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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 16

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

THE UNJUST STEWARD PARABLE V. 1-13

1) "And he said also unto his disciples," (elegen de kai pros tous mathetas) "Then he said also directly to the disciples," to His chosen followers and witnesses who had been in covenant affinity church fellowship with Him, from the beginning, John 15:16-17. This was spoken to warn them of two things: 1) First, the covetousness of publicans who unscrupulously sought to amass fortunes, and 2) Second, against covetousness of the Pharisees, Luke 16:14.

2) "There was a certain rich man," (anthropos tis en plousios) "There was a certain rich (plutocratic) man," representing perhaps in this instance, God, who owns all things, Psalms 24:1; 1 Corinthians 10:26.

3) "Which had a steward;" (hos eichen oikonomon) "Who had an house-governor or steward," Genesis 24:2; Luke 12:42; 1 Peter 4:10, One who had been entrusted with certain properties to manage for him, and give account, 1 Corinthians 4:2. To some extent every true church disciple is a steward, accountable for all, not just a tithe of what God puts into his hands, 1 Corinthians 3:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:10.

4) "And the same was accused unto him," (kai houtos dieblethe auto) "And this was charged of him," against him, perhaps both maliciously, to hurt him, and because it was true. Perhaps it was private information, Romans 12:10.

5) "That he had wasted his goods." (hos diaskorpizon ta huparchonta autou) "That he had wasted the man’s possessions," squandered them and was continually wasting them, or scattering them, squandering them on every hand.

Verse 2

1) "And he, called him, and said unto him," (kai phonesas auton eipen auto) "And he called him (his steward) and chided him," or inquired firmly. He did not dismiss him without inquiry, Acts 16:37.

2) "How is it that I hear this of thee?" (ti touto akouo peri sou) "What is this that I hear of you?" of your handling and disposal of my property you have been managing? What is the grounds for the report? Have you a valid explanation? With vouchers, receipts, and records?

3) "Give an account of thy stewardship;" (apodos ton logon tes oikonomias sou) "Give or render an itemized report of your stewardship or management," a satisfactory report of your stewardship over what I entrusted to your investment management for me, 1 Corinthians 4:2.

4) "For thou mayest be no longer steward," (ou gar dune eti oikonomein) "For you may no longer be a steward or manager," after the report is reviewed, after the record of your management is examined. The idea is that God just as surely requires an accounting of His church disciples and stewards as God did of the Jews in Israel, under the law, 2 Corinthians 5:10-11.

Verse 3

1) "Then the steward said within himself," (eipen de en heatuo ho oikonomos) "Then the steward said in himself," or to himself he said, considering the best course of action for him, under the circumstances, just what scheme he might initiate to recover some things he had squandered or managed very poorly.

2) "What shall I do?" (ti poieso) "Just what shall I do?" that would be best under the circumstances.

3) "For my lord taketh away from me the stewardship:" (hoti hi kurios mou aphaireitai ten eikonomian ap’ emou) "Because my master takes away my stewardship or management job?" Evidently the steward had made poor investments, to curry friends, of his own personal pleasure and advantage, rather then the best interest of his employer, who had committed a great trust to him.

4) “I cannot dig;" (skaptein ouk ischuo) "To dig I am not able," or I do not have strength to dig, to do manual labor. He did know how to waste. His strength had perhaps been sapped or weakened by his own life of ease, lack of diligent stewardship work.

5) "To beg I am ashamed." (epaitein aischunomai) "And I am ashamed to beg," to become a beggar, like a blind or cripple, Daniel 12:2; Romans 6:21. He was ashamed to beg, but not to steal, with disregard for God’s law, Exodus 20:15. And the idea is, if I am fired, dismissed without some recovery and reconciliation with my master, who would hire me? Just what might he now do to avoid hunger or starvation?

Verse 4

1) “I am resolved what to do," (egnon ti poieso) I know what I may do," I have a good idea what I may do. An ideal plan has just come to me, dawned on me, like a flash of light.

2) "That when I am put out of the stewardship," (hina hotan metastatho ek tes oikonomias) "in order that when I am removed (released or fired) from the stewardship or house-governing job," that now is and has been my livelihood.

3) "They may receive me into their houses."(deksontai me eis tous oikous heauton) "They may take me into their own residences;" and give me shelter, Luke 16:9. The "they" seems to be the debtors to whom he had "loosely", poorly let out his master’s money or rented his land, without collecting for his master, his employer.

