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.
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.