about Jesus' activities in the temple (11,27 12,44) 46. (c) The parable is a polemic text which is directed against the Jewish leaders among whom we find the high priests, who are responsible for the management of the temple 47. (d) The Jewish leaders open the discussion with their question about Jesus' authority (11,28). They ask this question in view of Jesus' cleansing of the temple the previous day (11,15-18). (e) The parable is meant to clarify that Jesus' opponents are resisting God by the way they fulfil their task. They are threatened by Jesus' announcement that their leading position will be taken away and be given to others. (f) The parable is followed by a quotation from Ps 118,22-23. This psalm clearly has a cultic setting. The quotation is linked up with the citation from Isa 5,2 by means of a catchword (oi0kodome/w) and reinforces the references to the temple in the opening verse.

From these observations it is clear that the parable is primarily an attack on the Jewish leaders. The parable's present literary setting reflects its original meaning. The parable is not only dependent on the Hebrew text of Isa 5,1-7 and on the LXX version but it is also interwoven with the exegesis of the Isaiah text in early Jewish documents.

III. The Use of Isaiah 5,1-7 in Matthew 21,33-46

This section is dedicated to Matt 21,33-46, its relationship with Mark, and the position of the parable in the wider context of Matthew.

Matthew probably derived the parable of the tenants from Mark. The way in which he renders his Vorlage, shows where he places his own particular emphases. These can be uncovered by means of an analysis in the tradition of redaction criticism. I will confine myself to those elements in Matt 21,33-46 which are related to Isa 5,1-7. First I will investigate how the points of contact with Isaiah encountered in Mark 12,1-12 have been reprocessed by the redactor of the gospel of Matthew: has he merely copied them or does he introduce a number of changes? If the latter is the case, the modifications will form the first clue to Matthew's interpretation of Isa 5,1-7. Next I will address the question of whether in 21,33-46 Matthew also makes links to Isa 5,1-7 which he did not derive from Mark.

The juridical nature of the parable has been preserved in Matthew. This is clear from Jesus' question to his listeners and from the statement at the end that the listeners interpret the parable as a story that reflects their own conflict with Jesus. The function of the parable as a juridical parable is more particularly emphasized by Matthew. In his version, Jesus' interlocutors themselves answer the question that is put to them. They declare that the tenants are villains (kakou/j) and that they deserve death, thus passing sentence on themselves. They do not, however, seem to be immediately aware of this, or they would not have answered Jesus' question so nonchalantly. The change relative to Mark 12,9-10 described here is to be attributed to the redactor 48. On this point he has brought the parable of the tenants in line with the parable of the two sons (21,28-32), which also mentions a vineyard and has characteristics of the juridical parable. The texts are structured in the same way:

1. Parable 21,28-30 21,33-39
2. Jesus' question to his listeners 21,31 21,40
3. Their reply, introduced by le/gousin 21,31 21,41
4. Jesus' conclusion introduced by
    le/gei au0toi=j o9 0Ihsou=j
21,31-32 21,42-44

Special attention should be paid to the quotation in the opening sentence. In this connection it is useful to present a comparative table between the LXX, Mark and Matthew:

Isa 5,2 (LXX) Mark 12,1 Matt 21,33
1. kai\ fragmo\n perie/qhka 1. a0mpelw~na [...] e0fu/teusen 1. e0fu/teusen a0mpelw~na
2. kai\ e0xara/kwsa
3. kai\ e0fu/teusa a1mpelon swrhx 2. kai\ perie/q0hken fragmo\n 2 . kai\ fragmo\n au0tw~| perie/q0hken
4. kai\ w|0kodo/mhsa pu/rgon e0n me/sw| au0tou~ 3. kai\ w1rucen u9polh/nion 3. kai\ w1rucen e0n au0tw~| lhno\n
5. kai\ prolh/nion w1ruca e0n au0tw~| 4. kai\ w0|kodo/mhsen pu/rgon 4. kai\ w0|kodo/mhsen pu/rgon

  Matthew mentions the same four activities as Mark, and also presents them in the same order. This means that Matthew also copied the reversed order, as compared to the LXX, which we encountered in Mark 12,1. In addition, the verb and the corresponding object in Mark's text have changed places in three out of four cases as compared to the LXX. Matthew does not adopt this transposition. He chooses the word order of the LXX, and in one case only does he copy the reversed order as used by Mark (w1rucen ... lhno/n; LXX: prolh/nion w1ruca). We have apparently come across a double tendency. The redactor of Matthew's gospel partly copied the rendering of Isa 5,2 in Mark 12,1; his use of that Old Testament text is therefore as it were filtered by Mark. On the other hand, he also partly differs from Mark 12,1; hence what we have here is also a redactional change, which is inspired by the formulation in the LXX. We therefore conclude that in 21,33 Matthew also goes back to the formulation of Isa 5,1-7 in the LXX 49.

