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Luke 18:9 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And he spake also this parable unto certain who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and set all others at nought:
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt:
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And he spoke this parable to certain who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And he spoke also to some, who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and made nothing of all the rest [of men], this parable:
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And he spake, even unto certain who were confident in themselves that they were righteous, and were despising the rest, this parable:—
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And he spake also unto certain who have been trusting in themselves that they were righteous, and have been despising the rest, this simile:
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And to some who trusted in themselves as just and despised others, he spoke also this parable:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And he spake this parable vnto certaine which trusted in themselues that they were righteous, & despised other:
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— And he spake this parable against some who trusted in themselves that they were just, and despised all (men):
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And he spake this similitude, against certain persons, who had confidence in themselves that they were righteous, and despised every one.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And 1161
{1161} Prime
δέ
de
{deh}
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
he spake 2036
{2036} Prime
ἔπω
epo
{ep'-o}
A primary verb (used only in the definite past tense, the others being borrowed from G2046, G4483 and G5346); to speak or say (by word or writting).
2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
z5627
<5627> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2138 plus 1 in a variant reading in a footnote
this 5026
{5026} Prime
ταύτῃ
taute
{tow'-tay}
Dative, accusative and genitive case respectively of the feminine singular of G3778; (towards or of) this.
parable 3850
{3850} Prime
παραβολή
parabole
{par-ab-ol-ay'}
From G3846; a similitude ('parable'), that is, (symbolically) fictitious narrative (of common life conveying a moral), apoth gm or adage.
unto 4314
{4314} Prime
πρός
pros
{pros}
A strengthened form of G4253; a preposition of direction; forward to, that is, toward (with the genitive case the side of, that is, pertaining to; with the dative case by the side of, that is, near to; usually with the accusative case the place, time, occasion, or respect, which is the destination of the relation, that is, whither or for which it is predicated).
certain 5100
{5100} Prime
τὶς
tis
{tis}
An enclitic indefinite pronoun; some or any person or object.
which y3588
[3588] Standard

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
trusted 3982
{3982} Prime
πείθω
peitho
{pi'-tho}
A primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty).
z5756
<5756> Grammar
Tense - Second Perfect (See G5782)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 43
in 1909
{1909} Prime
ἐπί
epi
{ep-ee'}
A primary preposition properly meaning superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.), as a relation of distribution [with the genitive case], that is, over, upon, etc.; of rest (with the dative case) at, on, etc.; of direction (with the accusative case) towards, upon, etc.
themselves 1438
{1438} Prime
ἑαυτοῦ
heautou
{heh-ow-too'}
(Including all the other cases); from a reflexive pronoun otherwise obsolete and the genitive (dative or accusative) of G0846; him (her, it, them, also [in conjunction with the personal pronoun of the other persons] my, thy, our, your) -self (-selves), etc.
that 3754
{3754} Prime
ὅτι
hoti
{hot'-ee}
Neuter of G3748 as conjugation; demonstrative that (sometimes redundant); causatively because.
they were 1526
{1526} Prime
εἰσί
eisi
{i-see'}
Third person plural present indicative of G1510; they are.
z5748
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
righteous, 1342
{1342} Prime
δίκαιος
dikaios
{dik'-ah-yos}
From G1349; equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively).
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
despised 1848
{1848} Prime
ἐξουθενέω
exoutheneo
{ex-oo-then-eh'-o}
A variation of G1847 and meaning the same.
z5723
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
others: 3062
{3062} Prime
λοιποί
loipoy
{loy-poy'}
Masculine plural of a derivative of G3007; remaining ones.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Luke 18:9

_ _ Luke 18:9-14. Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Luke 18:9-14

_ _ The scope of this parable likewise is prefixed to it, and we are told (Luke 18:9) who they were whom it was levelled at, and for whom it was calculated. He designed it for the conviction of some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. They were such as had, 1. A great conceit of themselves, and of their own goodness; they thought themselves as holy as they needed to be, and holier than all their neighbours, and such as might serve for examples to them all. But that was not all; 2. They had a confidence in themselves before God, and not only had a high opinion of their own righteousness, but depended upon the merit of it, whenever they addressed God, as their plea: They trusted in themselves as being righteous; they thought they had made God their debtor, and might demand any thing from him; and, 3. They despised others, and looked upon them with contempt, as not worthy to be compared with them. Now Christ by this parable would show such their folly, and that thereby they shut themselves out from acceptance with God. This is called a parable, though there be nothing of similitude in it; but it is rather a description of the different temper and language of those that proudly justify themselves, and those that humbly condemn themselves; and their different standing before God. It is matter of fact every day.

