Luke 18:11
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.
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(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 Zacchæus. 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.

Luke 18:11-12. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself — The original clause, σταθεις προς εαυτον ταυτα προσηυχετο, it seems, should rather be rendered, standing by himself prayed these things. Read thus, it is characteristical of the sect, who always affected to dread pollution from the touch of those whom they considered as their inferiors in piety. Thus this Pharisee kept himself at as great a distance as he could from the miserable sinner who had entered the temple with him, as if he feared being defiled by coming near him, or any other person less holy than himself. God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men — That is, not as the generality of my countrymen; extortioners, (αρπαγες, rapacious,) unjust, adulterers — Such are they, but I thank God I am not like them: or even as this publican — A great many good things he here says of himself, which we may suppose to be true. 1st, He was free from gross and scandalous sins. He was not an extortioner, not a usurer, nor an oppressor to his debtors or tenants, but equitable and kind to all dependant upon him: and not rapacious, seizing other men’s property under false pretences. He was not unjust in any of his dealings, did no wrong to any man; did not take advantage of any man’s ignorance, want of experience, or necessity, in buying or selling. He was not an adulterer, but had possessed his vessel in sanctification and honour. 2d, He attended the ordinances of God, and used all the means of grace, and not only those that were most commonly used, such as reading the word of God and prayer, but even fasting; yea, he fasted twice in the week, and that partly as an act of temperance, and partly as a help to devotion. This the Pharisees and their disciples were wont to do, keeping two private fasts every week, namely, on Mondays and Thursdays, as the primitive Christians did on Wednesdays and Fridays. Thus he glorified God with his body. Yet this was not all, for, 3d, He gave tithes of all that he possessed, according to the law, and so glorified God with his property. Many of the Pharisees were wont to give one full tenth of their income to the house and worship of God, and another tenth in alms to the poor. The sum of this plea is, I do no harm; I use all the means of grace; and I do all the good in my power. This was his righteousness, and of this righteousness, it must be observed, he gives God the glory, at least in appearance, ascribing it not to himself but to God, for he says, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men, &c. — And yet this Pharisee, notwithstanding all this, was not in a state of acceptance with God, but in a state of guilt, condemnation, and wrath. And what then will become of many professing Christians, who are so far from going beyond this Pharisee in any of these branches of righteousness, that they fall far short of him in every one of them. But why was not this Pharisee accepted of God? 1st, Because he trusted in this righteousness, (which, after all, was very imperfect,) not being acquainted with himself, nor knowing how far he came short of the glory of God, and how he was involved in sin and guilt. Hence he was not humbled before God, nor brought to experience that true repentance toward him, without which there is no forgiveness. 2d, Because he evidently thought highly of himself; nay, and boasted of his fancied righteousness, dwelling upon it with delight, even in his prayers; as if all his business at the temple had been to tell God Almighty how good he was. He went up to the temple indeed to pray, but, it appears, forgot his errand: for in what he said there is not one word of prayer: he was so full of himself, and his own goodness, that he thought he had need of nothing, no, not of the favour and grace of God. 3d, His giving God thanks for his righteousness, although, if it had been done in a proper spirit, it would have been a good thing, yet in him seems to have been a mere piece of formality, savouring of pride; and being, properly speaking, a praising of himself rather than of God; and such a praising of himself as implied the highest contempt of others, and particularly of his fellow-worshipper, the publican.

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.Stood and prayed thus with himself - Some have proposed to render this, "stood by himself" and prayed. In this way it would be characteristic of the sect of the Pharisees, who dreaded the contact of others as polluting, and who were disposed to say to all, Stand by yourselves. The Syraic so renders it, but it is doubtful whether the Greek will allow this construction. If not, it means, he said over to himself what he had done, and what was the ground on which he expected the favour of God.

God, I thank thee - There was still in the prayer of the Pharisee an "appearance" of real religion. He did not profess to claim that he had made himself better than others. He was willing to acknowledge that God had done it for him, and that he had a right to his gratitude for it. Hypocrites are often the most orthodox in opinion of any class of people. They know the truth, and admit it. They use it frequently in their prayers and conversation. They will even persecute those who happen to differ from them in opinion, and who may be really wrong. We are not to judge of the "piety" of people by the fact that they admit the truth, or even that they use it often in their prayers. It is, however, not wrong to thank God that he has kept us from the gross sins which other people commit; but it should not be done in an ostentatious manner, nor should it be done forgetting still that we are great sinners and need pardon. These were the faults of the Pharisees.

Extortioners - Rapacious; avaricious; who take away the goods of others by force and violence. It means, also, those who take advantage of the necessities of others, the poor and the oppressed, and extort their property.

Unjust - They who are not fair and honest in their dealings; who get the property of others by "fraud." They are distinguished from "extortioners" because they who are unjust may have the "appearance" of honesty; in the other case there is not.

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

God, &c.—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!