Matthew has omitted only one reference to Isa 5: in 21,37 he simply uses ui9o/j, without a0gaphto/j. On the other hand, he copied a number of references to Isa 5,1-7 verbatim from Mark. These include o9 ku/rioj tou~ a0mpelw~noj (Matt 21,40; Mark 12,9), klhronomi/a (Matt 21,38; Mark 12,7) and parabolh/ (Matt 21,33; cf. Mark 12,1: parabolai/). Even more important is the sense that the early Jewish idea that the vineyard from Isa 5 is a reference to the temple, echoes in the background in both gospels. The debate between Jesus and the Jewish leaders after all takes place in the temple and is introduced by the question into the authority which Jesus had previously displayed when he dissociated himself in a prophetically critical manner from the function of the temple as a cult centre.

I will now address the question of whether Matt 21,33-46 also contains parallels to Isa 5,1-7 which cannot have been derived from Mark. This is indeed the case. I will mention three examples.

(a) The Hebrew text from Isa 5,7 contains a double wordplay (+p#$m / xp#&m and hqdc / hq(c) which is imitated in neither the LXX nor the Targum, but we do find a counterpart in Matt 21,41 (kakou\j kakw~j ...).

(b) The verb qls (= to take away, to remove) in Targum Isa 5,5 corresponds to ai1rw in Matt 21,43 50. In the Targum, God says that he will take his Shekhinah away from Israel; in Matthew Jesus declares that the kingdom of God will be taken away from the Jewish leaders (u9mi~n and a0f 0 u9mw~n!) with whom he is talking 51.

(c) Matt 21,43 mentions "a nation that produces the fruits of the kingdom". The combination of poie/w + karpou/j is a description of correct moral behaviour. Matthew has a predilection for this expression; we find it in Matt 3,8.10 (cf. Luke 3,8.9); Matt 7,17-19 and 12,33 (cf. Luke 6,43) and in Matt 13,26. We may therefore consider this an idiom peculiar to Matthew; however, it is interesting that his choice of words shows remarkable similarities to Isa 5,1-7. I 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.

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 after his arrival in Jerusalem, Jesus came into conflict with the temple authorities. That original opponent is gradually replaced by the Pharisees, i.e. a group with which Matthew's community had a serious conflict towards the last quarter of the first century CE.

The polemic tenor of the parable is confirmed by the literary context. In Matthew the parable of the tenants forms part of a trio, the other two being the parables of the two sons (21,28-32: Sondergut) and of the wedding feast (22,1-14; cf. Luke 14,15-24). These three parables directly follow the discussion about Jesus' authority in 21,23-27. The redactor has reprocessed this heterogenous material into a consistent whole. The parable of the two sons immediately follows Jesus' words in 21,27; the direct speech continues without interruption. After Jesus has applied this parable to his listeners' own conduct, he tells a second parable, again without pause or interruption (21,33a: a1llhn parabolh\n a0kou/sate diff. Mark 12,1), and the narrative sentence at the beginning of the third parable (22,1: pa/lin ei}pen e0n parabolai~j au0toi~j) shows that there is a close relationship to the two preceding parables and that Jesus is still speaking to the same audience.

The three parables are closely related to each other. All three emphasize doing the right thing and are concerned with the kingdom of God (21,31.43) or with the kingdom of heaven (22,1). The first two are linked because both of them deal with a vineyard owner. The second and third parables have the following elements in common: (a) in 21,37-39, we read about the son of the owner of the vineyard, in 22,2, about the son of the king; (b) the formulation of 21,34 (a0pe/steilen tou\j dou/louj au0tou~) is repeated in 22,3; (c) 21,36 and 22,4 are also partly similar (pa/lin a0pe/steilen a1llouj dou/louj); (d) in 22,6, the slaves are murdered; this reminds us of what has been said in 21,35; (e) 21,41 and 22,7 are similar in that they both contain the verb a0po/llumi, and because, in both instances, the murderers are executed.

