In Ezekiel 18:25; 29; 33:17,20, "The way of the Lord is not equal" translates Hebrew yittakhen for takhan, "to weigh," and means "is not adjusted to any fixed standard," "arbitrary," "fitful," and, therefore, "not equitable, fair, or impartial" Septuagint ("is not set straight"). Compare same Hebrew word in 1 Samuel 2:3, where the Lord is said to `weigh actions.' "Equal," therefore, is what will bear the closest investigation and strictest judgment. In Matthew 20:12, "made them equal" means "put them upon the same footing," i.e. regarded their brief service as though it were the very same as our long hours of toil. In Luke 20:36 the context restricts the equality to a particular relation. The precise meaning of isos in John 5:18, "making himself equal with God," is clearly defined by the preceding clause, for our Lord's opponents say that He has "called God his own Father" (Greek idion patera, i.e. His Father in a peculiar and exclusive sense; compare idiou huiou of Romans 8:32, applying the same adjective to the Son in His relation to the Father, i.e. His Son in a sense in which no one else can claim the title). They correctly interpreted the language of Jesus as declaring that He was the Son of God in a way that put Him on an equality with God. The charge against Him is not that He said that He was "like" (homoios), but that He was "equal" (isos), i.e. of the very same rank and authority.
H. E. Jacobs
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