Verse 5

1) "So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him," (kai proskalesamenos hena hekaston ton chreopheileton tou kuriou heautou) "And he called to him each of the debtors, to whom he had loosely released properties of his master," to curry their friendship and cooperation, one by one he called them, perhaps to avoid being put in prison for misuse of trust funds.

2) "And said unto the first," (elegen to proto) "And he said to the first (priority) debtor," who came to review his debt and consider a proposed settlement. Two examples of delinquent or default debts are considered.

3) "How much owest thou unto my lord?" (poson opheileis to kurio mou) "Just how much do you owe (acknowledge that you owe) to my master?" in rent or goods you have received in cash, and for use of produce production, that you have not paid? He took him in confidence for friendship purposes under trial, Proverbs 18:24.

Verse 6

1) "And he said, An hundred measures of oil." (ho de eipon hekaton batous elaiou) "Then he said, an hundred baths (measures) of oil," Ezekiel 45:10; Ezekiel 45:14; is the rental or fair amount I owe him for what I reaped from his property, or the exchange value of an hundred measures of oil. One measure was about 81/2 gallons, meaning he owed or owed for 850 gallons of oil, perhaps olive oil.

2) "And he said unto him," (ho de eipen auto) "Then he told him," as a proposition. The steward made a discount proposition to the debtor, first to try to save his own neck, and second to find later good will with the debtor.

3) "Take thy bill, and sit down quickly," (deksai sou ta grammata kai kathisas tacheos) "You take the bills or written accounts and sit down quickly, right away," without fanfare, with as little rumor or report, as much in private as possible, in a stealthy sort of way.

4) "And write fifty." (grapson pentekonta) "And write fifty," or I’ll let you pay off in full for the price of fifty standard measures of oil, or 425 gallons, so that this account may be settled. It was a 50% discount proposition, quite a loss to the master, but better than letting it go totally unpaid, as the unfaithful steward had done, apparently for an extended period of time.

Verse 7

1) "Then said he to another," (epeita hetero eipen) "Then he said to another," another different kind of debtor, on a "one to one," private negotiation discount pay-off basis also.

2) "And how much owest thou?" (su de poson opheileis) "Then how much do you acknowledge that you owe?" my master, which I have let you have, as his steward, or his rental percentage of what you have made from his field that I rented or leased to you.

3) "And he said, An hundred measures of wheat." (ho de eipen hekaton korous sitou) "Then he replied, an hundred cors (measures) of wheat," A "cor" or measure of grain (wheat) was about 10 gallons of’ wheat. At 8 gallons to the bushel it would be about 125 bushels of Wheat that the steward had neglected collecting.

4) "And he said unto him," (legei auto) "He (the steward) said them to him," to this second debtor, the debtor in wheat.

5) "Take thy bill, and write fourscore." (deksai sou ta grammata kai grapson ogdoekonta) "Take your bill and write (pay for) eighty," is the idea. This was a 20% or 1/5th discount given to this debtor, an offer to settle the bill for 800 gallons, or one hundred bushels of wheat. This was a shrewd, hasty effort at restitution, in meeting a just debt or obligation, Exodus 22:3; Exodus 22:5; Exodus 22:12; Job 20:18-19.

Verse 8

1) "And the lord commended the unjust steward," (kai epenesen ho kurios ton oikonomon tes adikias) "And the master of the unrighteous steward praised him," not our Lord, or commended him for hastily negotiating a discount settlement rather than going to law, or losing all, by further delaying collection of a just debt.

2) "Because he had done wisely:" (hoti phronimos epoiesen) "Because (in settling the accounts) he had acted prudently," upon trying to correct a problem neglected while his lord was away. Both the rich man (the employer) and the steward were "of this world," unjust, considered the deal was a clever, final transaction, overlooking former possible fraud.

3) "For the children of this world," (hoti hoi huioi tou aionos toutou) "Because the heirs of this age, this world time," in material, business matters, are more prudent, far-seeing, Psalms 17:14.

4) "Are in their generation wiser," (phorimoteroi ten genean ten heauton eisin) "Are more prudent in their generation," more shrewd in business matters of this nature for their own welfare, looking after their own interests in this present life, and in relation to it.

5) "Than the children of light." (huper tous huious tou photos) "Than the heirs of light are," John 12:36; Ephesians 5:8. They are wiser than the saved, so far as their own material interests are concerned, 1 Thessalonians 5:5; Yet against greed for worldly gain, children of God are repeatedly warned, 1 Timothy 6:9-11; 1 John 2:15-17; Matthew 6:19-21.

Verse 9

1) "And I say unto you," (kai ego hmin lego) "And I tell you all," as children of light, as my church disciples, in opposition to or different spiritually from both the "rich lord, and the unjust steward," Luke 16:1; Luke 16:8.

