Third brother (Lk 20:31-20:31)

“The third brother

Married her.

In the same way,

All seven brothers

Died childless.”

 

καὶ ὁ τρίτος ἔλαβεν αὐτήν, ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ οὐ κατέλιπον τέκνα καὶ ἀπέθανον.

 

Luke indicated that the Sadducees continued with their story about the 7 brothers.  They said that the third brother married this widow or took her as a wife (καὶ ὁ τρίτος ἔλαβεν αὐτήν).  Then in the same way, all 7 brothers died, leaving her childless (ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ οὐ κατέλιπον τέκνα καὶ ἀπέθανον).  Matthew, chapter 22:26-27, and Mark, chapter 12:21-22, said almost the same thing.  Mark indicated that the third brother did the same as the second brother (καὶ ὁ τρίτος ὡσαύτως).  Thus, the same thing happened to the second and third brothers as happened to the first brother.  They all died childless after marrying the same woman.  The Sadducees said that none of the 7 brothers had any children or offspring (καὶ οἱ ἑπτὰ οὐκ ἀφῆκαν σπέρμα).  Matthew indicated that likewise, the same thing happened to the second and third brother all the way down to the seventh brother (ὁμοίως καὶ ὁ δεύτερος καὶ ὁ τρίτος, ἕως τῶν ἑπτά).  There was a definite pattern here.  Do you think that this woman got to know that family pretty well?

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Mosaic law of taking a dead man’s wife (Lk 20:28-20:28)

“These Sadducees

Asked him a question.

‘Teacher!’

Moses wrote for us

That if a man’s brother dies,

Leaving a wife childless,

The man shall marry

The widow.

He will raise up children

For his brother.’”

 

λέγοντες Διδάσκαλε, Μωϋσῆς ἔγραψεν ἡμῖν, ἐάν τινος ἀδελφὸς ἀποθάνῃ ἔχων γυναῖκα, καὶ οὗτος ἄτεκνος ᾖ, ἵνα λάβῃ ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ ἐξαναστήσῃ σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ.

 

Luke said that these Sadducees asked Jesus a question (λέγοντες), respectfully calling him “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε)!”  They said that Moses wrote for them (Μωϋσῆς ἔγραψεν ἡμῖν) in Deuteronomy, chapter 25:5-10, that if a man’s brother dies (ἐάν τινος ἀδελφὸς ἀποθάνῃ), leaving a wife childless (ἔχων γυναῖκα, καὶ οὗτος ἄτεκνος ᾖ), that man should marry the widow (ἵνα λάβῃ ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα) to raise up children or seed for his brother (καὶ ἐξαναστήσῃ σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ).  Luke was the only Greek biblical writer to use this word ἄτεκνος, that means childless.  Matthew, chapter 22:24, and Mark, chapter 12:19, are almost word for word as here in LukeMark said that these Sadducees addressed Jesus very respectfully as “Teacher (Διδάσκαλε).”  They quoted a Mosaic text that Moses had written for them (Μωϋσῆς ἔγραψεν ἡμῖν),  If a man’s brother should die (ὅτι ἐάν τινος ἀδελφὸς ἀποθάνῃ) leaving behind a wife (καὶ καταλίπῃ γυναῖκα) without any children (καὶ μὴ ἀφῇ τέκνον), his living brother should take his dead brother’s widow as his wife (ἵνα λάβῃ ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα).  He would then raise up the descendant children or seeds for his brother (καὶ ἐξαναστήσῃ σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ).  Matthew indicated that these Sadducees also addressed Jesus very respectfully as “Teacher” or “Rabbi (λέγοντες Διδάσκαλε).”  They quoted a Mosaic text, as Moses said (Μωϋσῆς εἶπεν).  If a man died without any children (Ἐάν τις ἀποθάνῃ μὴ ἔχων τέκνα), his brother should marry the widow (ἐπιγαμβρεύσει ὁ ἀδελφὸς αὐτοῦ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ).  He would then raise up the descendants for his brother (καὶ ἀναστήσει σπέρμα τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ).  This levirate law goes back as far as Tamar in Genesis, chapter 38:1-30, with the story of Judah’s 3 sons and Tamar, the original wife of Er.  The brother of the deceased was supposed to marry his brother’s widow if he had no sons.  The widow was not to marry outside her family.  It also assumes that the brother lived close by or in the same house as his brother.  There was no indication of whether the brother was married or not, but this seems to assume a younger brother.  This was an attempt to prolong the heritage and name of a person, which was common in ancient times.  The punishment for the brother’s refusal was an insult, rather than any physical punishment.  Would you marry the wife or husband or your dead brother or sister?

Will the Son of Man find faith on earth? (Lk 18:8-18:8)

“I tell you!

He will quickly

Grant justice

To them.

Nevertheless,

When the Son of Man

Comes,

Will he find faith

On earth?”

