The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleLuke 18:10
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 say F21, 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 say F23, 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 them
``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 gently F25.
``The commandment (they say F26) 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 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 9:10) and
(See Gill on 9:11)
F21 Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 8. sect. 1, 3. Piske Harosh Beracot,
c. 1. art. 7.
F23 T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 8. 4.
F24 Piske Harosh, ib.
F25 Piske Harosh, & T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 9. 1.
F26 Maimon. ib. sect. 2.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes 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
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:10". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=lu&chapter=018&verse=010>. 1999.