_ _ I. Here are both these addressing themselves to the duty of prayer at the same place and time (Luke 18:10): Two men went up into the temple (for the temple stood upon a hill) to pray. It was not the hour of public prayer, but they went thither to offer up their personal devotions, as was usual with good people at that time, when the temple was not only the place, but the medium of worship, and God had promised, in answer to Solomon's request, that, whatever prayer was made in a right manner in or towards that house, it should therefore the rather be accepted. Christ is our temple, and to him we must have an eye in all our approaches to God. The Pharisees and the publican both went to the temple to pray. Note, Among the worshippers of God, in the visible church, there is a mixture of good and bad, of some that are accepted of God, and some that are not; and so it has been ever since Cain and Abel brought their offering to the same altar. The Pharisee, proud as he was, could not think himself above prayer; nor could the publican, humble as he was, think himself shut out from the benefit of it; but we have reason to think that these went with different views. 1. The Pharisee went to the temple to pray because it was a public place, more public than the corners of the streets, and therefore he should have many eyes upon him, who would applaud his devotion, which perhaps was more than was expected. The character Christ gave of the Pharisees, that all their works they did to be seen of men, gives us occasion for this suspicion. Note, Hypocrites keep up the external performances of religion only to save or gain credit. There are many whom we see every day at the temple, whom, it is to be feared, we shall not see in the great day at Christ's right hand. 2. The publican went to the temple because it was appointed to be a house of prayer for all people, Isaiah 56:7. The Pharisee came to the temple upon a compliment, the publican upon business; the Pharisee to make his appearance, the publican to make his request. Now God sees with what disposition and design we come to wait upon him in holy ordinances, and will judge of us accordingly.

_ _ II. Here is the Pharisee's address to God (for a prayer I cannot call it): He stood and prayed thus with himself (Luke 18:11, Luke 18:12): standing by himself, he prayed thus, so some read it; he was wholly intent upon himself, had nothing in his eye but self, his own praise, and not God's glory; or, standing in some conspicuous place, where he distinguished himself; or, setting himself with a great deal of state and formality, he prayed thus. Now that which he is here supposed to say is that which shows,

_ _ 1. That he trusted to himself that he was righteous. A great many good things he said of himself, which we will suppose to be true. He was free from gross and scandalous sins; he was not an extortioner, not a usurer, not oppressive to debtors or tenants, but fair and kind to all that had dependence upon him. He was not unjust in any of his dealings; he did no man any wrong; he could say, as Samuel, Whose ox or whose ass have I taken? He was no adulterer, but had possessed his vessel in sanctification and honour. Yet this was not all; he fasted twice in the week, as an act partly of temperature, partly of devotion. The Pharisees and their disciples fasted twice a week, Monday and Thursday. Thus he glorified God with his body: yet that was not all; he gave tithes of all that he possessed, according to the law, and so glorified God with his worldly estate. Now 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 was he not? (1.) His giving God thanks for this, though in itself a good thing, yet seems to be a mere formality. He does not say, By the grace of God I am what I am, as Paul did, but turns it off with a slight, God, I thank thee, which is intended but for a plausible introduction to a proud vainglorious ostentation of himself. (2.) He makes his boast of this, and dwells with delight upon this subject, as if all his business to the temple was to tell God Almighty how very good he was; and he is ready to say, with those hypocrites that we read of (Isaiah 58:3), Wherefore have we fasted, and thou seest not? (3.) He trusted to it as a righteousness, and not only mentioned it, but pleaded it, as if hereby he had merited at the hands of God, and made him his debtor. (4.) Here is not one word of prayer in all he saith. He went up to the temple to pray, but forgot his errand, 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, which, it would seem, he did not think worth asking.

