Luke 18:11
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector.

New Living Translation
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: 'I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don't cheat, I don't sin, and I don't commit adultery. I'm certainly not like that tax collector!

English Standard Version
The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

Berean Study Bible
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, 'God, I thank You that I am not like the other men--swindlers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector.

Berean Literal Bible
The Pharisee having stood, was praying toward himself thus: 'God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of the men--swindlers, unrighteous, adulterers--or even like this tax collector.

New American Standard Bible
"The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

King James Bible
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The Pharisee took his stand and was praying like this: God, I thank You that I'm not like other people--greedy, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

International Standard Version
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, 'O God, I thank you that I'm not like other people—thieves, dishonest people, adulterers, or even this tax collector.

NET Bible
The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself like this: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people: extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers--or even like this tax collector.

New Heart English Bible
The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: 'God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The Pharisee was standing alone by himself and he was praying these things: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men: extortioners, oppressors, adulterers, and not like this Tax Collector.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The Pharisee stood up and prayed, 'God, I thank you that I'm not like other people! I'm not a robber or a dishonest person. I haven't committed adultery. I'm not even like this tax collector.

New American Standard 1977
“The Pharisee stood and was praying thus to himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are: extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

King James 2000 Bible
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.

American King James Version
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortionists, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

American Standard Version
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

Douay-Rheims Bible
The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, as also is this publican.

Darby Bible Translation
The Pharisee, standing, prayed thus to himself: God, I thank thee that I am not as the rest of men, rapacious, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax-gatherer.

English Revised Version
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

Webster's Bible Translation
The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

Weymouth New Testament
The Pharisee, standing erect, prayed as follows by himself: "'O God, I thank Thee that I am not like other people--I am not a thief nor a cheat nor an adulterer, nor do I even resemble this tax-gatherer.

World English Bible
The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: 'God, I thank you, that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.

Young's Literal Translation
the Pharisee having stood by himself, thus prayed: God, I thank Thee that I am not as the rest of men, rapacious, unrighteous, adulterers, or even as this tax-gatherer;
Study Bible
The Pharisee and Tax Collector
10“Two men went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like the other men — swindlers, evildoers, adulterers — or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and pay tithes of all that I receive.’…
Cross References
Proverbs 20:6
Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man?

Proverbs 30:12
There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes, Yet is not washed from his filthiness.

Matthew 5:20
For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 6:5
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward.

Matthew 10:3
Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;

Mark 11:25
And when you stand to pray, if you hold anything against another, forgive it, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your trespasses as well."

Luke 22:41
And He withdrew about a stone's throw beyond them, where He knelt down and prayed,
Treasury of Scripture

The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are, extortionists, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

stood.

Psalm 134:1 Behold, bless you the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, which by …

Psalm 135:2 You that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God.

Matthew 6:5 And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are…

Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any…

God.

Isaiah 1:15 And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you: …

Isaiah 58:2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation …

Jeremiah 2:28,35 But where are your gods that you have made you? let them arise, if …

Ezekiel 33:31 And they come to you as the people comes, and they sit before you …

Micah 3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach …

1 Corinthians 4:7,8 For who makes you to differ from another? and what have you that …

1 Corinthians 15:9,10 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called …

1 Timothy 1:12-16 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has enabled me, for that he …

Revelation 3:17 Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need …

as.

Luke 20:47 Which devour widows' houses, and for a show make long prayers: the …

Isaiah 65:5 Which say, Stand by yourself, come not near to me; for I am holier …

Matthew 3:7-10 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, …

Matthew 19:18-20 He said to him, Which? Jesus said, You shall do no murder, You shall …

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for …

Philippians 3:6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness …

James 2:9-12 But if you have respect to persons, you commit sin, and are convinced …

(11) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself.--A false stress has often been laid on the Pharisee's attitude, as though his standing erect was in itself an indication of his self-righteous pride. But the publican also stood, and although another tense of the same verb is used, it is an over-subtle refinement to see this difference between the two forms. Standing was, indeed, with the Jews, the customary attitude of prayer. The self-same participle is used here of the Pharisee, and in Luke 19:8 of Zacchus. The order of the words in the Greek is "standing by (or, with) himself, prayed thus (or, as follows);" and it is a question of punctuation whether the words point to the Pharisee's standing "by himself," shrinking from contact with others, and so making himself the "observed of all observers," or, as in the Authorised version, that he "prayed with himself." The general use of the preposition is all but decisive in favour of the latter view. It does not follow, however, as has been somewhat hastily assumed, that the prayer was a silent one, that even he would not have dared to utter aloud such a boast as that which follows. There was nothing in the character of the typical Pharisee to lead him to any such sense of shame; and silent prayer, never customary among the Jews at any time, would have been at variance with every tradition of the Pharisees. (Comp. Notes on Matthew 6:5; Matthew 6:7). So far as the phrase has any special point, it indicates that he was not praying to God at all; he was practically praying to himself, congratulating himself, half-consciously, that he had no need to pray, in the sense of asking for pardon, or peace, or righteousness, though it might be right, by way of example, to perform his acts of devotion and to thank God for what he had received. The words remind us--(1) of the title which Marcus Aurelius gave to his Stoic Meditations--"Thoughts (or better, perhaps, communings) with himself"--in which he, too, begins with thanksgiving and self-gratulations on the progress he had made in virtue from his youth onward (Meditt. i. 1); (2) of the more modern theory which recognises the value of prayer as raising the thoughts of man to a higher level, by a kind of self-mesmerising action, but excludes from it altogether the confession of sin, or the supplication for pardon, or the "making our wants known unto God" (Philippians 4:6). The verb for "prayed" is in the tense which implies continuance. He was making a long address, of which this was a sample (Luke 20:47).

