Luke 18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

By, indeed, this giving me a beating, this widow here, I am going to avenger her lest on purpose her showing up might give me a black eye!

KJV : 

Luke 18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This story is meant to be humorous. The clearest sign of that is in this verse, but the "striking" humor of it is purposely edited out in translation. The last verb doesn't mean "weary me" at all. It is one of the clearest punchlines in the Gospels.

Yet" is from a word that means "at least" and "indeed." It emphasizes the word the before it.

The word translated as "because" means "through," in the midst of," or "by (a cause)." Here, the sense is "by".

The "this" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. It appears much later in the sentence, after "widow".

"Widow" is an adjective that means "widowed" or more generally, "bereaved".  Christ uses it as a noun.  The noun is in the accusative form, not that of a subject, and it appears at the end of the phrase. This is a special Greek construction called the accusative and infinitive where the accusative infinitive takes an accusative subject.

Before the verb translated as "troubleth" an article appears making the verb act like a noun. The active gives it its accusative form.

The "troubleth" is from two Greek words, a verb and a noun, both of them uncommon for Christ. The verb means "to hand over", "to supply", and "to cause" and a lot of specific terms. It is an infinitive, uses as a noun describing the action of the verb. Since it is introduced by an article, the sense is "this supplying" or "this causing". The noun means "beating", "work", and "suffering" plus a lot of specialized meanings. The meaning comes out as to "hand out a beating" or "supply suffering."  In English, we would say "this gives me a beating". The feeling is humorous.

"I will avenge" is a Greek verb that means to "avenge", "punish", "decide" (a case), and "vindicate". Jesus uses it only in this story. It is the future tense.

The word translated as "her" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  

"Lest" is from two Greek words, a conjunction and a negative. The conjunction means "in order that."  The negative used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion, commands, and requests. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done or don't think something that might be true. When the two are used together, the sense is "lest".

The word translated as "by" means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, "in regards to" a subject, and "up to" limits in time and measure. It means "for" when referring to a purpose.

There is no "her" or "she" in this phrase, but it is implied by the feminine form of "coming".

The word translated as "continual" means "purpose", "outcome", "something done," or "goal." With the "by", the sense is "on purpose".

The word translated as "coming" primarily means "to start out". It indicates movement, especially its beginning, without indicating a direction toward or away from anything, so it works either as "come" or "go," but it is more like our phrase "being underway." Our English word "show up" captures both the "start" and "come" ideas.  It is in the form of a feminine adjective, "her showing up",

"She weary" is a verb that specifically means to "strike under the eye", "give a black eye",  "bruise", and "mortify". The form is something that might happen, "might give a black eye." "Giving someone a black eye" also had the sense of embarrassing them or damaging their reputation as it does today.

"Me" is the regular first-person pronoun in Greek.

Wordplay: 

"Giving someone a black eye" also had the sense of embarrassing them or damaging their reputation as it does today.

Greek Vocabulary: 

διά  (prep) "Because" is dia which means "through", "in the midst of", "in a line (movement)", "throughout (time)", "by (causal)", "among," and "between."

γε  "Yet" is ge is an emphatic particle meaning "at least" and "indeed." It emphasizes the word to which it is associated.

τὸ  (article sg neut acc) Untranslated is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." 

παρέχειν [uncommon] ( verb pres inf act ) "Troubleth" (with kopos below) is from parecho, which means "to hand over", "to furnish", "to supply", "to yield", "to produce", "to cause", "to present", "to offer", "to allow", "to grant", "to render," and "to promise."

μοι  (pron 1st sing dat) "Me" is moi, which means "I", "me", and "my". -- The "me" is in the indirect object form on the first-person pronoun, so usually "to me", though the form has other uses in Greek. 

κόπον [uncommon]( noun sg masc acc ) "Troubleth" (with parecho above) is from kopos, which means "striking", "beating", "toil and trouble", "work", "suffering", "pain of disease," and "fatigue."

τὴν χήραν ( noun sg fem acc ) "Widow" is from chera, which means "widow" and "bereaved."

ταύτην ( adj sg fem acc ) "This" is tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these", "this", "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. 

ἐκδικήσω [uncommon](verb 1st sg fut ind act) "Avenge" is  ekdikeo, which means to "avenge", "punish", "decide" (a case), and "vindicate".

αὐτήν, (adj sg fem acc) "Her" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

ἵνα (adv/conj) "Lest" is hina (with me below), which means "in that place", "there", "where", "when", "that", "in order that", "when," and "because."

μὴ (partic) "Lest" is me (with hina above), which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

εἰς (prep) "Into" is eis, which means "into (of place)," "up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)." --

τέλος ( noun sg neut acc ) "Continual" is telos, which means "come to pass", "performance", "consummation", "result", "product", "outcome", "end", "achievement", "attainment", "goal", "state of completion", "maturity", "services rendered", "something done", "task", "duty", "toll," and "custom." --

ἐρχομένη ( part sg pres mp fem nom ) "Coming" is erchomai, which means "to start," "to set out", "to come", "to go," and any kind of motion. It means both "to go" on a journey and "to arrive" at a place. --

ὑπωπιάζῃ [unique](verb 3rd sg pres subj act) "She weary" is hypōpiazō, which means to "strike under the eye", "give a black eye",  "bruise", and "mortify".

με. (noun sg masc acc) "Me" is eme, which means "I", "me", and "my".

Front Page Date: 

Oct 9 2018