The widow’s petition (Lk 18:3-18:3)

“In that city,

There was a widow

Who kept coming

To him.

Saying.

‘Grant me justice

Against my opponent!’”

 

χήρα δὲ ἦν ἐν τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ, καὶ ἤρχετο πρὸς αὐτὸν λέγουσα Ἐκδίκησόν με ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀντιδίκου μου.

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge.  Luke indicated that Jesus said there was a widow in that city (χήρα δὲ ἦν ἐν τῇ πόλει ἐκείνῃ).  She kept coming to this bad judge (καὶ ἤρχετο πρὸς αὐτὸν).  She said (λέγουσα) that she wanted justice or restitution (Ἐκδίκησόν με) against her opponent or adversary (ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀντιδίκου μου).  Widows were the powerless and vulnerable in Jewish society, since they had lost the support of their husbands.  People would always be reminded to help the poor and the widows, as they were considered the same class of people, since generally, older women without husbands were poor.  This particular widow had a case against someone, so that she kept coming back to his bad judge to achieve justice or vengeance on her part.  Have you ever sued anyone?

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The punishment by the king of Babylon (Jer 25:8-25:9)

“Therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Because you have not obeyed

My words,

I am going to send

For all the tribes of the north.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I am going to send

Even for King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon,

My servant.

I will bring them

Against this land

With its inhabitants.

I will bring them

Against all these nations around.

I will utterly destroy them.

I will make them

An object of horror.

A hissing,

An everlasting disgrace.’”

Yahweh declared, via Jeremiah, that the people of Judah had not obeyed his words. Therefore, there would be an invasion from the north. In particular, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who was the servant of Yahweh, was going to come to this land in order to take away its inhabitants. Note that the king of Babylon was considered a servant of Yahweh, not his opponent. This usage indicates Jeremiah’s favoritism towards Babylon. Yahweh was going to utterly destroy them and their neighbors, so that they would be an object of horror, with people hissing at them in disgrace.

Job says he has asked for nothing (Job 6:21-6:23)

“Such you have now become to me.

You see my calamity.

You are afraid.

Have I said?

‘Make me a gift?’

‘From your wealth offer a bribe for me?’

‘Save me from an opponent’s hand?’

‘Ransom me from the hand of oppressors?’”

Job complained that they were afraid when they saw his situation. He had not asked them for a gift, a bribe, or a ransom. He had not asked them to help him against any opponent. He had not asked them to free him from oppressors. Job seemed really upset at them. He had asked for nothing from them.