Luke 18:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought.

New Living Translation
"There was a judge in a certain city," he said, "who neither feared God nor cared about people.

English Standard Version
He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man.

Berean Study Bible
"In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected men.

Berean Literal Bible
saying, "In a certain city, there was a certain judge, not fearing God, and not respecting man.

New American Standard Bible
saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man.

King James Bible
Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"There was a judge in a certain town who didn't fear God or respect man.

International Standard Version
He said, "In a city there was a judge who didn't fear God or respect people.

NET Bible
He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people.

New Heart English Bible
saying, "There was a judge in a certain city who did not fear God, and did not respect man.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“There was in one city a certain judge who did not worship God and did not honor the children of men.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
He said, "In a city there was a judge who didn't fear God or respect people.

New American Standard 1977
saying, “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God, and did not respect man.

Jubilee Bible 2000
saying, There was in a city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man;

King James 2000 Bible
Saying, There was in a city a judge, who feared not God, neither regarded man:

American King James Version
Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

American Standard Version
saying, There was in a city a judge, who feared not God, and regarded not man:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Saying: There was a judge in a certain city, who feared not God, nor regarded man.

Darby Bible Translation
saying, There was a judge in a city, not fearing God and not respecting man:

English Revised Version
saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, and regarded not man:

Webster's Bible Translation
Saying, There was in a city a judge, who feared not God, neither regarded man.

Weymouth New Testament
"In a certain town," He said, "there was a judge who had no fear of God and no respect for man.

World English Bible
saying, "There was a judge in a certain city who didn't fear God, and didn't respect man.

Young's Literal Translation
saying, 'A certain judge was in a certain city -- God he is not fearing, and man he is not regarding --
Study Bible
The Persistent Widow
1Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray at all times and not lose heart: 2“- In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected men. 3And there was a widow in that town who kept appealing to him, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’…
Cross References
Luke 18:3
And there was a widow in that town who kept appealing to him, 'Give me justice against my adversary.'

Luke 18:4
For a while he refused, but later he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God or respect men,

Luke 20:13
What shall I do?' asked the owner of the vineyard. 'I will send my beloved son. Perhaps they will respect him.'

Hebrews 12:9
Furthermore, we have all had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we respected them. Should we not much more submit to the Father of our spirits and live?
Treasury of Scripture

Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:

city. Gr. certain city. which.

Luke 18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, …

Exodus 18:21,22 Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as …

2 Chronicles 19:3-9 Nevertheless there are good things found in you, in that you have …

Job 29:7-17 When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my …

Psalm 8:1-4 O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is your name in all the earth! who …

Jeremiah 22:16,17 He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well with …

Ezekiel 22:6-8 Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in you to their power …

Micah 3:1-3 And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and you princes of …

Romans 3:14-18 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness…

regarded.

Proverbs 29:7 The righteous considers the cause of the poor: but the wicked regards …

Isaiah 33:8 The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceases: he has broken the …

(2) There was in a city a judge.--The words have an interest historically, as testifying to the general disorganisation and corruption of justice which prevailed under the then government of Galilee and Pera. Under the direct administration of the Roman Procurator, severe as his rule was, there was probably a better state of things.

The case put for the purpose of the parable was obviously an extreme one. Every motive that ordinarily leads men in office to act rightly was absent. Conscience was dead, and there was no love of approbation or fear of blame to supply its place.

Verse 2. - There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man. Probably enough the whole scene was a sketch from life; under such a rule as that of Herod Antipas there were, doubtless, judges of the character here portrayed. Saying, there was in a city a judge,.... In every city in the land of Israel, there was a sanhedrim, or court of judicature; in Jerusalem was the great sanhedrim, consisting of seventy one; and in every city where there were an hundred and twenty men, or more, there was a lesser sanhedrim, consisting of twenty three; and in a city in which there were not an hundred and twenty men, were three judges; for there was no sanhedrim, or court of judicature, that consisted of less than three (l): but

"although there is no judicature less than three, "it is lawful for one to judge", according to the law, as it is said, Leviticus 19:15 "In righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour"; but according to the words of the Scribes, (only,) when there are three, and two that judge, their judgment is no judgment: one who is publicly approved or authorized, or who has taken a licence from the sanhedrim, it is lawful for him to judge alone, but it is not accounted a judicature; and though it is lawful, it is the command of the wise men, that he set others with him; for lo, they say, do not judge alone, for there is none that judgeth alone, but one (m).''

