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Luke 16:26-31

Context
16:26 Besides all this, 1  a great chasm 2  has been fixed between us, 3  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 4  the rich man 5  said, ‘Then I beg you, father – send Lazarus 6  to my father’s house 16:28 (for I have five brothers) to warn 7  them so that they don’t come 8  into this place of torment.’ 16:29 But Abraham said, 9  ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they must respond to 10  them.’ 16:30 Then 11  the rich man 12  said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead 13  goes to them, they will repent.’ 16:31 He 14  replied to him, ‘If they do not respond to 15  Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” 16 

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

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

3 tn Grk “between us and you.”

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

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

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

7 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.

8 tn Grk “lest they also come.”

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

10 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).

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

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

13 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.

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

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

16 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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