2) "Make to yourselves friends," (heautois poiesate philous) "You all make to yourselves friends," 1 Timothy 6:18-19, by winning them to Jesus Christ and true riches.

3) "Of the mammon of unrighteousness;" (ek tou mamona tes adikias) "Out of the mammon of unrighteousness," by means of, from among them, among the rich, by cultivating, laying up good works, Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 5:15-16; James 1:22, by winning men to Christ and His church. By turning them from trust in "uncertain riches," Proverbs 22:16; Jeremiah 17:11; Mark 10:24; Luke 12:15; James 5:1; James 5:4.

4) "That, when ye fall," (hina hotan eklipe) "In order that when it fails," the mammon fails to satisfy them, their need of conscience and soul, as illustrated, Psalms 73:26.

5) "They may receive you into everlasting habitation." (deksontai humas eis tas aionious skenas) "They may receive you all into the eternal tabernacles," your message into their souls, in contrast with the temporal riches, after which they coveted to their hurt so long, 1 Timothy 6:9; 1 Timothy 6:11; 1 Timothy 6:17.

Verse 10

1) "He that is faithful in that which is least," (ho pistos en elachisto) "The one who is faithful in a least thing," trust, or very little matter committed to him, to his decision and management, even in spiritual things, Luke 6:38. The "very little" refers to the "unrighteous mammon", in contrast with "much" which alludes or refers to "true riches", spiritual matters.

2) "Is faithful also in much:" (kai en polio pistos estin) "He is (exists) also faithful in much," much more that may be the best, in the service of God, Matthew 25:21.

3) "And he that is unjust in the least," (kai ho en elachisto adikos) "And the one who is unrighteous in a least matter," in small matters, Matthew 25:21. One who is idle, imprudent in worldly affairs, is not fit to be entrusted to administer material affairs of the church. This is why deacons must be "of good report," of those without, outside the church, 1 Timothy 3:7; Acts 22:12.

4) "Is unjust also in much." (kai en polio adikos estin) "He is (exists by disposition) also unrighteous or untrustworthy in much," in substantial matters of trust. When ones character is weak, his conduct will be weak, Matthew 6:24; Matthew 25:29.

Verse 11

1) "If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon," (ei oun en to adiko mamona pistoi ouk egenesthe) "If therefore you all are or have not been trustworthy in the management of the unrighteous things of mammon," (of the world order), as good stewards, as Jewish people; and they had not, Mark 7:5-9. They had stolen tithes, offered polluted bread-and crippled animals in sacrifice, disregarding God’s law, Malachi 1:6-8; Malachi 1:13-14; Malachi 3:7-10.

2) "Who will commit to your trust the true riches?" (to alethenon tis humin pisteusei) "Who will entrust you (with) the true riches?" or continue that trust? The idea is that it was a limited conditional trust to which Israel, the unjust steward had been unfaithful in administration, John 1:11-12; John 5:40; Ephesians 3:8; Revelation 3:18.

Verse 12

1) "And if ye have not been faithful," (kai ei pistol ouk egenesthe) "And if you all were not faithful," or trustworthy in character, in managing and administering the law for God’s honor, rather than your covetous material gain and prestige of position.

2) "In that which is another man’s," (en to allotrio) "In administering things belonging to another," to God who owns the universe, Psalms 24:1; 1 Corinthians 10:26; Who said, "occupy till I come," Luke 19:13. If you do not manage it with integrity, nobly, for honorable purposes and in an honest way.

3) "Who shall give you that which is your own?" (to hemeteron tis dosei humin) "Who will then give you that which is your own to administer?" any longer? Matthew 23:37-39. He who steals from God, or misuses what God entrusts to him, steals from himself, from the development of his own character. For matters of trust are disciplinary trusts, which when faithfully administered, benefit both the owner and administrative steward of the trust.

Money is therefore neither to be idolized nor despised, but used to God’s glory, 1 Corinthians 10:31.

Verse 13

1) "No servant can serve two masters:" (oudeis oiketes dunatai dusi kuriois douleuein) "No house-slave is able to do service to two masters," with equal zeal and fidelity, to please, give allegiance to, two different kind of masters, as Joshua challenged, Joshua 24:15.

2) "For either he will hate the one, and love the other;" (e gar ton hena misesi kai ton heteron agapesei) "For he will either hate the one and love the other," the other master. He will take one lightly, frivolously, and affectionately care for the other. One master represents the world and the other the Lord.