It may be, this judge was, an authorized and approved one; however, we have instances of single judges, or of persons that have judged alone, at least by the consent of parties.

"R. Abhu was sitting judge, in a synagogue in Caesarea, by himself, his disciples said to him, did not Rabbi so teach us, do not judge alone? he replied to them, when ye see me sit judge by myself, and ye come to me, as those that have taken upon themselves (or agreed to be judged by me); for the tradition is, of things in which they do not take upon them; but if they take upon them, (or agree to be judged,) one may judge, though alone (n).''

And again, elsewhere (o);

"if he is publicly authorized or approved, he judges, though alone; says R. Nachman, as I judge pecuniary causes alone; and so says R. Chijah, as I judge pecuniary judgments alone. --Mar Zutra, the son of R. Nachman, judged a cause, and erred; he came to R. Joseph, who said to him, if they have received thee upon them (agreed to be judged by thee) thou needst not finish; but if not, go and finish.''

The qualifications of one to be a judge, even of the bench of three, were these (p);

"wisdom, meekness (or modesty), and fear, (i.e. of God,) and hatred of mammon, (or money,) love of truth, and to have the love of men, and to be masters of a good name (or to be of good report).''

But the judge in the text, came greatly short of these qualifications: his character follows,

which feared not God, neither regarded man; and therefore, according to the canon, was disqualified from being a judge, since he was destitute of the fear of God; and seeing he regarded not men, he could neither have any love to men, nor any share in the affections of men, and such an one is very unfit to be a judge, for he cannot be thought to have any regard to his conscience, or his credit, and so not to justice and equity. The former of these characters, is what belongs to every man in a state of unregeneracy; there is no true fear of God before the eyes, or in the heart of any unconverted man; wherever it is, it is put there by the grace of God: this is one of the first things which appears in conversion, and shows itself in an hatred of sin, and in the performance of duties; and is increased by the discoveries of the grace and goodness of God; but the want of this is more visible in some than in others: some, though they have not the grace of fear, yet are under some awe of the Divine Being, and pay a regard to the word of God; and what through the force of education, and the dictates of a natural conscience, dare not go such lengths in sin, as some do: but there are others, who even say there is no God, and at least live as if there was none; they endeavour to work themselves, and others, into a disbelief of the being of God; and set their mouths against heaven, deny his providence, and despise his word; stretch out their hands, and strengthen themselves against the Almighty; and in a fearless manner, run upon the thick bosses of his bucklers; they declare their sin as Sodom, and hide it not, yea, glory in it; they promise themselves impunity, and laugh at a future judgment; and of such a cast was this judge, and therefore a very improper person for such an office; for civil magistrates, and rulers of every sort, ought to be just, ruling in the fear of God: and as for the other part of his character, it is not to be wondered at; for such that fear not God, will have little regard to men; no otherwise, or further, than they are obliged to it: indeed, judges ought not to regard men in judgment; that is, to respect the persons of men, and through affection, or flattery, or bribes, wrest judgment: but this is not the sense of the phrase here, since this agrees not with the other part of the character, and since he is called an unjust judge; but the meaning is, that he had no regard to the laws of men, any more than the laws of God; but made his own will the rule of his actions, and had no regard to doing justice between man and man; nor did he care what any man said of him; he had no concern about his reputation and character, having none to lose.

(l) Maimon. Hilch. Sanhedrin, c. 1. sect. 3, 4. (m) lb. c. 2. sect. 10, 11. (n) T. Hieros, Sanhedrin, fol. 18. 1.((o) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 5. 1.((p) Maimon. Hilch. Sanhedrin, c. 2. sect. 7. 2. feared not … neither regarded—defying the vengeance of God and despising the opinion of men.

widow—weak, desolate, defenseless (1Ti 5:5, which is taken from this).18:1-8 All God's people are praying people. Here earnest steadiness in prayer for spiritual mercies is taught. The widow's earnestness prevailed even with the unjust judge: she might fear lest it should set him more against her; but our earnest prayer is pleasing to our God. Even to the end there will still be ground for the same complaint of weakness of faith.
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