Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 18:10

"Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Bigotry;   Church;   Confidence;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Penitent;   Publicans;   Repentance;   Self-Righteousness;   Temple;   Works;   Worship;   Scofield Reference Index - Justification;   Thompson Chain Reference - Attendance;   House of God;   Pharisees;   Publicans;   Sabbath;   Sanctuary;   Sects, Jewish;   Worship, True and False;   The Topic Concordance - Abasement;   Exaltation;   Humbleness;   Hypocrisy;   Self-Righteousness;   Tithe;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Parables;   Self-Righteousness;   Temple, the Second;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Parable;   Publican;   Temple;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Adultery;   Boasting;   Humility;   Luke, gospel of;   Prayer;   Pride;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Ethics;   Humility;   Pharisees;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Hearing the Word of God;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Tithe;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Pharisees;   Prayer;   Simeon;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Confession;   Ethics;   Parable;   Prayer;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Annunciation, the ;   Character;   Common Life;   Confession (of Sin);   Discourse;   Error;   Forgiveness (2);   Grace ;   Humility;   Invitation;   Justice (2);   Law of God;   Mission;   Occupation (2);   Parable;   Prayer (2);   Profession (2);   Property (2);   Publican ;   Repentance (2);   Temple (2);   Trinity (2);   Winter ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Publicans;   1910 New Catholic Dictionary - parable of the pharisee and the publican;   pharisee and publican;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Pharisee;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Phar'isees,;   Prayer;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Publican;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Court of the Sanctuary;   Forgiveness;   Gospels, the Synoptic;   Guilt;   Hours of Prayer;   Jesus Christ (Part 1 of 2);   Prayer;   Prayers of Jesus;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for June 30;   Every Day Light - Devotion for April 26;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

A Pharisee - For a description of the Pharisees and their tenets, see on Matthew 16:1; (note).

Publican - See an account of these on Matthew 5:46; (note). Both these persons went to the temple to pray, i.e. to worship God: they were probably both Jews, and felt themselves led by different motives to attend at the temple, at the hour of prayer: the one to return thanks for the mercies he had received; the other to implore that grace which alone could redeem him from his sins.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The temple - Into one of the courts of the temple - the court where prayer was commonly offered. See the notes at Matthew 21:12.

A Pharisee - See the notes at Matthew 3:7.

Publican - See the notes at Matthew 5:46.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-18.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Two men went up to the temple to pray: the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

The character of both classes of men represented by these two has frequently been noted in this series. For comment on "Pharisees," see my Commentary on Matthew, Matthew 3:7. The publicans were the tax collectors, particularly odious to the Jews because they were willing agents of Roman oppression; and besides that, many tax gatherers were dishonest. The very name "publican" passed into the popular vocabulary as a designation for one who was hated and despised.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-18.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Two men went up into the temple to pray, Which is called an house of prayer, Isaiah 56:7 the Jews had a mighty notion of praying in a place of religious worship, as in the temple, or in a synagogue; imagining that their prayers were more acceptable to God, and sooner heard by him in such a place than in private:

"the prayers of the congregation, they sayF21Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 8. sect. 1, 3. Piske Harosh Beracot, c. 1. art. 7. , are heard always; and though there are sinners among them, the holy; blessed God, does not despise the prayer of many; wherefore, a man ought to join himself with the congregation, and not pray alone, whenever he can pray with that: and let a man go always, morning and evening, to the synagogue; for there is no prayer heard at all times but in the synagogue; and whoever has a synagogue in his city, and does not pray in it with the congregation, is called an ill neighbour. ---A divinity school is greater than a synagogue; and the great wise men, though they had many synagogues in their cities, did not pray but where they studied in the law.'

And they sayF23T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 8. 4. , that

"he that prays (in the synagogue) is as if he offered a pure offering. ---Says R. Abhu, in the name of R. Abhu, "seek the Lard where he may be found"; where is he to be found? in the synagogues, and in the schools.'

These two men had, doubtless, both of them a notion of the sanctity of the place, and acted according to the prevailing sense of the people. They went up hither, not by consultation, agreement, and appointment; for they were of a different cast from each other; but so it happened. Had they went by consent, there was a rule for themF24Piske Harosh, ib. :

"two men that go to a synagogue to pray, and one has finished his prayer before his neighbour, if he stays for him, his reward is double; and if he does not stay for him, his prayer is not heard.'

