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Luke 16:13-14

16:13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate 1  the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise 2  the other. You cannot serve God and money.” 3 

More Warnings about the Pharisees

16:14 The Pharisees 4  (who loved money) heard all this and ridiculed 5  him.

Luke 16:19-28

The Rich Man and Lazarus

16:19 “There was a rich man who dressed in purple 6  and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously 7  every day. 16:20 But at his gate lay 8  a poor man named Lazarus 9  whose body was covered with sores, 10  16:21 who longed to eat 11  what fell from the rich man’s table. In addition, the dogs 12  came and licked 13  his sores.

16:22 “Now 14  the poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. 15  The 16  rich man also died and was buried. 17  16:23 And in hell, 18  as he was in torment, 19  he looked up 20  and saw Abraham far off with Lazarus at his side. 21  16:24 So 22  he called out, 23  ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus 24  to dip the tip of his finger 25  in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish 26  in this fire.’ 27  16:25 But Abraham said, ‘Child, 28  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. 29  16:26 Besides all this, 30  a great chasm 31  has been fixed between us, 32  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 33  the rich man 34  said, ‘Then I beg you, father – send Lazarus 35  to my father’s house 16:28 (for I have five brothers) to warn 36  them so that they don’t come 37  into this place of torment.’

1 sn The contrast between hate and love here is rhetorical. The point is that one will choose the favorite if a choice has to be made.

2 tn Or “and treat [the other] with contempt.”

3 tn Grk “God and mammon.” This is the same word (μαμωνᾶς, mamwnas; often merely transliterated as “mammon”) translated “worldly wealth” in vv. 9, 11.

sn The term money is used to translate mammon, the Aramaic term for wealth or possessions. The point is not that money is inherently evil, but that it is often misused so that it is a means of evil; see 1 Tim 6:6-10, 17-19. God must be first, not money or possessions.

4 sn See the note on Pharisees in 5:17.

5 tn A figurative extension of the literal meaning “to turn one’s nose up at someone”; here “ridicule, sneer at, show contempt for” (L&N 33.409).

6 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.

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

8 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).

9 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.

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

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

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

13 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.

14 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.

15 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).

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

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

18 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).

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

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

21 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.”

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

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

24 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.)

25 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

32 tn Grk “between us and you.”

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

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

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

36 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.

37 tn Grk “lest they also come.”

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