From hence we may observe that thanksgiving is a part of prayer. It is said he prayed, yet we read not of any one petition he put up. His standing while he prayed is not to be found fault with, (that was a usual posture used by persons praying), unless the Pharisee made choice of it for ostentation, that he might be the better taken notice of; which was too much their fault, Matthew 6:5. Whether the term prov eauton, with himself, in this place, signifieth that he only prayed in his heart, or with a voice that could not be heard, or only that he prayed by himself, I doubt; for though our Saviour, who knew men’s thoughts, could easily repeat his prayer, supposing it only mental, or at least with a voice not audible, yet this seemeth not to suit the humour of a Pharisee, whose whole design was to be taken notice of, seen, and heard by others. He saith,

God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men, extortioners, adulterers, &c. But was this blameworthy? May we not bless God for his restraining grace, not suffering us to run into, the same excesses of riot with other men? Doubtless it is both lawful, and our duty, provided:

1. That we speak truth when we say it.

2. That we do not come to plead this as our righteousness before God.

But this Pharisee:

1. Speaks this in the pride of his heart, in the justification of himself.

2. In the scorn and contempt of his neighbour.

3. Though he were guilty of as great sins as these, though of another kind.

In the mean time we observe, that he did not attribute this negative goodness, of which he had boasted, or that positive goodness, which he will tell us of by and by, to the power of his own will. He gives thanks to God for them.

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".


{3} 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.

(3) Although we confess that whatever we have, we have it from God, yet we are despised by God as proud and arrogant if we put even the least trust in our own works before God.

Luke 18:11-12. Σταθείς] See on Matthew 6:5. He took his stand, a trait of assurance, comp. Luke 19:8; Acts 2:14. See, on the other hand, Luke 18:13 : μακρόθεν ἑστώς.

πρὸς ἑαυτόν] does not belong to σταθείς, so that it would mean apart (Syr., Beza, Grotius, Paulus, Baumgarten-Crusius, Ewald, and others), which would be καθʼ ἑαυτόν (Xen. Anab. v. 10. 11; Acts 28:16; Jam 2:17; Zechariah 12:12), as D actually reads; but to προσηύχετο (Luther, Castalio, Bengel, Wetstein, and others, including Olshausen, de Wette, Bleek[226]): by himself, to himself, apud animum suum, as at 2Ma 11:13, and frequently in the classical writers: λέγειν πρὸς ἑαυτόν, to speak in thought, and the like. Naturally he would not allow such a prayer to be heard. The publican is otherwise, Luke 18:13.

ὅτι οὐκ εἰμὶ κ.τ.λ.] πρότερον γὰρ εἶπεν ἃ οὐκ ἔστιν, καὶ τότε κατέλεξεν ἅ ἐστιν, Theophylact.

οἱ λοιποὶ τῶν ἀνθρ.] comp. Revelation 9:20; Kühner, II. p. 122.[227]

ἄδικοι] unjust in the more limited sense.

ὡς οὗτος ὁ τελώνης] contemptuously, this publican here! “who skins and scrapes every one, and clutches wherever he can,” Luther, Predigt.

Luke 18:12. νηστεύω] of private fasting, which was observed twice in the week (τοῦ σαββ., Mark 16:9; 1 Corinthians 16:2), on Thursday and Monday. See on Matthew 6:16; Matthew 9:14; Lightfoot, p. 866.

κτῶμαι] not possideo (Vulgate, Castalio, Beza, and others), which would be κέκτημαι, but: what I acquire for myself. He gives tithes of everything, what he gains in natural products, everything without exception. The vainglorious πάντα ὅσα has the emphasis; his payment of tithes is beyond what the law required, as at Matthew 23:23. Moreover, comp. Pirke Aboth, ii. 13 : “Quando oras, noli in precibus bona tua enumerare, sed fac preces misericordiarum et pro gratia impetranda coram Deo.”

[226] From this construction it is plain that in B L א** min. Vulg. Copt. Arm. Slav. Or. Bas. Cypr. πρὸς ἑαυτ. stands after ταῦτα.

[227] “Duas classes Pharisaeus facit; in alteram conjicit totum genus humanum, altera, melior, ipse sibi solus esse videtur,” Bengel.

Luke 18:11. σταθεὶς, having taken his stand; fidenter loco solito (Bengel); “a sign less of confidence than of self-importance” (J. Weiss in Meyer). Probably both qualities are aimed at.—πρὸς ἑαυτὸν: whether these words should be taken with σταθεὶς or with προσηύχετο is disputed. If the position of ταῦτα before πρὸς ἑ. in [139] [140] be accepted, there is no room for doubt. Hahn contends that the proper meaning of πρὸς ἑ. προσηύχετο is “prayed to himself,” and that there is no instance of the use of πρὸς ἑ. in the sense of “with himself”. Godet takes the phrase as = to himself, and regards the so-called prayer as simply self-congratulation in God’s presence.—οἱ λοιποὶ τ. .: not necessarily all mankind, rather all the Jewish world outside his coterie = am haarez.—ἅρπαγες, etc. these hard words recall the elder brother’s μετὰ πορνῶν (Luke 15:30).—ἢ καὶ, or even, the publican pointed at as the ne plus ultra of depravity: the best foil to Pharisaic exemplariness.