_ _ 2. That he despised others. (1.) He thought meanly of all mankind but himself: I thank thee that I am not as other men are. He speaks indefinitely, as if he were better than any. We may have reason to thank God that we are not as some men are, that are notoriously wicked and vile; but to speak at random thus, as if we only were good, and all besides us were reprobates, is to judge by wholesale. (2.) He thought meanly in a particular manner of this publican, whom he had left behind, it is probable, in the court of the Gentiles, and whose company he had fallen into as he came to the temple. He knew that he was a publican, and therefore very uncharitably concluded that he was an extortioner, unjust, and all that is naught. Suppose it had been so, and he had known it, what business had he to take notice of it? Could not he say his prayers (and that was all that the Pharisees did) without reproaching his neighbours? Or was this a part of his God, I thank thee? And was he as much pleased with the publican's badness as with his own goodness? There could not be a plainer evidence, not only of the want of humility and charity, but of reigning pride and malice, than this was.

_ _ III. Here is the publican's address to God, which was the reverse of the Pharisee's, as full of humility and humiliation as his was of pride and ostentation; as full of repentance for sin, and desire towards God, as his was of confidence in himself and his own righteousness and sufficiency.

_ _ 1. He expressed his repentance and humility in what he did; and his gesture, when he addressed himself to his devotions, was expressive of great seriousness and humility, and the proper clothing of a broken, penitent, and obedient heart. (1.) He stood afar off. The Pharisee stood, but crowded up as high as he could, to the upper end of the court; the publican kept at a distance under a sense of his unworthiness to draw near to God, and perhaps for fear of offending the Pharisee, whom he observed to look scornfully upon him, and of disturbing his devotions. Hereby he owned that God might justly behold him afar off, and send him into a state of eternal distance from him, and that it was a great favour that God was pleased to admit him thus nigh. (2.) He would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, much less his hands, as was usual in prayer. He did lift up his heart to God in the heavens, in holy desires, but, through prevailing shame and humiliation, he did not lift up his eyes in holy confidence and courage. His iniquities are gone over his head, as a heavy burden, so that he is not able to look up, Psalms 40:12. The dejection of his looks is an indication of the dejection of his mind at the thought of sin. (3.) He smote upon his breast, in a holy indignation at himself for sin: “Thus would I smite this wicked heart of mine, the poisoned fountain out of which flow all the streams of sin, if I could come at it.” The sinner's heart first smites him in a penitent rebuke, 2 Samuel 24:10. David's heart smote him. Sinner, what hast thou done? And then he smites his heart with penitent remorse: O wretched man that I am? Ephraim is said to smite upon his thigh, Jeremiah 31:19. Great mourners are represented tabouring upon their breasts, Nahum 2:7.

_ _ 2. He expressed it in what he said. His prayer was short. Fear and shame hindered him from saying much; sighs and groans swallowed up his words; but what he said was to the purpose: God, be merciful to me a sinner. And blessed be God that we have this prayer upon record as an answered prayer, and that we are sure that he who prayed it went to his house justified; and so shall we, if we pray it, as he did, through Jesus Christ: “God, be merciful to me a sinner; the God of infinite mercy be merciful to me, for, if he be not, I am for ever undone, for ever miserable. God be merciful to me, for I have been cruel to myself.” (1.) He owns himself a sinner by nature, by practice, guilty before God. Behold, I am vile, what shall I answer thee? The Pharisee denies himself to be a sinner; none of his neighbours can charge him, and he sees no reason to charge himself, with any thing amiss; he is clean, he is pure from sin. But the publican gives himself no other character than that of a sinner, a convicted criminal at God's bar. (2.) He has no dependence but upon the mercy of God, that, and that only, he relies upon. The Pharisee had insisted upon the merit of his fastings and tithes; but the poor publican disclaims all thought of merit, and flies to mercy as his city of refuge, and takes hold of the horn of that altar. “Justice condemns me; nothing will save me but mercy, mercy.” (3.) He earnestly prays for the benefit of that mercy: “O God, be merciful, be propitious, to me; forgive my sins; be reconciled to me; take me into thy favour; receive me graciously; love me freely.” He comes as a beggar for an alms, when he is ready to perish for hunger. Probably he repeated this prayer with renewed affections, and perhaps said more to the same purport, made a particular confession of his sins, and mentioned the particular mercies he wanted, and waited upon God for; but still this was the burden of the song: God, be merciful to me a sinner.

