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  • VINCENT'S NEW TESTAMENT
    WORD STUDIES - LUKE 18

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    CHAPTER XVIII

    THE PARABLES OF THE UNJUST JUDGE AND THE PHARISEE AND PUBLICAN.

    Peculiar to Luke. 1-14.

    1. To the end that men ought (prov to dein). Lit., with reference to its being necessary always to pray, etc.

    Faint (egkakein). To turn coward or lose heart.

    2. Regarded (entrepomenov). See on Matt. xxi. 37.

    3. Avenge (ekdikhson). The word is too strong. It means do me justice. See on Rom. xii. 19.

    5. Lest by her continual coming she weary me (ina mh eiv telov ercomenh upwpiazh me). Eijv telov, lit., unto the end, may mean continually; but weary or wear out for uJpwpiazh is more than doubtful. That word is from uJpwpion, the part of the face under the eyes, and means to strike under the eye; to give one a black eye. It is used only once again, by Paul, 1 Cor. ix. 27, and in its literal sense: "I buffet my body;" treat it as the boxer does his adversary. The more literal sense of this word, and of eijv telov, in the end, or finally, give a sound and much livelier meaning here. "Lest at last she come and assault me." So Goebel and Meyer, and so Wyc., "Lest at the last she, coming, strangle me;" and Tynd., "Lest at the last she come and rail on me." The judge fears lest importunity may culminate in personal violence. Perhaps, also, as Goebel suggests, he intentionally exaggerates his fear.

    6. The unjust judge. Lit., the judge of injustice. See on ch. xvi. 8.

    7. And shall not God. The emphasis is on God. In the Greek order, "and God, shall he not," etc.

    Though he bear long with them. A very different passage, and interpretations vary greatly.

    (1.) The verb makroqumew means to be long-suffering, or to endure patiently. Such is its usual rendering in the New Testament.

    (2.) Them (autoiv) refers not to the persecutors of God's elect, but to the elect themselves. The Rev. cuts the knot by the most literal of renderings: "and he is long-suffering over (epi) them."

    (3.) The secondary meaning of restraining or delaying may fairly be deduced from the verb, and explained either (a) of delaying punishment, or (b) of delaying sympathy or help.

    The Am. Rev. adopts the former, and throws the sentence into the form of a question: "And is he slow to punish on their behalf" (ep autoiv)? I venture to suggest the following: Kai not infrequently has the sense of yet, or and yet. So Euripides: "Thou are Jove-born, and yet (kai) thy utterance is unjust" ("Helena," 1147). Aristophanes: "O crown, depart, and joy go with thee: yet (kai) I part from thee unwillingly" ("Knights," 1249). So John ix. 30: "Ye know not from whence he is, and yet (kai) he hath opened my eyes." John xvi. 32: "Ye shall leave me alone, and yet (kai) I am not alone," etc. Render, then, "Shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry unto him day and night; yet he delayeth help on their behalf," even as the unjust judge delayed to avenge the widow? Surely he will, and that ere long. This rendering, instead of contrasting God with the judge, carries out the parallel. The judge delays through indifference. God delays also, or seems to delay, in order to try his children's faith, or because his purpose is not ripe; but he, too, will do justice to the suppliant. Tynd., Yea, though he defer them.

    "He hides himself so wondrously, As though there were no God; He is least seen when all the powers Of ill are most abroad. O there is less to try our faith, In our mysterious creed, Than in the godless look of earth In these our hours of need. It is not so, but so it looks; And we lose courage then; And doubts will come if God hath kept His promises to men."

    FABER.

    8. Nevertheless. Notwithstanding God is certain to vindicate, will the Son of man find on earth a persistence in faith answering to the widow's?

    9. Despised (exouqenountav). Lit., made nothing of. Rev., set at nought. Others (touv loipouv). The expression is stronger. Lit., the rest. They threw all others beside themselves into one class. Rev., correctly, all others.

    10. The other (eterov). With an implication of his being a different man. See on Matt. vi. 24.

    Publican. See on ch. iii. 12.

    11. Stood (satqeiv). Lit., having been placed. Took his stand. It implies taking up his position ostentatiously; striking an attitude. But no necessarily in a bad sense. See on ch. xix. 8; and compare Acts v. 20. Standing was the ordinary posture of the Jews in prayer. Compare Matt. vi. 5; Mark xi. 25.