 

λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ποιήσει τὴν ἐκδίκησιν αὐτῶν ἐν τάχει. πλὴν ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐλθὼν ἆρα εὑρήσει τὴν πίστιν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς;

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge.  Luke indicated that Jesus concluded this story with a solemn pronouncement (λέγω ὑμῖν) that God will quickly grant justice to them (ὅτι ποιήσει τὴν ἐκδίκησιν αὐτῶν ἐν τάχει).  When the Son of Man comes (πλὴν ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐλθὼν), will he find faith (ἆρα εὑρήσει τὴν πίστιν) on earth (ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς)?  What will the Son of Man find on the judgment day?  His justice will be quick.  The solution, be ready at all times.  Are you ready for the Son of Man to return?

 

Will God delay? (Lk 18:7-18:7)

“Will not God

Grant justice

To his chosen ones

Who cry to him

Day and night?

Will he delay long

In helping them?”

 

ὁ δὲ Θεὸς οὐ μὴ ποιήσῃ τὴν ἐκδίκησιν τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν αὐτοῦ τῶν βοώντων αὐτῷ ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός, καὶ μακροθυμεῖ ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς;

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge.  Luke had Jesus bring this parable to a conclusion with a comment about God.  He wondered whether God (ὁ δὲ Θεὸς) would grant justice (οὐ μὴ ποιήσῃ τὴν ἐκδίκησιν) to his chosen ones (τῶν ἐκλεκτῶν αὐτοῦ) who cried to him (τῶν βοώντων αὐτῷ) day and night (ἡμέρας καὶ νυκτός)?  Would God delay long in helping them (καὶ μακροθυμεῖ ἐπ’ αὐτοῖς)?  The comparison was explicit.  Jesus said that God would grant justice to his chosen ones who petitioned him day and night.  Their persistence prayer would pay off.  God would not delay in helping them and answering their prayers for justice.  Has God answered your persistent prayers?

The unrighteous judge (Lk 18:6-8:6)

“The Lord said.

‘Listen

To what

the unjust says!’”

 

Εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος Ἀκούσατε τί ὁ κριτὴς τῆς ἀδικίας λέγει·

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge.  Luke indicated that the Lord Jesus said to them (Εἶπεν δὲ ὁ Κύριος) that they were to listen (Ἀκούσατε) to what this unjust judge just said (τί ὁ κριτὴς τῆς ἀδικίας λέγει).  Despite being unjust (ἀδικίας), Jesus wanted his disciples to listen to what he had to say.  If this callous unjust judge granted justice to this persistent widow, what do you think that a wonderful caring just God would do for them with their persistent pleadings and prayers?  Notice that Luke now called Jesus Lord (ὁ Κύριος).  Do you think that bad unjust people can do some good deeds once in a while?

Wear the bad judge out (Lk 18:5-18:5)

“Yet because this widow

Keeps bothering me,

I will grant her justice.

Thus,

She may not

Wear me out

By her continual harassment.”

 

διά γε τὸ παρέχειν μοι κόπον τὴν χήραν ταύτην ἐκδικήσω αὐτήν, ἵνα μὴ εἰς τέλος ἐρχομένη ὑπωπιάζῃ με.

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that because this widow (τὴν χήραν ταύτην) kept bothering or causing trouble (διά γε τὸ παρέχειν μοι κόπον) to this bad judge, he was going to grant her justice (ἐκδικήσω αὐτήν).  Thus, she would not wear him out by her continual exhausting harassment (ἵνα μὴ εἰς τέλος ἐρχομένη ὑπωπιάζῃ με) anymore.  In other words, this bad judge just wanted to get rid of this widow, because she was exhausting him with all her supplications and demands.  Thus, he granted her a verdict of vengeance against her enemy.  Have you ever had a favorable court ruling?

No regard for God or man (Lk 18:4-18:4)

“For a while

The bad judge

Refused.

But afterward,

He said to himself.

‘I have

No fear of God.

I have no respect

For anyone.’”

 

καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν ἐπὶ χρόνον· μετὰ ταῦτα δὲ εἶπεν ἐν ἑαυτῷ Εἰ καὶ τὸν Θεὸν οὐ φοβοῦμαι οὐδὲ ἄνθρωπον ἐντρέπομαι,

 

Luke is the only synoptic writer with this parable about the widow and the bad judge.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that for a time (ἐπὶ χρόνον), this judge refused her (καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν).  However, after a while (μετὰ ταῦτα), he reevaluated his position.  He said to himself (δὲ εἶπεν ἐν ἑαυτῷ) that he had no fear of God (Εἰ καὶ τὸν Θεὸν οὐ φοβοῦμαι) and no respect for anyone (οὐδὲ ἄνθρωπον ἐντρέπομαι).  Why should he worry about this poor widow?  Do you worry about poor old women?