_ _ IV. Here is the publican's acceptance with God. We have seen how differently these two addressed themselves to God; it is now worth while to enquire how they sped. There were those who would cry up the Pharisee, by whom he would go to his house applauded, and who would look with contempt upon this sneaking whining publican. But our Lord Jesus, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secret is hid, who is perfectly acquainted with all proceedings in the court of heaven, assures us that this poor, penitent, broken-hearted publican went to his house justified, rather than the other. The Pharisee thought that if one of them must be justified, and not the other, certainly it must be he rather than the publican. “No,” saith Christ, “I tell you, I affirm it with the utmost assurance, and declare it to you with the utmost concern, I tell you, it is the publican rather than the Pharisee.” The proud Pharisee goes away, rejected of God; his thanksgivings are so far from being accepted that they are an abomination; he is not justified, his sins are not pardoned, nor is he delivered from condemnation: he is not accepted as righteous in God's sight, because he is so righteous in his own sight; but the publican, upon this humble address to Heaven, obtains the remission of his sins, and he whom the Pharisee would not set with the dogs of his flock God sets with the children of his family. The reason given for this is because God's glory is to resist the proud, and give grace to the humble. 1. Proud men, who exalt themselves, are rivals with God, and therefore they shall certainly be abased. God, in his discourse with Job, appeals to this proof that he is God, that he looks upon every one that is proud, and brings him low, Job 40:12. 2. Humble men, who abase themselves, are subject to God, and they shall be exalted. God has preferment in store for those that will take it as a favour, not for those that demand it as a debt. He shall be exalted into the love of God, and communion with him, shall be exalted into a satisfaction in himself, and exalted at last as high as heaven. See how the punishment answers the sin: He that exalteth himself shall be abased. See how the recompence answers the duty: He that humbles himself shall be exalted. See also the power of God's grace in bringing good out of evil; the publican had been a great sinner, and out of the greatness of his sin was brought the greatness of his repentance; out of the eater came forth meat. See, on the contrary, the power of Satan's malice in bringing evil out of good. It was good that the Pharisee was no extortioner, nor unjust; but the devil made him proud of this, to his ruin.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Luke 18:9

He spake this parable — Not to hypocrites; the Pharisee here mentioned was no hypocrite, no more than an outward adulterer: but he sincerely trusted in himself that he was righteous, and accordingly told God so, in the prayer which none but God heard.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Luke 18:9

(2) And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

(2) Two things especially make our prayers void and of no effect: confidence of our own righteousness, and our contempt of others; but a humble heart is contrary to both of these.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
which:

Luke 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
Luke 15:29 And he answering said to [his] father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Proverbs 30:12 [There is] a generation [that are] pure in their own eyes, and [yet] is not washed from their filthiness.
Isaiah 65:5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These [are] a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.
Isaiah 66:5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
John 9:28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples.
John 9:34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.
Romans 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
Romans 9:31-32 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. ... Wherefore? Because [they sought it] not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Philippians 3:4-6 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: ... Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

that they were righteous:
or, as being righteous

and despised:

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.
Luke 7:39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw [it], he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman [this is] that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
Luke 15:30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
Luke 19:7 And when they saw [it], they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
John 7:47-49 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? ... But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.
John 8:48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?
Acts 22:21 And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.
Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Pv 30:12. Is 65:5; 66:5. Lk 7:39; 10:29; 15:2, 29, 30; 16:15; 18:11; 19:7. Jn 7:47; 8:48; 9:28, 34. Ac 22:21. Ro 7:9; 9:31; 10:3; 14:10. Php 3:4.

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