    Prayed (proshuceto). Imperfect: began to pray, or proceeded to pray. Other men (oi loipoi twn anqrwpwn). Lit., the rest of men. See on ver.

    9. A Jewish saying is quoted that a true Rabbin ought to thank God every day of his life; 1, that he was not created a Gentile; 2, that he was not a plebeian; 3, that he was not born a woman.

    Extortioners. As the publicans.

    This publican. Lit., this (one), the publican. This publican here. "He lets us see, even in the general enumeration, that he is thinking of the publican, so, afterward, he does not omit directly to mention him" (Goebel).

    12. Twice in the week. The law required only one fast in the year, that on the great day of Atonement (Lev. xvi. 29; Num. xxix. 7); though public memorial fasts were added, during the Captivity, on the anniversaries of national calamities. The Pharisees fasted every Monday and Thursday during the weeks between the Passover and Pentecost, and again between the Feast of Tabernacles and that of the Dedication of the Temple.

    I give tithes (apodekatw). See on Matt. xxiii. 23.

    Possess (ktwmai). Wrong. The Israelite did not pay tithes of his possessions, but only of his gains - his annual increase. See Genesis xxviii. 22; Deut. xiv. 22. Besides, the verb, in the present tense, does not mean to possess, but to acquire; the meaning possess being confined to the perfect and pluperfect. Rev., get. Compare Matt. x. 9 (Rev.); Acts xxii. 28; Luke xxi. 19 (on which see note); 1 Thess. iv. 4 (Rev.).

    13. Standing (estwv). In a timid attitude: merely standing, not posturing as the Pharisee. See on ver. 11.

    Afar off. Some explain, from the sanctuary; others, from the Pharisee. Lift up his eyes. As worshippers ordinarily.

    Be merciful (ilasqhti). Lit., be propitiated.

    A sinner (tw amartwlw). With the definite article, "the sinner." "He thinks about no other man" (Bengel).

    15-17. Compare Matt. xix. 13-15; Mark x. 13-16.

    15. Infants (ta brefh). See on 1 Pet. ii. 2.

    Touch. So Mark. Matthew has lay his hands on them and pray.

    16. Suffer. See on Matt. xix. 14. Only Mark notes the taking in his arms.

    18-30. Compare Matt. xix. 16-30; xx. 1-16; Mark x. 17-31.

    18. Ruler. Peculiar to Luke.

    20. Why callest thou me good? See on Matt. xix. 17.

    Do not commit adultery, etc. Compare the different arrangement of the commandments by the three synoptists.

    22. Yet lackest thou one thing (eti en soi leipei). Lit., still one thing is lacking to thee. Mark alone adds that Jesus, looking upon him, loved him.

    Come (deuro). Lit., hither.

    23. He was very sorrowful. Rev., more correctly renders ejgenhqh, he became. See on Mark x. 22.

    Very rich. The Greek order forms a climax: "rich exceedingly."

    25. Camel. See on Matt. xix. 24.

    To go through the eye of a needle (dia trhmatov belonhv eiselqein). Rev., more literally, to enter in through a needle's eye. Both Matthew and Mark use another word for needle (rafiv); see on Mark x. 25. Luke alone has belonh, which, besides being an older term, is the peculiar word for the surgical needle. The other word is condemned by the Greek grammatrians as barbarous.

    28. All (panta). The best texts read ta idia, our own. So Rev. 31-34. Compare Matt. xx. 17-19. Mark x. 32-34.

    31. By the prophets (dia). Lit., through; the preposition expressing secondary agency.

    34. Saying (rhma). See on ch. i. 37.

    Were said (legomena). Or, more correctly, which were being said to them at the moment.

    35-43.; xix. 1. Compare Matt. xx. 29-34. Mark x. 46-52.

    39. Cried (ekrazen). A stronger word than ejbohsen, cried, in the previous verse, which is merely to cry or shout, while this is to cry clamorously; to scream or shriek. Compare Matt. xv. 23; Mark v. 5; Acts xix. 28-34.

    To be brought unto (acqhnai prov). Used by Luke alone in the sense of bringing the sick to Christ. He also uses the compound verb prsoagw, which was a common medical term for bringing the sick to a physician, both in that and in other senses. See ch. ix. 41; Acts xvi. 20; xxvii. 27.

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