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Luke 12:12-21

Context
12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that moment 1  what you must say.” 2 

The Parable of the Rich Landowner

12:13 Then 3  someone from the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell 4  my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” 12:14 But Jesus 5  said to him, “Man, 6  who made me a judge or arbitrator between you two?” 7  12:15 Then 8  he said to them, “Watch out and guard yourself from 9  all types of greed, 10  because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” 12:16 He then 11  told them a parable: 12  “The land of a certain rich man produced 13  an abundant crop, 12:17 so 14  he thought to himself, 15  ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 16  12:18 Then 17  he said, ‘I 18  will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 12:19 And I will say to myself, 19  “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ 12:20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life 20  will be demanded back from 21  you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ 22  12:21 So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, 23  but is not rich toward God.”

Luke 16:19-31

Context
The Rich Man and Lazarus

16:19 “There was a rich man who dressed in purple 24  and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously 25  every day. 16:20 But at his gate lay 26  a poor man named Lazarus 27  whose body was covered with sores, 28  16:21 who longed to eat 29  what fell from the rich man’s table. In addition, the dogs 30  came and licked 31  his sores.

16:22 “Now 32  the poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. 33  The 34  rich man also died and was buried. 35  16:23 And in hell, 36  as he was in torment, 37  he looked up 38  and saw Abraham far off with Lazarus at his side. 39  16:24 So 40  he called out, 41  ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus 42  to dip the tip of his finger 43  in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish 44  in this fire.’ 45  16:25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, 46  remember that in your lifetime you received your good things and Lazarus likewise bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in anguish. 47  16:26 Besides all this, 48  a great chasm 49  has been fixed between us, 50  so that those who want to cross over from here to you cannot do so, and no one can cross from there to us.’ 16:27 So 51  the rich man 52  said, ‘Then I beg you, father – send Lazarus 53  to my father’s house 16:28 (for I have five brothers) to warn 54  them so that they don’t come 55  into this place of torment.’ 16:29 But Abraham said, 56  ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they must respond to 57  them.’ 16:30 Then 58  the rich man 59  said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead 60  goes to them, they will repent.’ 16:31 He 61  replied to him, ‘If they do not respond to 62  Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” 63 

1 tn Grk “in that very hour” (an idiom).

2 tn Grk “what it is necessary to say.”

3 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

4 sn Tell my brother. In 1st century Jewish culture, a figure like a rabbi was often asked to mediate disputes, except that here mediation was not requested, but representation.

5 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn This term of address can be harsh or gentle depending on the context (BDAG 82 s.v. ἄνθρωπος 8). Here it is a rebuke.

7 tn The pronoun ὑμᾶς (Jumas) is plural, referring to both the man and his brother; thus the translation “you two.”

8 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

9 tn See L&N 13.154 for this use of the middle voice of φυλάσσω (fulassw) in this verse.

10 tn Or “avarice,” “covetousness.” Note the warning covers more than money and gets at the root attitude – the strong desire to acquire more and more possessions and experiences.

11 tn Grk “And he.” Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the connection to the preceding statement.

12 tn Grk “a parable, saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated here.

13 tn Or “yielded a plentiful harvest.”

14 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate that this is a result of the preceding statement.

15 tn Grk “to himself, saying.” The participle λέγων (legwn) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated here.

16 sn I have nowhere to store my crops. The thinking here is prudent in terms of recognizing the problem. The issue in the parable will be the rich man’s solution, particularly the arrogance reflected in v. 19.

17 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

18 sn Note how often the first person pronoun is present in these verses. The farmer is totally self absorbed.

19 tn Grk “to my soul,” which is repeated as a vocative in the following statement, but is left untranslated as redundant.

20 tn Grk “your soul,” but ψυχή (yuch) is frequently used of one’s physical life. It clearly has that meaning in this context.

21 tn Or “required back.” This term, ἀπαιτέω (apaitew), has an economic feel to it and is often used of a debt being called in for repayment (BDAG 96 s.v. 1).

22 tn Grk “the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” The words “for yourself” are not in the Greek text, but are implied.

23 sn It is selfishness that is rebuked here, in the accumulation of riches for himself. Recall the emphasis on the first person pronouns throughout the parable.

