VINCENT'S WORD STUDIES
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Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT
THE PARABLES OF THE UNJUST JUDGE AND THE PHARISEE AND PUBLICAN.
Peculiar to Luke. 1-14.
Faint (egkakein). To turn coward or lose heart.
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."
Publican. See on ch. iii. 12.
Prayed (proshuceto). Imperfect: began to pray, or proceeded to pray. Other men (oi loipoi twn anqrwpwn). Lit., the rest of men. See on ver.
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).
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.).
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.
Touch. So Mark. Matthew has lay his hands on them and pray.
18-30. Compare Matt. xix. 16-30; xx. 1-16; Mark x. 17-31.
Do not commit adultery, etc. Compare the different arrangement of the commandments by the three synoptists.
Come (deuro). Lit., hither.
Very rich. The Greek order forms a climax: "rich exceedingly."
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.
31-34. Compare Matt. xx. 17-19. Mark x. 32-34.
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.
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.