And they had rules also for the manner of their going to, and from the place of prayer: when they went thither, they were to go nimbly, in haste, and even run; but when they came back, they were to go very slowly and gentlyF25Piske Harosh, & T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 9. 1. .

"The commandment (they sayF26Maimon. ib. sect. 2. ) is to run to a synagogue; for it is said, Hosea 6:3 "we shall know, we shall follow on to know the Lord": but when a man comes out of the synagogue, let him not take large steps; but let him walk, little by little, or take short steps.'

How far these rules were complied with by these men, is of no great moment to know; who they were follows:

the one a Pharisee; one of those that trusted in themselves, as righteous, and despised all others, especially publicans and sinners; of these See Gill on Matthew 3:7. This was the strictest sect among the Jews; they were men that prayed, and fasted much, and were great sticklers for the ceremonies of the law, and the traditions of the elders, and did all they did to be seen of men:

and the other a publican; a gatherer of the Roman tax, though by nation a Jew; and therefore such were had in great contempt by the Jews in general; nor would they eat and drink and converse with them; See Gill on Matthew 9:10 and See Gill on Matthew 9:11.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-18.html. 1999.

People's New Testament

A Pharisee... a publican. The one the type of orthodoxy; the other regarded by orthodox Jews a religious outcast. See notes on Matthew 3:7 and Matthew 9:9.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/luke-18.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Stood (στατειςstatheis). First aorist passive participle of ιστημιhistēmi Struck an attitude ostentatiously where he could be seen. Standing was the common Jewish posture in prayer (Matthew 6:5; Mark 11:25).

Prayed thus (ταυτα προσηυχετοtauta prosēucheto). Imperfect middle, was praying these things (given following).

With himself (προς εαυτονpros heauton). A soliloquy with his own soul, a complacent recital of his own virtues for his own self-satisfaction, not fellowship with God, though he addresses God.

I thank thee (ευχαριστω σοιeucharistō soi). But his gratitude to God is for his own virtues, not for God‘s mercies to him. One of the rabbis offers a prayer like this of gratitude that he was in a class by himself because he was a Jew and not a Gentile, because he was a Pharisee and not of the αρπαγεςam-αρπαχhaaretz or common people, because he was a man and not a woman.

Extortioners (αρπαζωharpages). An old word, η καιharpax from same root as ο τεοςharpazō to plunder. An adjective of only one gender, used of robbers and plunderers, grafters, like the publicans (Luke 3:13), whether wolves (Matthew 7:15) or men (1 Corinthians 5:10.). The Pharisee cites the crimes of which he is not guilty.

Or even (τεοςē kai). As the climax of iniquity (Bruce), he points to “this publican.” Zaccheus will admit robbery (Luke 19:8).

God (ho theos). Nominative form with the article as common with the vocative use of theos (so Luke 18:13; John 20:28).

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-18.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

The other ( ἕτερος )

With an implication of his being a different man. See on Matthew 6:24.

Publican

See on Luke 3:12.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-18.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

The Fourfold Gospel

Two men went up into the temple to pray1; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican2.

  1. Two men went up into the temple to pray. The temple was the appointed place for Jewish prayer. To it the Jew went if near at hand, and towards it he prayed it afar off. The stated hours of prayer were 9 A.M. and 3 P.M., but men went there to pray whenever they felt like it.

  2. The one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The two represent the extremes of Jewish social and religious life. See and see .

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-18.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

LIKE PURPOSE, DIFFERENT METHOD

‘Two men went up into the temple to pray.’

Luke 18:10

Here is a picture of what might have been seen daily in Jerusalem (Acts 3:1), and which we see every Sunday of our lives—two men going publicly to worship God.

I. A like purpose.—Outwardly there is little difference—the one was a Pharisee, the other a publican. Both came from their homes. They would thus bring with them family wants, cares, sins (Job 1:5; 1 Peter 5:7). Both went to the Temple. They would thus feel they were going into God’s presence (Exodus 29:42-43; Psalms 27:4). Both came for the same object—to pray (Matthew 6:6). Further, both stood. This was customary (1 Kings 8:22), though in times of deep humiliation they knelt (Daniel 6:10; Acts 9:40; Acts 20:36). Hence outwardly there was little noticeable.

