And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;…
"A judge" in an Oriental city must not be regarded precisely as a judge among us, nowadays, nor yet with all the peculiar powers and duties of the ancient judges of Israel, whose powers somewhat resembled that of a king. Those ancient judges, more like ancient kings than anything else, were yet officers or rulers of such a peculiar sort, that the Romans transferred the name of their dignity into Latin — at least of their Carthaginian counterparts. Out of the Shemitic shofet they made suffetes. But in the time of Christ the judge, where not a Roman official, had still some power equivalent to that of the sheriffs of our country. He was head judge and head executioner of his sentences. Never till our own times, or those of two of three generations ago, has the world worked out the problem of wholly separating the legislative, the judicial, and the executive functions. Nor is it always accomplished by a nominal separation; nor can that separation ever be entirely actual, even as much so as required by theory. As long as the legislative or judicial power has anything to do, it must be gifted with some slight executive powers. But this is only one instance in the physical and metaphysical universe of the failure of human divisions to cover all that the one Spirit has made or is working. The prayer of the widow to the unjust judge — and here "unrighteous" is better; for attention is directed not very closely to his merely judicial function — regards rather his executive function than anything else. She does not call — in words at least — for a hearing of her cause, but for an order of enforcement. In modern times that would be by sending a zabtieh or two, soldier police, to apply the necessary force. This might be done even without hearing, or before hearing, the case. To this day, in the East, it is necessary for poor suitors to be very importunate. It would be easy to give examples; but it might be tedious. A woman will frequently beg and beg a judge to attend to her case, or to execute a decree in a case he has passed upon and rendered judgment, and generally promise or ask to kiss the judge's feet. But a little money from the other side will effectually stop the judge's ears.
(Prof. Isaac H. Hall.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;