Add parallel Print Page Options

Prayer and the Parable of the Persistent Widow

18 Then[a] Jesus[b] told them a parable to show them they should always[c] pray and not lose heart.[d] He said,[e] “In a certain city[f] there was a judge[g] who neither feared God nor respected people.[h] There was also a widow[i] in that city[j] who kept coming[k] to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For[l] a while he refused, but later on[m] he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor have regard for people,[n] yet because this widow keeps on bothering me, I will give her justice, or in the end she will wear me out[o] by her unending pleas.’”[p]

Read full chapter


  1. Luke 18:1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
  2. Luke 18:1 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  3. Luke 18:1 tn Or “should pray at all times” (L&N 67.88).
  4. Luke 18:1 sn This is one of the few parables that comes with an explanation at the start:…they should always pray and not lose heart. It is part of Luke’s goal in encouraging Theophilus (1:4).
  5. Luke 18:2 tn Grk “lose heart, saying.” This is a continuation of the previous sentence in the Greek text, but a new sentence was started here in the translation by supplying the pronominal subject “He.”
  6. Luke 18:2 tn Or “town.”
  7. Luke 18:2 sn The judge here is apparently portrayed as a civil judge who often handled financial cases.
  8. Luke 18:2 tn Grk “man,” but the singular ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used as a generic in comparison to God.
  9. Luke 18:3 sn This widow was not necessarily old, since many people lived only into their thirties in the 1st century.
  10. Luke 18:3 tn Or “town.”
  11. Luke 18:3 tn This is an iterative imperfect; the widow did this on numerous occasions.
  12. Luke 18:4 tn Grk “And for.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
  13. Luke 18:4 tn Grk “after these things.”
  14. Luke 18:4 tn Grk “man,” but the singular ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used as a generic in comparison to God.
  15. Luke 18:5 tn The term ὑπωπιάζω (hupōpiazō) in this context means “to wear someone out by continual annoying” (L&N 25.245).
  16. Luke 18:5 tn Grk “by her continual coming,” but the point of annoyance to the judge is her constant pleas for justice (v. 3).