Thus Matthew has woven the parable of the tenants into a lengthy unit (21,23 22,14), in which especially the chief priests and the Pharisees function as Jesus' opponents. They are not criticized for what they say (in 21,31.41 they in fact give the correct answer to Jesus' questions), but for the way they act (cf. 23,3). Their lack of positive response to John and Jesus is censured. Because they did not believe in John, they actually resemble the second son of whom they express their disapproval and who tells his father he will work in the vineyard but does not act on his words. Since they are looking for an opportunity to eliminate Jesus they are like the tenants of whom they themselves, when the question is put to them, declare that they deserve to be killed. Also, they are continually contrasted with other groups who do make the right choices: the publicans and the prostitutes heed John's call to take the road to righteousness; the crowds, too, appear in a favourable light: in the eyes of the crowds John is a prophet (21,26) and they credit Jesus with the same capability (21,46). Because of their fear of the crowds, the leaders cannot straightaway execute their murderous plans.

The fact that the moral ideal formulated in Matt 21,43 ("a nation that brings forth fruits") contains a negative assessment of the attitude of the chief priests and the Pharisees does not imply that the other characters (the publicans, the prostitutes and the crowds) thoroughly meet the requirements of this ideal. This view is contradicted in the parable of the wedding feast. According to the parable the slaves are requested, after the admonishment of the first group of invited guests, to collect everyone they can find (see o3souj in 22,9 and pa/ntaj in 22,10), without making a distinction between the good and the bad. Thus the company in the hall consists of people from all sections of the moral spectrum, and not exclusively of guests who come up to the ideal expressed in 21,43. The criticism directed at the chief priests and the Pharisees is therefore in principle also applicable to the second group of invitees. Matt 21,43 is not meant as a characterization of a particular, empirically definable group but describes the criterion that in the final judgment is applied to all groups 55. This means that the criticism levelled at the chief priests and the Pharisees also contains a word of warning to disciples of Jesus who are just as unproductive as they are.

The Hebrew text of Isa 5,1-7 forms the starting point of a long and intensive interpretation process. Within that process the versions of the LXX and the Targum represent two relatively independent moments. In both cases elements from the Hebrew text are copied but a number of other elements are fundamentally changed. Here we encounter the fascinating phenomenon that a text from the Hebrew bible is again and again at the basis of new texts. From 4Q500 we can gather that the interpretation offered by the targumist was current in Jesus' and Matthew's time.

The parable of the tenants is a new link in this sequence. Mark's version contains so many traces that point to the influence of the song from Isaiah that one can safely assume that the parable was to a large extent construed on the basis of that ancient song. It is especially important that Mark 12,1-12 is not only interwoven with the versions of Isa 5,1-7 in the Hebrew text and the LXX, but is also closely linked to the interpretations of that text in 4Q500 and the Targum.

The similarities between Mark 12,1-12 and Isa 5,1-7 have been borrowed by Matthew with some minor changes. Moreover, he has further strengthened the connection between the parable and Isa 5,1-7. This means that the song from Isaiah not only played a productive role in the genesis of Mark's version of the parable, but that Matthew, too, in his rendering of the parable in his turn tried to link up with the whole gamut of interpretations that sprang from the Hebrew text of Isa 5,1-7. This point sheds new light on Matthew's use of Scripture: his use of Isa 5,1-7 is partly determined by the elements that were already available in his source (Mark's version). However, he has also himself construed the interpretation offered in Mark 12,1-12 in the light of the broad interpretation history of Isa 5,1-7. Therefore, that text not only influenced older layers in the tradition of the parable but also the way in which that parable was adapted by Matthew at a later stage.

The example that was elaborated here shows that Matthew tried to found Jesus' criticism of the Jewish leaders on the Scriptures 56. The juridical gist of Isa 5,1-7 is fully exploited, such that the denunciation, originally aimed at the house of Israel, is now levelled at Jesus' opponents. This opposition is headed by the chief priests and the Pharisees, but the same role is filled by disciples of Jesus who do not fully address themselves to the moral ideal formulated in 21,43.


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.

1 See the literature listed in note 13.

2 See: M. BAILLET, Qumrân Grotte 4 III (4Q482-4Q520) (DJD 7; Oxford 1982) 78-79; J.M. BAUMGARTEN, "4Q500 and the Ancient Conception of the Lord's Vineyard", JJS 40 (1989) 1-6; G.J. BROOKE, "4Q500 1 and the Use of Scripture in the Parable of the Vineyard", DSD 2 (1995) 268-294.

