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THE PARABLE OF THE UNJUST JUDGE.

285

CHAP.
XIX

take in reference to the Parable of the Unjust Judge,’ is to regard it as implying that, just as the poor widow insisted in her petition and was righted because of her insistence, so the disciples should insist in prayer, and would be heard because of their insistence. But this is an entirely false interpretation. When treating of the Parable of the Unrighteous Steward, we disclaimed all merely mechanical ideas of prayer, as if God heard us for our many repetitions. This error must here also be carefully avoided. The inference from the Parable is not, that the Church will be ultimately vindicated because she perseveres in prayer, but that she so perseveres, because God will surely right her cause: it is not, that insistence in prayer is the cause of its answer, but that the certainty of that which is asked for should lead to continuance in prayer, even when all around seems to forbid the hope of answer. This is the lesson to be learned from a comparison of the Unjust Judge with the Just and Holy God in His dealings with His own. If the widow persevered, knowing that, although no other consideration, human or Divine, would influence the Unjust Judge, yet her insistence would secure its object, how much more should we 'not faint,' but continue in prayer, who are appealing to God, Who has His people and His cause at heart, even though He delay, remembering also that even this is for their sakes who pray. And this is fully expressed in the introductory words: “He spake also a Parable to them with reference to the need be (Trpòs delv) of their 2 always praying, and not fainting.'3

The remarks just made will remove what otherwise might seem another serious difficulty. If it be asked, how the conduct of the Unjust Judgecould serve as illustration of what might be expected from God, we answer, that the lesson in the Parable is not from the similarity but from the contrast between the Unrighteous human and the Righteous Divine Judge. 'Hear what the Unrighteous Judge saith. But God [mark the emphatic position of the word], shall He not indeed [où un] vindicate [the injuries of, do judgment for] His elect ...?' In truth, this mode of argument is perhaps the most common in Jewish Parables, and occurs on almost every page of ancient Rabbinic commentaries. It is called the Kal vaChomer, ' light and heavy,' and answers to our reasoning a fortiori or de minore ad majus (from the less to the greater). According to the

1 Even this shows that it is intended to mark an essential difference between this and the preceding Parables.

: The word aútoús should be inserted in the text.

3 The verbs are, of course, in the infinitive.

4 Sometimes it is applied in the opposite direction, from the greater to the less.

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Rabbis, ten instances of such reasoning occur in the Old Testament?

itself. Generally, such reasoning is introduced by the words Kal Ber. R. 92, vaChomer; often it is prefaced by, Al achath Cammah veCammah, p. 164 b, against one how much and how much,' that is, 'how much more.'

Thus, it is argued that, if a King of flesh and blood' did so and so, shall not the King of Kings, &c.; or, if the sinner received such and such, shall not the righteous, &c. In the present Parable the reasoning would be: “If the Judge of Unrighteousness' said that he would vindicate, shall not the Judge of all Righteousness do judgment on behalf of His Elect ? In fact, we have an exact Rabbinic parallel to the thought underlying, and the lesson derived from, this Parable. When describing, how at the preaching of Jonah Nineveh repented and cried to God, His answer to the loud persistent cry of the people is thus explained: The bold (he who is unabashed

conquers even a wicked person [to grant him his request], how much • Pesikta, more the All-Good of the world !'b

The Parable opens by laying down as a general principle the from bottom necessity and duty of the disciples always to pray—the precise

meaning being defined by the opposite, or limiting clause : 'not to faint,' that is, not to become weary.'? The word 'always'must not be understood in respect of time, as if it meant continuously, but at all times, in the sense of under all circumstances, however apparently adverse, when it seems as if an answer could not come, and we are therefore in danger of "fainting' or becoming weary. This rule applies here primarily to that 'weariness' which might lead to the cessation of prayer for the Coming of the Lord, or of expectancy of it, during the long period when it seems as if He delayed His return, nay, as if increasingly there were no likelihood of it. But it may also be applied to all similar circumstances, when prayer seems so long unanswered that weariness in praying threatens to overtake us. Thus, it is argued, even in Jewish writings, that a man should never be deterred from, nor cease praying, the illustration by Kal va

Chomer being from the case of Moses, who knew that it was decreed Siphré, ed. he should not enter the land, and yet continued praying about it.