II. A different method.—But God shows us what was going on within. He lets us see the state of their hearts.

(a) Look at the Pharisee (Luke 18:11-12). He prayed—very good (Proverbs 15:8). But how?—‘with himself’ (Philippians 2:21; 2 Corinthians 5:15). What does He say? ‘God, I thank Thee.’ A very good beginning (Psalms 100:4). But what next? ‘that I am not as other men are.’ All the world is very bad, but he is very good. ‘I fast,’ etc.; and so he tells God all the good deeds he has done (Matthew 6:2; Matthew 6:5). But has he no sins? He does not confess them (Proverbs 21:2). Has he no wants? He does not mention them (Revelation 3:17-18). Has He no love? He does not show it (1 Corinthians 13:5). No, he trusts in himself that he is righteous (Proverbs 20:6). And what then? He does not need or want a Saviour (Matthew 9:13).

(b) Look at the publican (Luke 18:13). We do not read that he prays. He does not lift his eyes. He feels that he has sinned against Heaven (Luke 15:18). He stands afar off. Sin has set him at a distance (Isaiah 59:2). He smites his breast—as judging himself (1 Corinthians 11:31). Does He ask for anything? Yes, mercy. He first places God very high; last he places himself very low; and mercy he puts between. ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner,’ or, as it might be, ‘The God, the good, the great, be merciful to me the sinner,’ as if he were the only sinner in the world. Such is the spirit of the true saint (1 Timothy 1:15; 1 John 1:8-10). Such is the spirit of true worship (Psalms 51:17; Isaiah 66:2; Matthew 5:3). Emptied of self to be filled out of Christ’s fullness.

Bishop Rowley Hill.

Illustration

‘Why did our Lord employ against the Pharisees language which is not only severe, but seems positively harsh and almost unloving? They were moral in their lives and scrupulously exact in their religious duties. They were regarded by the common people as superior beings; orthodox in their views (See Acts 23:8), sedate, charitable to the poor, frugal in their mode of life. Why, then, did the Baptist, himself an ascetic, speak of them as “vipers,” and why did our Blessed Lord so often address them as “hypocrites”? Because they “trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others.” They “trusted in themselves, and”—therefore—they “despised others.” The one frame of mind led to the other. They compared themselves with others, first having commended themselves, and then struck the balance in their own favour.’

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/luke-18.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

Ver. 10. The one a Pharisee] A Doeg may set his foot as far and farther within the sanctuary as a David. The Pharisee and publican went both of them up to private prayer.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-18.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 18:10. ἀνέβησαν, went up) from their own houses, Luke 18:14. The temple was upon an elevation. Comp. the κατέβη, went down, Luke 18:14. [Truly one single going (to the house of God) is very frequently of the greatest moment.—V. g.]— προσεύξασθαι, to pray) In prayer, which has been the subject heretofore discussed from Luke 18:1, the whole state of the soul is brought out in exercise.— φαρισαῖος, τελώνης, a Pharisee, a Publican) A striking sample of both classes.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-18.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Who these Pharisees, and who the Publicans, were we have had frequent occasions before to tell. The temple stood upon a hill, therefore they are said to ascend, or go up. They had in the temple set hours for prayer, as may be learned from Acts 3:1, at which some of all sorts went up to pay that homage unto God. Our Saviour mentions but two, having in it no further design than by this parable to inform His disciples, how much more acceptable to God the prayers of broken, humble, contrite hearts are, though the persons possessed of them be such as have been, or at least have been reputed, great sinners, than the prayers of those who are hypocrites, and proud, and come unto God pleading their own righteousness, in order to the obtaining of his favour.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 18:10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-18.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, and the other a public servant.”

The contrast is between a Pharisee and a public servant. Now let us be quite clear about this, outwardly the Pharisee lived the better and more religious life. He would be highly respected, and probably a little feared. And in comparison with the public servant (before he had come to the attitude that resulted in his prayer), the Pharisee would have been seen by all as so superior to him in God’s eyes that any comparison in the goodness stakes would have been no contest. It is not, however, that that we are called on to look at. For what Jesus wants us to see is that both were equally sinful in the sight of God. Both had ‘come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). What Jesus looked at was the attitude of heart.

This must not, of course be seen as Jesus’ view of all Pharisees and public servants. There were humble and godly Pharisees, and there were all too many evil and hard hearted public servants. What Jesus was concerned to bring out was that while man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart. And here were two concerning whom a superficial verdict would bring one conclusion, while a close examination would bring another. Jesus refused to write off public servants as being unable to repent and come to God.

