A Passage Jesus is alluding to here: Isaiah 5

Let me sing a song for my beloved,
a love song concerning his vineyard.
My beloved had a vineyard
on a very fertile hill.

He digged it and cleared it of stones,
and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watchtower in the midst of it
and hewed out a wine vat in it

and he looked for it to yield grapes
but it yielded wild grapes.

And now, oh inhabitants of Jerusalem
and men of Judah,
judge, I pray you, between me
and my vineyard.

What more was there to do for my vineyard
that I have not done in it?
When I looked for it to yield grapes
why did it yield wild grapes?

And now I will tell you
what I will do to my vineyard.

I will remove its hedge
and it shall be devoured;
I will break down its wall
and it shall be trampled down.

I will make it a waste;
it shall not be pruned or hoed
and briers and thorns shall grow up;
I shall also command the clouds
that they rain no rain upon it.

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts
is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah
are his pleasant planting–

and he looked for justice,
but behold, bloodshed!–
for righteousness,
but behold, a cry!

Woe to those who join house to house,
who add field to field
until there is no more room
and you are made to dwell alone
in the midst of the land.

The Lord of hosts has sworn in my hearing;
surely many houses shall be desolate,
large and beautiful houses
without inhabitants.
For ten acres of vineyard shall yield
but one bath,
and a homer of seed shall yield
but an ephah.

Woe to those who rise early in the morning
that they may run after strong drink,
who tarry long into the evening
til wine inflames them!
They have lyre and harp,
timbrel and flute and wine at their feasts;

they do not regard the deeds of the Lord
or see the work of his hands.

Therefore my people go into exile
for want of knowledge;
their honored men are dying of hunger
and their multitude is parched with thirst,

Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite
and opened its mouth beyond measure,
and the multitude go down,
her throng and he who exults in her.

Man is bowed down and men are brought low
and the eyes of the haughty are humbled
for the Lord of hosts its exalted in justice,
and the holy God shows
himself holy in righteousness.

Then shall the lambs graze as in their pastures;
fatlings and kids shall feed among the ruins.

Woe to those who draw iniquity
with cords of falsehood,
who draw sin with as with cart ropes,
who say “Let Him make haste,
let Him speed His work
that we may see it;
let the purpose of the Holy One of Israel draw near
and let it come, that we may see it!”

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter!

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
and shrewd in their own sight!
Woe to those who are heroes
at drinking wine
and valiant men in mixing strong drink,

who acquit the guilty for a bribe
and deprive the innocent of his right!

Therefore, as the tongue of fire
devours the stubble
and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
so their root will be as rottenness,
and their blossum go up like dust;

for they have rejected the law
of the Lord of hosts
and have despised the word
of the Holy One of Israel.

Therefore the anger of the Lord
was kindled against his people
and he stretched out his hand against them
and smote them;

and the mountains quaked,
and their corpses were as refuse
in the midst of the streets.

For all this his anger is not turned away
and his hand is stretched out still.

He will raise a signal for a nation afar off
and whistle for it from the ends of the earth;
and lo, swiftly, speedily it comes!
None is weary; none stumbles;
none slumbers or sleeps;
not a waistcloth is loose
nor a sandal-thong broken;

their arrows are sharp;
all their bows bent;
their horses’ hooves seem like flint
and their wheels like the whirlwind.

Their roaring is like a lion;
Like young lions they roar.
They growl and seize their prey;
they carry it off and none can rescue.

They will growl over it on that day
like the roaring of the sea.
And if one look to the land,
behold, darkness and distress;
and the light is dwindled by clouds.

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One response

  1. The last time someone (Isaiah) delivered an oracle like this, Jerusalem (and all of Judea) were conquered and the Temple destroyed.Jesus isn’t just quoting a few familiar words here; the early readers of this are familiar enough with the scriptures to know where he got them, and know what’s implied.The only difference–In Mark 12 he’s laying the responsibility, not on the vineyard but on the leaders given authority over it.He is not making himself popular with this parable.

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