24 sn Purple describes a fine, expensive dye used on luxurious clothing, and by metonymy, refers to clothing colored with that dye. It pictures someone of great wealth.

25 tn Or “celebrated with ostentation” (L&N 88.255), that is, with showing off. Here was the original conspicuous consumer.

26 tn The passive verb ἐβέβλητο (ebeblhto) does not indicate how Lazarus got there. Cf. BDAG 163 s.v. βάλλω 1.b, “he lay before the door”; Josephus, Ant. 9.10.2 (9.209).

27 sn This is the one time in all the gospels that a figure in a parable is mentioned by name. It will become important later in the account.

28 tn Or “was covered with ulcers.” The words “whose body” are implied in the context (L&N 23.180).

29 tn Grk “to eat his fill,” but this phrase has been simplified as “to eat” for stylistic reasons.

30 tn The term κύνες (kunes) refers to “wild” dogs (either “street” dogs or watchdogs), not house pets (L&N 4.34).

31 sn When the dogs came and licked his sores it meant that he was unclean. See the negative image of Rev 22:15 that draws on this picture.

32 tn Grk “Now it happened that the.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

33 tn Grk “to Abraham’s bosom.” The phrase “carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom” describes being gathered to the fathers and is a way to refer to heaven (Gen 15:15; 47:30; Deut 31:16).

34 tn Grk “And the.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

35 sn The shorter description suggests a different fate, which is confirmed in the following verses.

36 sn The Greek term Hades stands for the Hebrew concept of Sheol. It is what is called hell today. This is where the dead were gathered (Ps 16:10; 86:13). In the NT Hades has an additional negative force of awaiting judgment (Rev 20:13).

37 sn Hades is a place of torment, especially as one knows that he is separated from God.

38 tn Grk “he lifted up his eyes” (an idiom).

39 tn Grk “in his bosom,” the same phrase used in 16:22. This idiom refers to heaven and/or participation in the eschatological banquet. An appropriate modern equivalent is “at Abraham’s side.”

40 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous actions in the narrative.

41 tn Grk “calling out he said”; this is redundant in contemporary English style and has been simplified to “he called out.”

42 sn The rich man had not helped Lazarus before, when he lay outside his gate (v. 2), but he knew him well enough to know his name. This is why the use of the name Lazarus in the parable is significant. (The rich man’s name, on the other hand, is not mentioned, because it is not significant for the point of the story.)

43 sn The dipping of the tip of his finger in water is evocative of thirst. The thirsty are in need of God’s presence (Ps 42:1-2; Isa 5:13). The imagery suggests the rich man is now separated from the presence of God.

44 tn Or “in terrible pain” (L&N 24.92).

45 sn Fire in this context is OT imagery; see Isa 66:24.

46 tn The Greek term here is τέκνον (teknon), which could be understood as a term of endearment.

47 tn Or “in terrible pain” (L&N 24.92). Here is the reversal Jesus mentioned in Luke 6:20-26.

48 tn Grk “And in all these things.” There is no way Lazarus could carry out this request even if divine justice were not involved.

49 sn The great chasm between heaven and hell is impassable forever. The rich man’s former status meant nothing now.

50 tn Grk “between us and you.”

51 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the rich man’s response to Abraham’s words.

52 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the rich man, v. 19) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

53 tn Grk “Then I beg you, father, that you send him”; the referent (Lazarus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

54 sn To warn them. The warning would consist of a call to act differently than their dead brother had, or else meet his current terrible fate.

55 tn Grk “lest they also come.”

56 tn Grk “says.” This is one of the few times Luke uses the historical present.

57 tn Or “obey”; Grk “hear.” This recalls the many OT texts calling for a righteous heart to respond to people in need (Deut 14:28-29; Isa 3:14-15; Amos 2:6-8; Mic 2:1-2; Zech 7:9-10).

58 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

59 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the rich man, v. 19) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

60 sn If someone from the dead goes to them. The irony and joy of the story is that what is denied the rich man’s brothers, a word of warning from beyond the grave, is given to the reader of the Gospel in this exchange.

61 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

62 tn Or “obey”; Grk “hear.” See the note on the phrase “respond to” in v. 29.

63 sn The concluding statement of the parable, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead, provides a hint that even Jesus’ resurrection will not help some to respond. The message of God should be good enough. Scripture is the sign to be heeded.



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