Luke 12:57
Yes, and why even of yourselves judge you not what is right?
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(57) Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?—Better, judge that which is just. The meaning of the words is not that they did not know what was right, but that they did not act upon their knowledge. They were passing an unrighteous judgment on the preachers of repentance, on the Baptist and on the Christ, because they came to tell them of the time of their visitation, when their action ought to have been as true and spontaneous as their daily judgment about the weather. It is possible, though not, I think, probable, that the question “Why even of yourselves . . .” may have some reference to the request of the disciple, in Luke 12:13, that our Lord would act as judge.

Luke 12:57. Why even of yourselves — Without any external sign; judge ye not what is right? — Why do ye not discern and acknowledge the intrinsic excellence of my doctrine, and gather from such obvious promises how you ought to receive it, and behave toward me? The prediction of the coming of the Son of man, to punish the Jews for their perfidy and rebellion, was a loud call to a national repentance. Wherefore, as the improvement of that prediction, he exhorted them to a speedy reformation, telling them that common sense, with a very small degree of reflection, would point it out to them as the very best thing they could do for averting the impending judgments of God.12:54-59 Christ would have the people to be as wise in the concerns of their souls as they are in outward affairs. Let them hasten to obtain peace with God before it is too late. If any man has found that God has set himself against him concerning his sins, let him apply to him as God in Christ reconciling the world to himself. While we are alive, we are in the way, and now is our time.See the notes at Matthew 16:2-3.

South wind - To the south and southwest of Judea were situated Arabia, Egypt, and Ethiopia, all warm or hot regions, and consequently the air that came from those quarters was greatly heated.

How is it that ye do not discern this time! - You see a cloud rise, and predict a shower; a south wind, and expect heat. These are regular events. So you see my miracles; you hear my preaching; you have the predictions of me in the prophets; why do you not, in like manner, infer that "this is the time" when the Messiah should appear?

57. why even of yourselves, &c.—They might say, To do this requires more knowledge of Scripture and providence than we possess; but He sends them to their own conscience, as enough to show them who He was, and win them to immediate discipleship.Ver. 57-59. Our Saviour made use of this expression, Matthew 5:25,26, to persuade peace between brethren; here he useth it to persuade men to acquaint themselves with God, and be at peace. He had been treating of the last judgment; there was no fitter foundation upon which he could build all exhortation to repentance, and making our peace with God. In not doing of it, he telleth his hearers that they did not of themselves judge what was right, for if they did, they would judge themselves as much concerned to come to an agreement with God, as they did ordinarily to come to an agreement with men. Now if amongst men they had an adversary, they did not judge it prudence to stand out with him till the sentence of the judge were past, and they were imprisoned, not to come out till they had paid every farthing of the debt and charges wherein they were condemned; but to agree while they were in the way, before they came to a final judgment in the case, that so, having compounded the case, they might avoid the judgment. So in the case between God and their souls, if they judged right, they would judge that it was not their wisdom to stand out till the irrevocable sentence of condemnation was passed upon them, but in the way, during the time of this life, they would make their peace with God, and reform their lives before that great and terrible day came. It is a sign the papists are at a woeful loss for arguments to prove purgatory, when they make use of this text, because it is said, thou shalt not depart thence till thou hast paid the very last mite, as if this text spake of a prison for souls from which there is an outlet. Such another argument will prove, from Psalm 110:1, that Christ shall not sit at the right hand of his Father, because God only said to him. Sit there until I make thine enemies thy footstool; and that Joseph knew Mary after Christ was born, because it is said, Matthew 1:25, he knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. But we have before showed that that term, though it be exclusive of a time past, yet doth not determine a future time. Yea, and why even of yourselves,.... From their own observation, as in discerning the signs of the weather; in a rational way, by the light of reason, and according to the dictates of their own consciences; by what they themselves saw and heard; by the signs and wonders which were done, they might have concluded, that now was the time of the Messiah's coming; and that he was come, and that Jesus of Nazareth was he: this was as easy, by observation, to be discerned, as the face of the sky was; even of themselves, without any hints or directions from others:

judge ye not what is right? or "truth", as the Syriac and Persic versions render it; concerning the present time, the coming of the Messiah, and the accomplishment of the promises and prophecies of the Old Testament in him: or why do ye not of yourselves judge, what is fit and right to be done between man and man, without going to law? and that, in cases which are plain and clear, the consequences of which may be as easily discerned, as what weather it will be by the signs in the heavens; to which sense the following words incline.