God, I thank thee . . .--We cannot say that the formula, as a formula, was wrong. We are bound to thank God that we have been kept from sins. But all devout minds, and all rightly-constructed liturgies, have recognised the truth that confession must come first, and that without it thanksgiving is merely the utterance of a serene self-satisfaction in outward comforts, or, as here, of spiritual pride.

That I am not as other men.--Here, as before, the rest of mankind. This was the first false step. He did not compare his own imperfections with the infinite perfections of the Eternal, but with the imagined greater imperfections of his fellow-men, and so he stood as one who had gained the shore, and looked with pride, but not with pity, on those who were still struggling in the deep waters.

Extortioners, unjust, adulterers, . . .--The first word was aptly chosen, and was obviously suggested by the presence of the other supplicant. "Six publicans and half-a-dozen extortioners" had become a proverb; and the offensive epithet, if not meant to be heard by the publican, was, at any rate, mentally directed at him. In actual life, as our Lord teaches, there was a far worse, because a more hypocritical, "extortion" practised generally by the Pharisees themselves (Matthew 23:25; Luke 11:39). The other words are more generally put, but they were obviously spoken with side glances at this or that bystander. The language of Cromwell in dissolving the Long Parliament, saying to one "Thou art an adulterer," and to another "Thou art a drunkard and a glutton," to a third "and thou an extortioner," offers a curious instance of unconscious parallelism (Hume's History of England, chap. 60).

Or even as this publican.--This was the climax of all. He saw the man smiting on his breast in anguish, and no touch of pity, no desire to say a word of comfort, rises in his soul. The penitent is only a foil to the lustre of his own virtues, and gives the zest of contrast to his own insatiable vanity. The very pronoun has the ring of scorn in it.

Verse 11. - The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee that I am not as other men are. How closely drawn from the life is this picture of a Pharisee will be seen by a comparison of the prayer here with the prayer of a rabbi contained in the Talmud. When Rabbi Nechounia Ben Hakana left his school, he used to say, "I thank thee, O Eternal, my God, for having given me part with those who attend this school instead of running through the shops. I rise early like them, but it is to study the Law, not for futile ends. I take trouble as they do, but I shall be rewarded, and they will not. We run alike, but I for the future life, while they will only arrive at the pit of destruction" (from the treatise 'Berachath'). The Pharisee stood,.... Standing was a praying posture; See Gill on Matthew 6:5 nor is this observed, as if it was something amiss: but the sense is, either that he stood in some place of eminence, that he might be seen of others; or he stood in a set, fixed posture, in a very grave and solemn manner, showing great devotion and seriousness; or he stood with great boldness and confidence:

and prayed thus with himself; the phrase, "with himself", may be read either with the word "stood", as it is in the Syriac version; and then the sense is that he stood alone, apart from the publican, at a distance from him, as despising him; and lest he should be polluted by him; see Isaiah 65:4 or with the word "prayed", and does not design internal prayer, which was what the Pharisees did not use; for all they did was to be seen, and heard of men: but the meaning is, that he prayed only with respect to himself; he was wholly intent upon himself; his own self, and the commendation of himself, were the subject of his prayer: his whole dependence in it was on himself; and he was only seeking by it his own glory: he had no regard to the people of God, to aid the saints, nor did he put up one petition for them; nor had he any respect to Christ, the mediator, through whom access is had to God, and acceptance with him; nor to the Holy Spirit for his assistance; and though he addressed himself to God, yet in praise of himself, saying,

God I thank thee: there is no petition in this prayer of his for pardoning grace and mercy; nor larger measures of grace; nor for strength to perform duties, and to hold on to the end; nor for any favour whatever; nor is there any confession of sin in it. So that it scarce deserves the name of a prayer, for in it is only a thanksgiving: indeed, thanksgiving in prayer is right; and had he been a man that had received the grace of God, it would have been right in him to have given thanks to God for it, by which he was made to differ from others: nor would he have been blameworthy, had he thanked God for the good things which he had received from him, or which by his assistance he had done; but nothing of this kind is said by him: he thanks God, in order to exalt himself, and places his righteousness in his own works, and treats all other men in a censorious and disdainful manner; thanking God, or rather blessing himself, saying,

