When thou goest with thine adversary
The creditor, as the Persic version, and who is the prosecutor, that has commenced a suit of law against another, in order to obtain his right: for Christ is here speaking of a bad man, that will not pay his just debts, so that his creditor is obliged to prosecute him, and have him to the
ruler, or prince; the Nasi, or prince of the sanhedrim, who sat as judge there: as thou art in the way; going along with the creditor, or prosecutor, to the court of judicature;
give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him.
The Persic version renders it, "give him the money"; and the Arabic version, "give what thou owest"; and the Syriac version, "give the gain"; or pay the interest, about which the dispute is, and so escape out of his hands; lest when the matter is brought into court, sentence should be given, to pay both interest and principal, with all costs and charges; or however, make up matters with him, satisfy him in some way or other, before things are brought to an extremity:
lest he hale thee to the judge;
the same that is called the magistrate, or prince before, that sits chief upon the bench, hears and tries causes, and passes sentence:
and the judge deliver thee to the officer:
who upon hearing the matter in difference, and giving the cause against the defendant, and for the prosecutor, delivers the debtor into the hands of a proper officer, in order to commit him to prison: the word rendered "officer", signifies an exactor of debts, or fines, and was one that obliged such as were cast, to do what the judge appointed to be done: in the Septuagint on ( Isaiah 3:12 ) it answers to an "oppressor"; and such men were wont to use rigour, to bring persons to the payment of their debts, or fines:
and the officer cast thee into prison;
which he had power to do, when committed into his hands by the judge, in case the sentence pronounced was not immediately complied with; (See Gill on Matthew 5:25).