{15} Yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?

(15) Men that are blinded with the love of themselves, and therefore are detestable and stubborn, will bear the punishment of their folly.

Luke 12:57-59. See on Matthew 5:25 f. Pott (de natura … orat. mont. p. 13), Kuinoel, de Wette refuse to acknowledge any connection (comp. Euthymius Zigabenus: ἐφʼ ἕτερον μετέβη λόγον), and assume a mistaken reminiscence, suggested by the affinity of δοκιμάζειν and κρίνειν. But Luke did not weave together the discourses of Jesus in so thoughtless a manner. The train of thought, even although the connection is less clear and appropriate, is as follows: As, however, it turns to your reproach that ye do not rightly estimate the present time, so not less also is it your reproach that ye do not of your own selves judge what is duty. Jesus refers to the duty of repentance which is still seasonable, and by means of the rhetorical figure metaschematismus—since He pictures repentance as an agreement with an adversary who has a pecuniary claim to make, but by this adversary He means (not the devil, Euthymius Zigabenus, nor the poor, Michaelis; but) God, to whom man is a debtor

He represents this duty of repentance as still seasonable, in order not to incur the divine punishment, like the accused person who still seasonably comes to terms with his creditor.

καὶ ἀφʼ ἑαυτῶν] even of yourselves, even of your own independent judgment. Comp. Bengel: “sine signis et citra considerationem hujus temporis.” These words indicate the progressive advance of the discourse. Comp. on Luke 21:30.

Luke 12:58. γάρ] explanatory.

ὡς] is the simple sicuti: As thou, namely, art in the act of going away with thine adversary to an archon (in correspondence with this condition of time and circumstance), give diligence on the way, etc.; while you are still on the way, before it is too late, make the attempt, that may avert the danger. ὑπάγεις has the emphasis (comp. subsequently ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ); so close is the time of decision! Both the ἄρχων and the κριτής must be considered as local magistrates (κριτής not as an assessor of the Sanhedrim, with which κατασύρῃ is not in accord, for this certainly cannot be taken as a dragging to Jerusalem). Comp. κρίσις, Matthew 5:21, and the remark thereafter. By one of the archons, i.e. of the chief city officials, who, namely, is a competent person in matters of debt, the accused is recognised as liable to pay, and in default of payment the κριτής, who happens to be subordinate to the ἄρχων, orders compulsion to be used. For the rest, this handing over from one official to another belongs to the details of civic procedure, without being intended for special interpretation.

δὸς ἐργασίαν] da operam, a Latin idiom, probably taken from the common speech, Hermogenes, de Invent. iii. 5. 7; Salmasius and Tittmann (Synon. p. 102), following Theophylact, erroneously interpret: give interest. This is not the meaning of ἐργασία, and the Israelites were forbidden to take interest from one another (Michaelis, Mos. R. § 154 f.; Saalschütz, M. R. pp. 184, 278, 857).

ἀπηλλάχθαι ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ] in order to be delivered from him, Xen. Anab. vii. 1. 4; Plat. Legg. ix. p. 868 D; Josephus, Antt. x. 6. 2, and elsewhere. The genitive might also stand alone, Thuc. iii. 63; Dem. 11. 16, 237. 14, and elsewhere, and the passages in Kypke and Loesner. Settlement is to be conceived of as obtained by payment or by arrangement. Comp. Dem. 34:22.