3 O. LORETZ, "Weinberglied und prophetische Deutung im Protest-Song Jes 5,1-7", UF 7 (1975) 573-576 (here 573,575), criticizes the "prima vista Anschauung [...] dass ein einheitlicher, einstufiger Text vorliege". On the basis of a stichometrical analysis he distinguishes three stages in the genesis of Isa 5,1-7: (a) a love-song (5,1b-2); (b) the prophet's protest song (5,1a'.7c); (c) a further elaboration of that prophetical text (5,1a".3-7b). This brief outline of the genesis does not imply that in its present form Isa 5,1-7 is not a coherent text. The unity of this text emerges from the repeated use of Mrk (vv., hwq (vv. 2.4.7; the subject always being the owner of the vineyard) and h#&( (in vv. 2.4 this verb refers to the produce of the vineyard, in v. 4 to the activities that the owner carried out in the past, and in v. 5 to that which he is going to undertake in the future). Demarcating Isa 5,1-7 with respect to the preceding text (Isa 2-4) offers no problems. The caesura after 5,7 is not very profound. The six woe-oracles in 5,8-24, followed by the announcement of the destruction of the people (5,25-30), explicitly formulate the social injustice of which the house of Israel is accused in 5,7. Cf. J.A. ALEXANDER, Commentary on the Prophecies of Isaiah (Grand Rapids 1980, repr. from 1953, first edition 1865) 126-131. According to Y. GITAY, Isaiah and his Audience. The Structure and Meaning of Isaiah 112 (SSN 30; Assen Maastricht 1991) 87-116, Isa 5,1-30 is a textual unit, introduced by vv. 1-7.

4 According to M.L. FOLMER, "A Literary Analysis of the 'Song of the Vineyard' (Is. 5:1-7)", JEOL 29 (1985) 106-123, Isa 5,1-7 can be grouped into four stanzas (vv. 1b-2; vv. 3-4; vv. 5-6; v. 7). The poem begins with an introduction (v. 1a), which is strongly connected to the first stanza. M.C.A. KORPEL, "The Literary Genre of the Song of the Vineyard (Isa. 5:1-7)", The Structural Analysis of Biblical and Canaanite Poetry (ed. W. VAN DER MEER J.C. DE MOOR) (JSOTSS 74; Sheffield 1988) 119-155, uncovers a similar structure.

5 For a semiotic analysis of this phenomenon see: N.J. TROMP, "Un démasquage graduel. Lecture immanente d'Is 5,1-7", The Book of Isaiah Le Livre d'Isaïe. Les oracles et leurs relectures. Unité et complexité de l'ouvrage (ed. J. VERMEYLEN) (BETL 81; Leuven 1989) 197-202.

6 These solutions for the translation problems in v. 1a are from J.A. EMERTON, "The Translation of Isaiah 5,1", The Scriptures and the Scrolls (ed. F. GARCÍA MARTÍNEZ A. HILHORST C.J. LABUSCHAGNE) (VTS 49; Leiden - New York - Köln 1992) 18-30.

7 Cf. T. SCHMELLER, "Der Erbe des Weinbergs. Zu den Gerichtsgleichnissen Mk 12,1-12 und Jes 5,1-7", MTZ 46 (1995) 188: "1a wirkt zwar [...] zunächst wie eine Überschrift oder Einleitung des ganzen folgenden Texts, erweist sich im Nachhinein aber als Einleitung nur für 1f."

8 That this stanza consists of two sub-units (B1: vv. 3-4; B2: vv. 5-6) appears from the repetition of ht(w (vv. 3.5).

9 Verses 4a and 4b begin with an interrogative word (hm in v. 4a and (wdm in v. 4b), introducing two questions apparently anticipating a negative response. These particles are followed by the infinitive tw#&(l. Both in v. 4a and in v. 4b, h#&( is mentioned twice. Both verse parts contain the perfect first person singular (yty#&( in v. 4a and ytywq in v. 4b).

10 Perhaps this identification was prepared for as early as verse 6 where it appears that the owner is some one who can manipulate the clouds and the rain.