The Parable introduces to us a Judge in a city, and a widow. Except where a case was voluntarily submitted for arbitration rather than judgment, or judicial advice was sought of a sage, one man

" These ten passages are: Gen. xliv. 8; wherever it occurs in the N. T.: viz., Exod. vi. 9, 12; Numb. xii. 14; Deut. St. Luke xviii, 1 ; 2 Cor. iv, 1, 16; Gal. xxxi. 27; two instances in Jerem. xii. 5; vi. 9; Eph. iii. 13; and 2 Thess. iii. 13. 1 Sam, xxiii. 3 ; Prov. xi. 31; Esth. ix. 12; It is thus peculiar to St. Luke and to and Ezek. xv. 5.

St. Paul. 2 The verb is used in the same sense

Friedm. p. 50 b, line 7 from top

JUDGES IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL.

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104 6

c Cheth. 105 a

could not have formed a Jewish tribunal. Besides, his mode of speaking and acting is inconsistent with such a hypothesis. He must therefore have been one of the Judges, or municipal authorities, appointed by Herod or the Romans-perhaps a Jew, but not a Jewish Judge. Possibly, he may have been a police-magistrate, or one who had some function of that kind delegated to him. We know that, at least in Jerusalem, there were two stipendiary magistrates (Dayainej Geseroth“), whose duty it was to see to the observance of all Chethub. police-regulations and the prevention of crime. Unlike the regular Judges, who attended only on certain days and hours, and were Shabb. 10 a unpaid, these magistrates were, so to speak, always on duty, and hence unable to engage in any other occupation. It was probably for this reason that they were paid out of the Temple-Treasury, and received so large a salary as 225l., or, if needful, even more. On account of this, perhaps also for their unjust exactions, Jewish wit designated them, by a play on the words, as Dayainey GeselothRobber-Judges, instead of their real title of Dayainey Geseroth (Judges of Prohibitions, or else of Punishments).' It may have been that there were such Jewish magistrates in other places also. Perhaps Josephus speaks of local magistracies.e 2 At any rate there were may refer to in every locality police-officials, who watched over order and law. Ant. iv. 8. The Talmud speaks in very depreciatory terms of these villageJudges' (Dayainey de Megistha), in opposition to the town tribunals (Bei Davar), and accuses them of ignorance, arbitrariness, and covetousness, so that for a dish of meat they would pervert justice. Baba K. Frequent instances are also mentioned of gross injustice and bribery in regard to the non-Jewish Judges in Palestine.

It is to such a Judge that the Parable refers—one who was consciously, openly, and avowedly 8 inaccessible to the highest motive, *St. Luke the fear of God, nor even restrained by the lower consideration of regard for public opinion. It is an extreme case, intended to illustrate the exceeding unlikelihood of justice being done. For the same purpose, the party seeking justice at his hands is described as a poor, unprotected widow. But we must also bear in mind, in the interpretation of this Parable, that the Church, whom she represents, is also widowed in the absence of her Lord. To return this widow 6 came to the Unjust Judge (the imperfect tense in the original

14

114 6

xviii. 4

Comp. Geiger, Urschr. u. Uebers. pp. 119, 120, Note, with which, however, comp. the two Essays mentioned in Note 3.

2 See Geiger, u, s. p. 115.

Comp. Bloch, Mos. Talm. Polizeirecht, which is, however, only an enlargement of Frankel's essay in the Monatschr. für Gesch. d. Judenth. for 1852, pp. 243-261.

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* Comp. St. Luke xi. 8

indicating repeated, even continuous coming), with the urgent demand to be vindicated of her adversary, that is, that the Judge should make legal inquiry, and by a decision set her right as against him at whose hands she was suffering wrong. For reasons of his own he would not; and this continued for a while. At last, not from any higher principle, nor even from regard for public opinion—both of which, indeed, as he avowed to himself, had no weight with him-he complied with her request, as the text (literally translated) has it: • Yet at any rate a because this widow troubleth me, I will do justice for her, lest, in the end, coming she bruise me' do personal violence to me, attack me bodily. Then follows the grand inference from it: If the • Judge of Unrighteousness' speak thus, shall not the Judge of all Righteousness—God-do judgment, vindicate [by His Coming to judgment and so setting right the wrong done to His Church, His Elect, which cry to Him day and night, although He suffer long on account of them'-delay His final interposition of judgment and mercy, and that, not as the Unjust Judge, but for their own sakes, that the number of the Elect may all be gathered in, and they fully prepared.

