Gr.hilaskomai, used in the Septuagint and N.T. in connection with the mercy-seat Exodus 25:17; Exodus 25:18; Exodus 25:21; Hebrews 9:5. As an instructed Jew, the publican is thinking, not of mere mercy, but of the blood-sprinkled mercy seat. (See Scofield "Leviticus 16:5").
"Propitiation," (See Scofield "Romans 3:25"). His prayer might be paraphrased, "Be toward me as thou are when thou lookest upon the atoning blood." The Bible knows nothing of divine forgiveness apart from sacrifice. See Scofield "Matthew 26:28".
merciful i.e. propitiated.
sinner Sin. (See Scofield "Romans 3:23").