11 Verse 7c contains a double pun: +p#$m / xp#&m and hqdc / hq(c.

12 Much research has been done concerning the literary genre of Isa 5,1-7. The results differ strongly. J.T. WILLIS, "The Genre of Isaiah 5,1-7", JBL 96 (1977) 337-362, lists twelve different types of solutions.

13 According to W. SCHOTTROFF, "Das Weinberglied Jesajas (Jes 5,1-7). Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Parabel", ZAW 82 (1970) 68-91, Isa 5,1-7 is a fable, but he considers v. 7 as "eine Anwendung ...., welche die ... Fabel in eine Parabel ... umschlagen lässt" (89). Isa 5,1-7 is also considered to be a prophetic judgement oracle into which a parable is woven (cf. H. NIEHR, "Zur Gattung von Jes 5,1-7", BZ 30 [1986] 99-104: "eine anklagende Gerichtsparabel"). On the basis of her study into the poetic structure of the text Korpel, "Literary Genre", 152-155, comes to the conclusion that Isa 5,1-7 is an allegory. Willis' proposal ("Genre", 359) is "to classify the literary type of this pericope as a parable, and to describe its contents as a parabolic song of a disappointed husbandman". That Isa 5,1-7 is a particular type of parable, namely a juridical parable, is defended by A. GRAFFY, "The Literary Genre of Isaiah 5,1-7", Bib 60 (1979) 400-409; G.A. YEE, "A Form-Critical Study of Isaiah 5,1-7 as a Song and a Juridical Parable", CBQ 43 (1981) 30-40; G.T. SHEPPARD, "More on Isaiah 5,1-7 as a Juridical Parable", CBQ 44 (1982) 45-47. In view of these three studies, C.A. EVANS, Jesus and His Contemporaries. Comparative Studies (AGJU 25; Leiden 1995) 396, concludes "that a consensus has emerged in which Isaiah's Song of the Vineyard is understood as an instance of the genre juridical parable". See also C.A. EVANS, "On the Vineyard Parables of Isaiah 5 and Mark 12", BZ 28 (1984) 82-86.

14 U. SIMON, "The Poor Man's Ewe Lamb. An Example of a Juridical Parable", Bib 48 (1967) 207-242 (here 220-221).

15 The rhetorical pattern of Isa 5,1-7 is comparable to the pattern of 2 Sam 12,1-7a; 14,1-20; 1 Kgs 20,35-42. See: Graffy, "Literary Genre", 404-406, and Yee, "A Form-Critical Study", 33-34.

16 G.R. WILLIAMS, "Frustrated Expectations in Isaiah V 1-7: A Literary Interpretation", VT 35 (1985) 464: "Judah is the historical continuation of that Israel to whom Yahweh gave the land of Canaan."

17 The quotation from Isa 5,2 is also found in Matt 21,33 but it is absent in Luke 20,9 and in Gos.Thom. 65. Still, C.A. KIMBALL writes in "Jesus' Exposition of Scripture in Luke 20:9-19. An Inquiry in Light of Jewish Hermeneutics", BBR 3 (1993) 85: "In its literary form the Luke 20:9-18 pericope is a proem-like midrash on Isa 5:1-2, its opening text, which is expounded by a parable ..." (my italics). For an analysis of Gos. Thom. 65 I refer to: B. Dehandschutter, "La parabole des vignerons homicides (Mc., XII,1-12) et l'évangile selon Thomas", L'Évangile selon Marc. Tradition et rédaction (ed. M. SABBE) (BETL 34; Leuven 1974) 203-219; W.G. MORRICE, "The Parable of the Tenants and the Gospel of Thomas", ExpTim 98 (1987) 104-107; K.R. SNODGRASS, "The Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen. Is the Gospel of Thomas Version the Original?", NTS 21 (1975) 142-144; id., The Parable of the Wicked Tenants. An Inquiry into Parable Interpretation (WUNT 27; Tübingen 1983) 52-54.

18 Perhaps the replacement in v. 1a of wmrkl ("his vineyard") by tw|~ a0mpelw~ni/ mou ("my vineyard") must be understood against this background. However, this last-mentioned modification forms a new inconsistency, for in v. 1a the singer calls the vineyard his property, while in v. 1b he states that the vineyard belongs to his friend (a0mpelw\n e0genh/qh tw~| h0gaphme/nw|).