‘Went up.’ Going to the Temple was always described as going up, for it was on the Temple mount. Going there to pray at the time of the morning and evening sacrifices was a regular feature of life for pious Jews, but it was always open for prayer at all times. It was partly because the noise caused by the trading in the Temple hindered prayer in the court of the Gentiles that Jesus would later evict the traders from the Temple (Luke 19:45-46).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-18.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

10.Two men—And, therefore,

sinners. Went up—Just as the publican went down to his own house; because the temple was on high ground.

The temple to pray—The place of prayer in the temple was probably the court of the women, where also were the chests for depositing the alms of the faithful. In the court of the temple, the suppliant directed his face toward the holy of holies; but if in another country, toward Jerusalem.

Pharisee’ publican—Our Lord is now, probably, still in the region where a large number of publican converts were opposed and oppressed by the haughty oligarchy of Pharisees. See notes on Luke 13:32; Luke 17:5. Doubtless many a poor publican was hereby encouraged to repentance, being taught that his utter casting himself on God’s mercy in absolute abhorrence of his sins, was a surer road to justification than the cruel sanctimony of the professional saints, who rejoiced to retain beneath their feet a lower caste of sinners over whom they could boast and tyrannize.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-18.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Pharisees generally rejected Jesus and His gospel whereas the tax collectors responded positively (cf. Luke 5:12; Luke 5:27; Luke 7:34; Luke 7:37; Luke 15:1-2; Luke 16:20). They were at opposite ends of the social and spiritual scales in Judaism. The former were the epitome of righteousness and the latter of unrighteousness. The temple was the customary place of prayer. Since it stood on a hill in Jerusalem, people literally went up to it to pray.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/luke-18.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 18:10. Two men went up into the temple to pray. The temple was on an elevation. Since the Passover was approaching, and some of his hearers were probably on their way to Jerusalem to worship in the temple, the reference is very apt.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-18.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

went up. It was always "up "to the Temple on Mount Moriah. Compare "went down" (Luke 18:14).

into. Greek. eis. App-104.

Pharisee. See App-120.

other. The different one. Greek heteros. App-124. publican. See note on Matthew 5:46.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-18.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. On these classes, see the notes at Matthew 3:1-12, Remark 2, at the close of that section.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-18.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

10. Two men went up to the temple to pray. Jesus deliberately uses extremes in this parable. The Pharisees were very religious, and the tax collectors were outcasts. See notes on Matthew 3:7; Matthew 9:9.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/luke-18.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(10) Went up into the temple.—The peculiar form of the verb, “went up,” was strictly justified by the position of the Temple. It stood on what had been Mount Moriah, and rose high above the other buildings of the city.

The one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.—The two words would be more pictorially suggestive to the disciples than they are, at first, to us. They would see the Pharisee with his broad blue zizith, or fringe, and the Tephillin (=prayers), or phylacteries, fastened conspicuously on brow and shoulder; the publican in his common working dress, with no outward badge to testify that he was a child of the Covenant. Here, as in the case of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son (where see Notes), the parable may have stated actual facts. Of one such publican we read not long afterwards. (See Note on Luke 19:8.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
into
1:9,10; 19:46; 1 Kings 8:30; Acts 3:1
a Pharisee
7:29,30; Matthew 21:31,32; Acts 23:6-8; 26:5; Philippians 3:5
Reciprocal: Proverbs 25:14 - boasteth;  Matthew 5:20 - exceed;  Matthew 6:5 - thou shalt not;  Luke 5:32 - GeneralJohn 9:34 - and dost;  2 Corinthians 10:18 - not

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-18.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

10.Two men went up. Christ makes a comparison between the two men, both of whom, by going up to pray, seem to manifest the same ardor of piety, while yet they are exceedingly unlike. The Pharisee, possessing outward sanctity, approaches to God with a commendation which he pronounces on his whole life, and as if he had an undoubted right to offer the sacrifice of praise. The publican, on the other hand, as if he had been some outcast, and knew that he was unworthy to approach, presents himself with trembling and with humble confession. Christ affirms that the Pharisee was rejected, and that the prayers of the publican were acceptable to God. The reasons why the Pharisee was rejected are stated to be these two: he trusted in himself that he was righteous, and despised others

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-18.html. 1840-57.