[139] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[140] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with א and B.

11. stood and prayed thus with himself] Standing was the ordinary Jewish attitude of prayer (1 Kings 8:22; Mark 11:25), but the word statheis (which is not used of the Tax-gatherer) seems to imply that he stood by himself to avoid the contaminating contact of the ‘people of the earth,’ and posed himself in a conspicuous attitude (Matthew 6:5), as well as ‘prayed with himself’ as the words are perhaps rightly rendered. He was “a separatist in spirit as in name,” Trench. (Pharisee from Pharash ‘to separate.’)

God, I thank thee] Rather, O God. His prayer is no prayer at all; not even a thanksgiving, only a boast. See the strong denunciation of such insolent self-sufficiency in Revelation 3:17-18.

as other men] Rather, as the rest of mankind.

extortioners, unjust, adulterers] Could he, in any real sense, have made out even this claim to be free from glaring crimes? His class at any rate are charged by Christ with being “full of extortion” (Matthew 23:25); and they were unjust, seeing that they ‘omitted judgment’ (Matthew 23:23). They are not indeed charged by Jesus with adultery either in the metaphorical or literal sense, but they are spoken of as being prominent members of an adulterous generation, and on several occasions our Lord sternly rebuked their shameful laxity in the matter of divorce (Matthew 19:3-9). And not only does Josephus charge them with this crime also, but their Talmud, with perfect self-complacency, shews how the flagrant immorality of even their most eminent Rabbis found a way to shelter itself, with barefaced and cynical casuistry, under legal forms. See John 8:1-11, and Lightfoot, Hor. Hebr. ad loc.; Life of Christ, 11. 152. It appears from the tract Sotah in the Mishnah, that the ordeal of the ‘water of jealousy’ had been abolished by Jochanan Ben Zakkai, the greatest Rabbi of this age, because the crime had grown so common.

or even as this publican] He thus makes the Publican a foil to his own virtues. “This,” says St Augustine, “is no longer to exult, but to insult.”

Luke 18:11. Σταθεὶς, standing[199]) confidently, in his wonted place. This reciprocal form [having taken his stand, having stationed himself] denotes more than the neuter ἑστὼς, used of the publican presently after, in Luke 18:13.—πρὸς ἑαυτόν) praying as one dependent on himself (“penes se ipsum,” at his own disposal), giving ear to himself, as though he could bear no man to be next him. Comp. in Luke 18:9, πεποιθότας ἐφʼ ἑαυτοῖς, “who trusted in themselves.”—εὐχαριστῶ, I give thee thanks) By using this formula the Pharisee seems indeed to praise God [For it is with good reason, and deservedly, that thanks are rendered to GOD for deliverance from natural (temporal) destruction, if indeed that be done with truth and humility.—V. g.], but in reality he congratulates (prides) himself alone on his felicity: it is of himself alone that he speaks.—οἱ λοιποὶ, the rest of men) The Pharisee divides mankind into two classes: in the one class he groups together the whole human race; the second, that is the better class, he seems to himself alone to constitute.—ἅρπαγες, rapacious [extortioners]) He takes it as an established certainty, that the first and foremost class of sinners is that one under which he thinks the publican is included; in order that he may stigmatize him both in general with the rest of the class and also individually. The saving of the old poet accords with this: πάντες τελῶναι, πάντες εἰσὶν ἅρπαγες, all publicans (tax-gatherers) are all extortioners. See Gataker, Misc. posth. c. x.—οὗτος, this) Such language is indeed “the putting forth of the finger” [to point at in supercilious contempt and self-righteousness]: Isaiah 58:9.

[199] Comp. Isaiah 65:5, “Who say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.”—E. and T.

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'). Luke 18:11Stood (σταθεὶς)

Lit., having been placed. Took his stand. It implies taking up his position ostentatiously; striking an attitude. But not necessarily in a bad sense. See on Luke 19:8; and compare Acts 5:20. Standing was the ordinary posture of the Jews in prayer. Compare Matthew 6:5; Mark 11:25.

Prayed (προσηύχετο)

Imperfect: began to pray, or proceeded to pray.

Other men (οἱ λοιποὶ τῶν ἀνθρώπων)

Lit., the rest of men. See on Luke 18:9. A Jewish saying is quoted that s true Rabbin ought to thank God every day of his life; 1, that he was not created a Gentile; 2, that he was not a plebeian; 3, that he was not born a woman.


As the publicans.

This publican

Lit., this (one), the publican. This publican here. "He lets us see, even in the general enumeration, that he is thinking of the publican, so, afterward, he does not omit directly to mention him" (Goebel).

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