Difficult as the rendering of this last clause admittedly is, our interpretation of it seems confirmed by the final application of this Parable. Taking the previous verse along with it, we would have this double Parallelism : ‘But God, shall He not vindicate [do judgment on behalf of ] His Elect?'c 'I tell you, that He will do judgment on behalf of them shortly'— this word being chosen rather than speedily' (as in the A. and R. V.), because the latter might convey the idea of a sudden interposition, such as is not implied in the expression. This would be the first Parallelism ; the second this:

Although He suffer long [delay His final interposition] on account of them? (verse 7), to which the second clause of verse 8 would correspond, as offering the explanation and vindication : · But the Son of Man, when He have come, shall He find the faith upon the earth?' It is a terribly sad question, as put by Him Who is the Christ : After all this long-suffering delay, shall He find the faith upon the earthintellectual belief on the part of one class, and on the part of the Church the faith of the heart which trusts in, longs, and prays, because it expects and looks for His Coming, all undisturbed by the prevailing unbelief around, only quickened by it to more intensity

St. Luke xviii. 8

e ver. 7

1 This, as the only possible rendering of the verb in this instance, also is vindicated by Veyer ad loc. The Judge seems

afraid of bodily violence from the exasperated woman. For a significant pagilistic use of the verb, comp. 1 Cor. ix. 27.

THE PARABLE OF THE PHARISEE AND THE PUBLICAN.

289

CHAP.
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xviii. 9-14

of prayer! Shall He find it? Let the history of the Church, nay, each man's heart, make answer!

2. The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican, which follows, St. Luke is only internally connected with that of the Unjust Judge.' It is not of unrighteousness, but of self-righteousness—and this, both in its positive and negative aspects : as trust in one's own state, and as contempt of others. Again, it has also this connection with the previous Parable, that, whereas that of the Unrighteous Judge pointed to continuance, this to humility in prayer.

The introductory clause shows that it has no connection in point of time with what had preceded, although the interval between the two may, of course, have been very short. Probably, something had taken place, which is not recorded, to occasion this Parable, which, if not directly addressed to the Pharisees,' is to such as are of Pharisaic spirit. It brings before us two men going up to the Templewhether at the hour of prayer,' or otherwise, is not stated. Remembering that, with the exception of the Psalms for the day and the interval for a certain prescribed prayer, the service in the Temple was entirely sacrificial, we are thankful for such glimpses, which show that, both in the time of public service, and still more at other times, the Temple was made the place of private prayer. On the present Comp. St. occasion the two men, who went together to the entrance of the 37; Acts ií. Temple, represented the two religious extremes in Jewish society. To the entrance of the Temple, but no farther, did the Pharisee and the Publican go together. Within the sacred enclosure— before God, where man should least have made it, began their separation. • The Pharisee put himself by himself, and prayed thus: 0 God, I thank thee that I am not as the rest of men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers—nor also as this Publican (there].' Never, perhaps, were words of thanksgiving spoken in less thankfulness than these. For, thankfulness implies the acknowledgment of a gift; hence, a sense of not having had ourselves what we have received; in other words,

46; v. 12, 42

? The objection of Schleiermacher (followed by later commentators), that, in a Parable addressed to Pharisees, a Pharisee would not have been introduced as the chief figure, seems of little force.

: For the philological vindication of this rendering, see Goebel, Parabeln (i.p. 327). The arguments in its favour are as follows: 1. It corresponds to the description of the position of the Publican, who also stood by himself afar off. 2. Otherwise, the mention that the Pharisee

VOL. II.

stood would seem utterly idle. He could not have sat. 3. The rendering 'prayed with himself,' is not correct. The words mean : “to himself '--and this would give no meaning. But even were we to render it'with himself' in the sense of silent prayer, the introduction of such a remark as that he prayed silently, would be both needless and aimless. But what decides us is the parallelism with the account of the posture of the Publican.

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