ὁ πράκτωρ] exactor, collector, bailiff. In Athens the collector of the court fees and fines was so called (Böckh, Staatshaush. I. pp. 167, 403; Hermann, Staatsalterth. § 151. 3). The πράκτωρ also is part of the imagery, without contemplating thereby any special interpretation (otherwise, the angels would have to be understood, Matthew 13:41 f.).

τὸ ἔσχ. λεπτόν] (Mark 12:42): to wit, of the debt sued for. But this terminus in the punitive condition depicted (in the Gehenna) is never attained. Comp. on Matthew 18:34.Luke 12:57. ἀφʼ ἑαυτῶν, from or of yourselves (sua sponte, Palairet); without needing any one to tell you the right; implying that the persons addressed were destitute of the average moral insight (cf. Luke 21:30).57. even of yourselves] i.e. without the necessity for my thus pointing out to you facts which are so plain.

what is right] what is your duty to do under circumstances so imminent.Luke 12:57. [Δὲ, but) What precedes has respect to faith; but what is here treated of has respect to love. The matters which are set forth in this place ought to be accounted of the greatest importance, inasmuch as out of the whole range of whatever is just, this one thing alone is mentioned to the people by Jesus.—V. g.]—καὶ ἀφʼ ἑαυτῶν) of your own accord, even without signs, and irrespective of the consideration of this present time. So ἀφʼ ἑαυτῶν, ch. Luke 21:30. Comp. Matthew 16:3, note. [Or else the phrase, ἀφʼ ἑαυτῶν, expresses this: Before that the Judge pronounces sentence, and the matter become known to you, to your cost, from some other quarter (than by yourselves settling the matter in dispute). Often one, when admonished as to what is just or unjust, is compelled thereby to perceive the s truth. But it would be better for him to infer it “of himself.” Nabal came to know subsequently, when taught it, in what way he ought to have received and entertained David; but previously he neglected to use reflection.—V. g.]—τὸ δίκαιον) what is true and just, and conducive to true peace; Luke 12:58, with which comp. Luke 12:51 and Luke 12:13 as to the quarrel between the brothers. The kingdom of Christ is a kingdom of justice [‘righteousness:’ Hebrews 1:8-9; Psalm 45:6-7].

58.  Γὰρ, for) Γὰρ, for, is often employed where the discussion follows the proposition [statement of subject].—ὑπάγεις, goest) although against thy will.—ἀντιδίκου, adversary) the plaintiff, to whom thou art bound to repay the debt, Luke 12:59.—ἄρχοντα, prince) the judge [or magistrate].—ἀπηλλάχθαι, to be delivered) by any negotiation, or on any condition whatever. A friendly compromise is wont to be recommended, even in civil cases. This is a favourable (agreeable) kind of division.[125]—ΚΑΤΑΣΎΡῌ, hurry thee off by force [hale thee]) The power of the offended party is great: so much so, as sometimes to snap asunder the tie which binds the soul to the body.[126]—Τῷ ΠΡΆΚΤΟΡΙ, to the officer who exacts what is due) the avenger or executioner. Satan himself is a party in the action (plaintiff), not an executioner.[127][128]

[125] Luke 12:51. The parting asunder, by a compromise and reconciliation, of those who meet for litigation, is a good kind of διαμερισμὸς.—ED. and TRANSL.

[126] i.e. The violence of a quarrel sometimes hastens the death of the delinquent through fear and chagrin.—ED. and TRANSL.

[127] Reus, non executor. Revelation 12:10; Job 1:9; Job 2:5; Zechariah 3:1. Perhaps Beng, however, means by reus, “Satan is himself a condemned criminal.” 2 Peter 2:4; Judges 1:6.—ED. and TRANSL.

[128] Bengel, J. A. (1860). Vol. 2: Gnomon of the New Testament (M. E. Bengel & J. C. F. Steudel, Ed.) (A. R. Fausset, Trans.) (1–116). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.Of yourselves

In the exercise of your ordinary habits of observation which you apply to the heavens.

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