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13But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’

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13. standing afar off—as unworthy to draw near; but that was the way to get near (Ps 34:18; Isa 57:15).

would not lift up—blushing and ashamed to do so (Ezr 9:6).

smote, &c.—kept smiting; for anguish (Lu 23:48), and self-reproach (Jer 31:19).

be merciful—"be propitiated," a very unusual word in such a sense, only once else used in the New Testament, in the sense of "making reconciliation" by sacrifice (Heb 2:17). There may therefore, be some allusion to this here, though not likely.

a sinner—literally, "the sinner"; that is, "If ever there was one, I am he."




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