19 J.A.T. ROBINSON, "The Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen: A Test of Synoptic Relationships", NTS 21 (1974-75) 445 note 8, minimises the difference: "The Hebrew of Isa v. 2, 'he dug it up', is rendered by the LXX, 'I fenced it round'." Possibly, the hapax qz( (= "dig about": L. KOEHLER W. BAUMGARTNER, Lexicon, 695) has been rendered by e0xara/kwsa under the influence of the Aramaic )tqz( ()qz( = "clasp" or "ring": M. JASTROW, Dictionary, 1062). Cf. M.P. MILLER, Scripture and Parable. A Study of the Function of the Biblical Features in the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen and Their Place in the History of Tradition (Unpublished Ph. D. Dissertation; Columbia University 1974) 62.

20 See: A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint. Part II: A-W (compiled by J. LUST - E. EYNIKEL K. HAUSPIE) (Stuttgart 1996) 513: xarako/w = "to fence in with stakes" (cf. F. REHKOPF, Septuaginta-Vokabular [Göttingen 1989] 308: "mit Pfählen versehen"). The verb xarako/w occurs twice in the LXX (Isa 5,2; Jer 39,2; cf. xara/kwsij in Deut 20,20) and is not found in the New Testament. In Oda 10,2, kai\ e0xara/kwsa is missing.

21 In this connection I point to a minor difference. In the LXX, we read about the instantaneous sprouting of thorns (vv. 2.4: e0poi/hsen de\ a0ka/nqaj); in the Hebrew text, this only occurs after the vineyard has been laid waste (v. 6).

22 Robinson, "Parable", 445: "the reference to the 'fence' depends on the use of the Greek Bible".

23 swrhx is a transcription of qr#& (= choice grapes); in Oda 10,2, swrhx has been replaced by swrhk.

24 In the LXX, prolh/nion (vat fronting a wine press) as a translation of bqy only occurs in Isa 5,2 and Oda 10,2. In Mark, u9polh/nion is mentioned (vessel or vat placed under the wine press); in the LXX, we find this word as a translation of bqy (see Joel 3(4),13; Hag 2,17 (16); Zech 14,10; Isa 16,10).

25 P.C. BEENTJES, "Discovering a New Path of Intertextuality. Inverted Quotations and Their Dynamics", Literary Structure and Rhetorical Strategies in the Hebrew Bible (ed. L.J. DE REGT J. DE WAARD J.P. FOKKELMAN) ( Assen 1996) 31-50 (esp. 44).

26 Beentjes, "Discovering", 44.

27 Beentjes, "Discovering", 49.

28 Cf. A.A. MILAVEC, "Mark's Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen as Reaffirming God's Predilection for Israel", JES 26 (1989) 289-312 (here 295): "[...] Mark did not repeat verbatim the Greek opening of Isaiah's parable. [...] By borrowing and noticeably modifying a familiar opening, an artful storyteller evokes the mood and theme of a familiar story, while simultaneously signalling that a new version of the old parable is about to begin..." (italics Milavec's).

28 Cf. H.-W. KLAUCK, Allegorie und Allegorese in synoptischen Gleichnistexten (NTAbh NF 13; Münster 1978) 287: "Ein [...] Einfluß von Jes 5,1 LXX, wo tou~ a0gaphtou~ und tw~| h0gaphme/nw| vorkommen, ist nicht auszuschließen". Also Schmeller, "Der Erbe des Weinbergs", 193, takes the view that the addition of a0gaphto/j to ui9o/j in Mark 12,6 has been influenced by the same word in Isa 5,1 LXX.

30 C.A. EVANS, Jesus, 401 note 42.

31 See: M. HENGEL, "Das Gleichnis von den Weingärtnern Mc 12,1-12 im Lichte der Zenonpapyri und der rabbinischen Gleichnisse", ZNW 59 (1968) 1-39 (here 7). J. JEREMIAS, Die Gleichnisse Jesu (Tübingen 81970, durchgesehene Aufl.) 72, erroneously links up Mk 12,9 par. and ti/ poih/sw in Isa 5,5 and he writes the following: "hier [ist] nicht der hebräische Text benutzt (der nicht die Frageform hat), sondern die Septuaginta". ti/ poih/sei from Mk 12,9 should rather be linked up with ti/ poih/sw in Isa 5,4a. In the Hebrew text as well as in the LXX, Isa 5,4a takes the form of a question. In Isa 5,4 the Hebrew text contains two interrogative sentences; at this point the LXX contains one interrogative sentence, followed by a causal clause, introduced by dio/ti.