that I am not as other men are; and yet he was as other men, and no better: he was a sinner in Adam, as other men; and a sinner by nature, as others are; and had the same iniquities and corruptions in his heart, as others; and had no more goodness in him than other men, and as far from true real righteousness. Perhaps he means the Gentiles, whom the Jews looked upon as sinners, and the worst of men; and yet they were in no wise better than the Gentiles, as to their state and condition by nature: it was usual to call the Gentiles "other men"; which phrase is sometimes explained by "the nations of the world" (a); and sometimes by the "Cuthites", or "Samaritans" (b); See Gill on Luke 5:29. ---He goes on,

extortioners, unjust, adulterers; and yet all these characters belonged to the men of sect: the Pharisees were oppressors of the poor, devoured widows' houses, and extorted money from them, under a pretence of long prayers: they are aptly represented by the unjust steward, in Luke 16:1 and they were au unclean, unchaste, and an adulterous generation of men, Matthew 12:39

or even as this publican; pointing to him at some distance, with great scorn and disdain. This was his prayer, or thanksgiving. It may gratify the curiosity of some to have some other prayers of the Pharisees; and it may be worth while to compare them with this, between which there will appear a pretty deal of likeness.

"R. Nechunia ben Hakkana used to pray, when he went into the school, and when he came out, a short prayer: they said unto him, what is the goodness (or the excellency) of this prayer? he replied to them, when I go in, I pray, that no offence might come by means of me; and when I go out, "I give thanks" for my portion: when I go in, this is what I say, let it be thy good pleasure before thee, O Lord, my God, the God of my fathers, that I may not be angry with my colleagues, nor my colleagues be angry with me; that I may not pronounce that which is pure defiled, and that which is defiled, pure; that I may not forbid that which is lawful, nor pronounce lawful that which is forbidden; and that I may not be found ashamed in this world, and in the world to come: and when I come out, this is what I say; I confess before thee, (or I thank thee) O Lord God, and the God of my fathers, that thou hast given me my portion among those that sit in the schools, and synagogues, and hast not given me my portion in the theatres and shows: for I labour, and they labour; I watch, and they watch; I labour to inherit paradise, and they labour for the pit of corruption (c).''

And these two prayers the Jews were obliged to recite at their going in, and coming out of the synagogue.

"It is a tradition of R. Juda, saying, three things a man ought to say every day; blessed be thou, , "that thou hast not made me a Gentile"; blessed art thou, that thou hast not made me an unlearned man (or one that is vain and foolish, uncivil and uncultivated); blessed art thou, that hast not made me a woman (d).''

In their prayer books (e), these thanksgivings stand thus:

"blessed art thou, O Lord our God, the King of the world, that thou hast made me an Israelite; (in some books it is, as before, that thou hast not made me a Gentile;) blessed art thou, O Lord our God, the King of the world, that thou hast not made me a servant; blessed art thou, O Lord our God, the King of the world, that thou hast not made me a woman:''

when the women, instead of this last, say:

"blessed art thou, O Lord our God, the King of the world, who has made me as he pleases.''

And very agreeable to one of these benedictions does the Ethiopic version render the prayer of the Pharisee here; "I thank thee, O Lord that thou hast not made me as other men".

continued...11, 12. stood—as the Jews in prayer (Mr 11:25).

God, etc.—To have been kept from gross iniquities was undoubtedly a just cause of thankfulness to God; but instead of the devoutly humble, admiring frame which this should inspire, the Pharisee arrogantly severs himself from the rest of mankind, as quite above them, and, with a contemptuous look at the poor publican, thanks God that he has not to stand afar off like him, to hang down his head like a bulrush and beat his breast like him. But these are only his moral excellencies. His religious merits complete his grounds for congratulation. Not confining himself to the one divinely prescribed annual fast (Le 16:29), he was not behind the most rigid, who fasted on the second and fifth days of every week [Lightfoot], and gave the tenth not only of what the law laid under tithing, but of "all his gains." Thus, besides doing all his duty, he did works of supererogation; while sins to confess and spiritual wants to be supplied he seems to have felt none. What a picture of the Pharisaic character and religion!18:9-14 This parable was to convince some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. God sees with what disposition and design we come to him in holy ordinances. What the Pharisee said, shows that he trusted to himself that he was righteous. We may suppose he was free from gross and scandalous sins. All this was very well and commendable. Miserable is the condition of those who come short of the righteousness of this Pharisee, yet he was not accepted; and why not? He went up to the temple to pray, but was full of himself and his own goodness; the favour and grace of God he did not think worth asking. Let us beware of presenting proud devotions to the Lord, and of despising others. The publican's address to God was full of humility, and of repentance for sin, and desire toward God. His prayer was short, but to the purpose; God be merciful to me a sinner. Blessed be God, that we have this short prayer upon record, as an answered prayer; and that we are sure that he who prayed it, went to his house justified; for so shall we be, if we pray it, as he did, through Jesus Christ. He owned himself a sinner by nature, by practice, guilty before God. He had no dependence but upon the mercy of God; upon that alone he relied. And God's glory is to resist the proud, and give grace to the humble. Justification is of God in Christ; therefore the self-condemned, and not the self-righteous, are justified before God.
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NT Gospels: Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself (Luke Lu Lk) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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