Luke 18:5
Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
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(5) Lest by her continual coming she weary me.—The latter verb is again one which takes its place in the vocabulary of unusual words common to St. Luke and St. Paul. It meets us in 1Corinthians 9:27, and is there rendered “I keep under my body.” Literally, however, it expresses the act of the pugilist when he strikes a blow which leaves a livid bruise on his opponent’s face, and it would seem to have been transferred, in the natural transition of popular metaphor into the forms of colloquial language, from the arena to common life. So we talk of men “hitting hard” or “giving a knock-down blow” in controversy or debate. What is described here is the continuous shower of blows, each of which is short of a “knock-down,” while their accumulative effect is, in the nearest equivalent of modern English, that the man is so “punished” that he is glad to give over at any price.

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.For a while - Probably this means for a "considerable" time. It was his duty to attend to the claims of justice, but this was long delayed.

Within himself - He thought, or came to a conclusion.

Though I fear not ... - This contains the reason why he attended to the case at all. It was not from any regard to justice, or to the duties of his office. It was simply to avoid "trouble." And yet his conduct in this case might have appeared very upright, and possibly might have been strictly according to law and to justice. How many actions are performed that "appear well," when the doers of those actions know that they are mere hypocrisy! and how many actions are performed from the basest and lowest motives of "selfishness," that have the appearance of external propriety and even of goodness!

She weary me - The word used here, in the original, is that which was employed to denote the wounds and bruises caused by "boxers," who beat each other, and blacken their eyes, and disable them. See the notes at 1 Corinthians 9:27. Hence, it means any vexatious and troublesome importunity that takes the time, and disables from other employment.

5. continual coming—coming for ever. See Poole on "Luke 18:2"

Yet because this widow troubleth me,.... By often knocking at his door, by loud cries and earnest entreaties, with strong arguments, and floods of tears, and could not easily be removed from his presence, or got out of his house:

I will avenge her; I will hear her cause, do her justice, and deliver her from her troublesome adversary:

lest by her continual coming she weary me: so that it was not from a conscience of duty in him, as a judge, or from a commiseration of the poor widow's case; but from a selfish end, for his own ease, in perfect agreement to his character, that his house might not be disturbed, and his ears stunned with her noise and cry, and he was pestered with her company day after day. The character of this judge, his reasoning with himself upon it, his principles from which he acted, and the ends he had in view, are wholly to be left out in the accommodation of this parable; and no farther to be considered than as the argument from the lesser to the greater may be strengthened by them; the intention of the parable being only to show the force, efficacy, and usefulness of importunity in prayer, as appears by the application of it, by our Lord, in the verses following.

Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she {c} weary me.

(c) Literally, beat me down with her blows, and it is a metaphor taken of wrestlers who beat their adversaries with their fists or clubs: in the same way those that are persistent beat the judge's ears with their crying out, even as it were with blows.

Luke 18:5. διά γε, etc.: similar expression in Luke 11:8. The parable before us is a companion to that of the Selfish Neighbour. The two should be studied together—vide The Parabolic Teaching of Christ.—κόπον: the power of the petitioner in both parables lies in their ability and determination to disturb the comfort of those they address. The neighbour and the judge are both selfish, care only for their own ease, and it is that very quality that gives the suppliants their opportunity. They can annoy the reluctant into granting their requests—success certain.—εἰς τέλος: interpreters differ as to the meaning of this phrase, and whether it should be connected with ἐρχομένη or with ὑπωπιάζῃ. The two ways of rendering the last clause of Luke 18:5 are: lest coming continually, she weary me to death, or lest coming and coming, she at last give me black eyes; of course meant in a humorous sense. The latter rendering does more justice to the humour of the situation, but the other seems more in harmony with the scope of the parable, which is to enforce persistence in prayer—continual coming. The present tense in participle and verb also seems to demand the first rendering: it points to a process in the coming and in its effect on the judge, the two keeping pace with each other. As she keeps coming, he gets more and more bored. If a final act, the use of fists (seriously or humorously meant) were pointed at by ὑπωπ., the aorist would have been more suitable. (So Field in Ot. Nor.) The philological commentators differ in regard to the sense of εἰς τέλος, some taking it = perpetuo, indesinenter (Grotius, Kypke); others = tandem (Palairet); others = omnino (Raphel); all citing examples.

5. troubleth me] Rather, gives me trouble.

lest by her continual coming] Literally, “coming to the end,”coming for ever”—another colloquialism.

she weary me
] The original has the curious word hupopiaze; literally, “should blacken me under the eyes.” Some have supposed that he is afraid lest the widow should be driven by desperation to make an assault on him (ne sugillet me, Vulg.; ne obtundat me, Beza); but undoubtedly the word is a colloquialism (Ar. Pax, 519) retained in Hellenistic Greek, and found also in St Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:27, where it is rendered, “I keep tinder my body.” It is like the English colloquialism “to plague a person.” Comp. Matthew 15:23.

Luke 18:5. Ἐκδικήσω αὐτὴν, I will avenge her) for My own sake.—ὑπωπιάζῃ, lest she beat me black and blue[197]) An hyperbole suitable to the character of the unjust and impatient judge. Refer to this verb the words εἰς τέλος. For ἐρχομένη, is as it were παρέλκον (redundant), which might be omitted, and yet the idea of the sentence remain intact and entire; the employment of it, however, imparts to the language sweetness and characteristic feeling, etc. [See Append. on “Moratus Sermo.”] The importunity of the widow in seeking help waxed greater and greater.

[197] “Lest she weary me.” Ὑπωπιάζειν, Th. ὑπώπια, the part beneath the eye: hence to give a black eye; as Latin, sugillo from sub cilia. Metaphorically, to tease or weary.—E. and T.

Luke 18:5Lest by her continual coming she weary me (ἵνα μὴ εἰς τέλος ἐρχομένη ὑπωπιάζῃ με)

Εἰς τέλος, lit., unto the end, may mean continually; but weary or wear out for ὑπωπιάζῃ is more than doubtful. That word is from ὑπώπιον, 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 Corinthians 9:27, 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 εἰς τέλος, 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.

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