32 Erroneously defended by Jeremias, Gleichnisse, 68 (with regard to. Jes 5,1): "... gegen die Ursprünglichkeit der Bezugnahme auf Jes. 5 [macht] bedenklich, daß die Septuaginta benutzt ist. Die Anknüpfung an Jes. 5 dürfte [...] sekundäre Ausgestaltung sein". With regard to Mk 12,9 he says: "... auch hier [ist] nicht der hebräische Text benutzt [...], sondern die Septuaginta. Mit der Schlussfrage [...] fällt auch die Antwort, die sie findet, als ursprünglicher Bestandteil der Überlieferung" (72). See also Klauck, Allegorie, 287: "kai\ perie\qhken fragmo\n kai\ w1rucen u9polh/nion kai\ w0|kodo/mhsen 12,1c [enthält] Anklänge an das Weinberglied des Jesaja in der LXX-Fassung und muß als sekundäre, aber vormarkinische Erweiterung gelten. Die sprachliche Brücke für diese Einfügung bilden a0mpelw~na e0fu/teusen Mk 12,1b und a0mpelw\n e0genh/qh, bzw. e0fu/teusa a1mpelon Jes 5,1-2 LXX".

33 My conclusions are in agreement with the nuanced view of T. SCHMELLER, "Der Erbe des Weinbergs", 194: "Sowohl am Anfang wie am Ende des Gleichnisses finden sich deutliche Bezugnahmen auf Jes 5. An beiden Stellen begegnen Anklänge an LXX, die auf eine sekundäre Bearbeitung schließen lassen. An beiden Stellen begegnen aber auch gewisse Anklänge an MT, die zeigen, daß Bezüge auf Jes 5 wohl schon zum ursprünglichen Gleichnis gehörten und sekundär verstärkt wurden". According to Evans, Jesus, 396, Mark 12,1-12 as a whole is profoundly influenced by Isa 5,1-7: "In the Marcan parable Isaiah 5 provides the point of departure on which the new parable may be constructed" (here 396). In order to substantiate this assertion Evans points out a number of "Semitic features" which were already present in an early stage of the tradition (here 401, note 42).

34 Criticism of the leaders can also be found in Isa 3,12 ("My people, your leaders mislead you") and in Isa 3,14-15 ("The LORD enters into judgement with the elders and princes of his people: It is you who have devoured the vineyard; the spoil of the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people, by grinding the face of the poor? says the LORD GOD of hosts."). Cf. SHEPPARD, "More on Isaiah 5:1-7", 46. The verb r(b (Isa 3,14 and 5,5) confirms the relationship between Isa 3,14-15 and 5,1-7.

35 The parable is mirrored in the quotation from Ps 118,22-23: the tenants correspond to the builders, the owner of the vineyard (o9 ku/rioj tou~ a0mpelw~noj) corresponds to God (ku/rioj), and the son corresponds to the stone. The son is killed by the tenants in the same way that the stone is rejected by the builders. However, the quotation also adds a new element which is absent in the parable: God will bring about a new situation by making the rejected stone the cornerstone. For a closer study into the quotation from Ps 118,22-23 I refer to M. BERDER, "La pierre rejetée par les bâtisseurs". Psaume 118,22-23 et son emploi dans les traditions juives et dans le Nouveau Testament (EB NS 31; Paris 1996).

36 See: J. F. STENNING, The Targum of Isaiah (Oxford 1949) 16-17; B.D. CHILTON, The Isaiah Targum. Introduction, Translation, Apparatus and Notes (The Aramaic Bible 11; Wilmington - Delaware 1987) 10-11; see also: B.D. CHILTON, The Glory of Israel. The Theology and Provenience of the Isaiah Targum (JSOTSS 23; Sheffield 1982).

37 See: Höffken, "Probleme in Jesaja 5,1-7", ZTK 79 (1982) 392-410 (here 409).

38 F. GARCÍA MARTÍNEZ, The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated. The Qumran Texts in English (Leiden 1994) 402.

39 Baillet, Qumrân Grotte 4 III, 78-79.

40 Baumgarten, "Ancient Conception", 2; Brooke, "Use of Scripture", 270.

41 See note 40. Cf. also EVANS, Jesus, 400-401.

42 See: Strack-Billerbeck, I, 867. Evans, Jesus, 400, also points out that the vineyard from Isa 5,1 is a metaphor for Jerusalem and the temple in 4Q500.

