Avenge, Vengeance

The parable of the importunate widow, a problem to our translators, ceases to be a problem when the context is allowed to do its work. The second half of Luke 17 is all about the Second Coming; and Luke 18:8 rounds off with: “when the Son of man cometh...” Then is there not here a plain directive to apply the intervening parable to the Second Coming? In that case, who is the widow? — Israel or the new Israel? The former, doubtless: see Isaiah 54:5-8; Lamentations 1:1 (cf. Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5).

For centuries Israel has seen herself undeservedly bereft of help and at the mercy of her enemies. To the Jews their God has seemed like an unjust judge, callously heedless of their needs and their rights. Only when Israel turns to God in a persistent importunity not to be gainsaid will there be response to their plight. “And shall not God (then) avenge his own elect, they crying day and night unto him, he being (hitherto) longsuffering (with their persecutors) regarding them? Then (when they are importunate) he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man (the Messiah: Daniel 7:13) cometh, shall he find faith (in God’s power to save) in the Land?” — implying: Only in a small remnant.

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Author: George Booker

Keywords: Avenge, Revenge, Vengeance

Bible reference(s): Luke 18:3

Source: “Avenge, Vengeance (Greek),” The Agora.

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