43 Chilton, The Isaiah Targum, XXVI.

44 In this paragraph, I subscribe to some views of Brooke, "Use of Scripture", 279-291.

45 Rightly seen by E. LOHMEYER, "Das Gleichnis von den bösen Weingärtnern (Mark. 12,1-12), ZST 18 (1941) 247-248.

46 R.H. GUNDRY, The Use of the Old Testament in St. Matthew's Gospel. With Special Reference to the Messianic Hope (NTS 18; Leiden 1967) 44: "Since Jesus speaks this parable upon entering the Temple, it is probable that he had in mind the Targumic interpretation of the tower as the Temple".

47 That the parable could be understood as an attack on cultic hierarchy and that Jesus' opponents took the imagery in terms of this interpretation is confirmed by B. CHILTON C.A. EVANS, "Jesus and Israel's Scriptures", Studying the Historical Jesus: Evaluations of the Present State of Current Research (ed. B. Chilton C.A. EVANS) (NTTS 19; Leiden New York Köln 1994) 305.

48 Klauck, Allegorie, 311: "Mt hat die Winzerparabel in eine Parabeltrilogie hineingestellt, die thematisch und sprachlich derart aufeinander abgestimmt ist, daß sie als überlegte redaktionelle Schöpfung gelten muß". An extensive study of the relationship between Matt 21,33-46 and 22,1-14 is made by: R.J. DILLON, "Towards a Tradition-History of the Parables of the True Israel (Matthew 21,33-22,14), Bib 47 (1966) 1-42.

49 A further confirmation is the fact that he inserts e0n au0tw~| after w1rucen. I do not agree with J. GNILKA, Das Matthäusevangelium. 2. Teil (HTKNT I/2; Freiburg Basel Wien 1988) 227: "Man kann nicht sagen, daß Mt sich mehr als Mk an den LXX-Text anlehnt."

50 This parallel was observed by M. HUBAUT, La parabole des vignerons homicides (CahRB 16; Paris 1976) 77-79.

51 This correlation was also observed by L. Sabourin, L'évangile selon Saint Matthieu et ses principaux parallèles (Rome 1978) 278.

52 In Isaiah, the image of the vineyard refers to Israel (Isa 5,7), or more precisely, to the population of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Isa 5,3). In Matthew, this image is more difficult to decode. If we juxtapose Mt 21,41 (to\n a0mpelw~na e0kdw/setai) and 21,43 (h9 basilei/a tou~ qeou~ ... doqh/setai), the conclusion emerges that the vineyard stands for the kingdom of God, but the remainder of 21,43 speaks rather of a nation that yields the fruits. It thus makes a close connection between the nation and the vineyard from the parable, since that, too, is highly productive.

53 W. TRILLING, Das wahre Israel. Studien zur Theologie des Matthäusevangeliums (SANT 10; München 31964) 58-63, argues that Matt 21,43 has been formulated by the evangelist himself. To me it seems better to say that in constructing this verse Matthew has used some traditional elements.

54 A. OGAWA, "Paraboles de l'Israël véritable? Reconsidération critique de Mt. XXI 28 - XXII 14", NT 21 (1979) 121-149 (here 129).

55 Often, Matt 21,43 is taken as evidence that the Matthean community saw itself as the nation which replaced the rejected Israel: Trilling, Das wahre Israel, 55-66; G. STRECKER, Der Weg der Gerechtigkeit. Untersuchungen zur Theologie des Matthäus (FRLANT 82; Göttingen 21966) 111,169; J. SCHNIEWIND, Das Evangelium nach Matthäus (NTD 2; Göttingen 121968; Sabourin, L'évangile selon Saint Matthieu, 278. A more nuanced interpretation is given by: Ogawa, "Paraboles", 138-139.149; F. MUSSNER, "Die bösen Winzer nach Matthäus 21,33-46 ", Anti-judaismus im Neuen Testament? Exegetische und systematische Beiträge (Hrsg. W.P. ECKERT N.P. LEVINSON M. STÖHR) (Abhandlungen zum christlich-jüdischen Dialog; München 1967) 129-134.

56 This aim explicitly emerges when Jesus introduces a citation from the Scriptures with a question to his opponents of whether they have never read that text (12,3.5; 21,16). That question is also asked in 21,42 introducing the citation from Ps 118,22-23. In comparison with this citation the references to Isa 5,1-7 are of a more implicit nature.