3) "Or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." (he henos antheksetai kai tou heterou kataphronesei) "Or he will hold fast to one and he will despise the other," hold to one with allegiance, and ignore or take very lightly the other, Matthew 6:24.

4) "Ye cannot serve God and mammon." (ou dunasthe theo douleuein kai mamona) "You are not able to serve God and mammon," as expressed Galatians 1:10; 2 Timothy 4:10; James 4:4.

Verse 14

JESUS ANSWERS THE PHARISEES V. 14-17

1) "And the Pharisees also," (de hoi Pharisaioi) "Now the Pharisees," in addition to the disciples, to whom the above parable was addressed, Luke 16:1-13.

2) "Who were covetous, heard all these things:" (philarguroi huparchontes ekounon tauta panta) "Being money-lovers, heard all these things," or overheard them, as He related these concepts to His church disciples.

3) "And they derided him." (kai eksemukterizon auton) "And they scoffed at, sneered at, or derided him ... .. turned up their nose," made fun of what He had said, because of their own greedy, covetous, hypocritical souls, and, were they not rich and religious, devout? Romans 10:2-3. But God will laugh last, Proverbs 1:24-27. They sneered at the fact covetousness after riches could corrupt the religious lives of men of God, 1 Timothy 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:17.

Verse 15

1) "And he said unto them," (kai eipen autois) "And he said to them," to the scoffing Pharisees, as they sneered at Him, turned up their noses, as if He stank, Proverbs 29:1.

2) "Ye are they which justify yourselves before men;" (humeis este hoi dikaiountes heautous enopion ton anthropon) "You all are the ones continually justifying yourselves before the masses of men," boasting of your righteousness, Luke 10:29, making yourselves appear to be righteous, perpetrators of deceit, sham hypocrisy, Romans 4:2; Galatians 3:11. They "posed" as righteous, "masqueraded" as righteous, Matthew 5:20; Romans 10:2-3.

3)"But God knoweth your hearts:" (ho de theos ginoskei tas kardias humon) "Yet God (and I am God) knows your hearts," everyone of them; as the hearts of snake-hearted hypocrites, Proverbs 7:9; Jeremiah 7:10. For He knows what is in man; as also set forth 1 Samuel 16:7; Revelation 2:23.

4) "For that which is highly esteemed among men," (hot! to en anthropois hupselon) "Because the thing lofty among men," elevated and worldly, popular among men, who "love the things of the world order," 1 John 2:15-17. That which carries men away by plausible appearance, 1 Samuel 16:7; Luke 14:11.

5) "is abomination in the sight of God." (bdelugma enopion tou theous) "Is (exists as) an abomination before (in the presence of) God," who loathes sham or hypocrisy. Such is obnoxious or very offensive to God, Psalms 10:3; Proverbs 16:5; Malachi 3:15; Titus 1:16.

Verse 16

1) "The law and the prophets were until John" (ho nomos kai hoi prophetai tou theou) "The law and the prophets were (existed) until John," in force, Matthew 11:12. John the Baptist, who was heaven’s delegated missionary to prepare the way for Jesus and establishment of the church, the New Covenant house of worship and service, Isaiah 40:3; Matthew 3:1-3.

2) "Since that time the kingdom of God is preached," (apo tote he basileia tou theou euangelelizetai) "From then (that time) the kingdom of God is being preached," as God sent both John and Jesus to preach it, John 1:6; John 1:33; and when John preached repentance, belief, or trust in the coming savior, requisite to baptism, he as Jesus later, Matthew 3:1-8; Matthew 4:17; John 4:1-2; prepared people for the kingdom of God, through the ministry of the "kingdom of heaven," the church administrative institutional agency of the kingdom of God, in this age, Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 1:15; John 20:21; Acts 1:8.

3) "And every man presseth into it." (kai pas eis auten blazetai) "And everyone (all manner of persons) is pressing into it," the fishermen, tax collectors, even "publicans and sinners," Luke 7:29; John 12:19; Matthew 11:12-13; Matthew 13:1-35; Matthew 16:1-28; Matthew 18:1-35, were crowding or striving to enter, Luke 13:24; Matthew 11:12.

Verse 17

1) "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass," (eukopoteron de eston ton ouranon kau ten gen parelthein) "Yet it is easier (for) heaven and earth to be gone, vanish, or pass away," for they shall, Psalms 102:26-27; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 24:35; Isaiah 51:6; 1 Peter 1:24-25.

2) "Then one tittle of the law to fail." (e tou nomou mian kekaian pesein) "Than (for) one little horn (tittle) of the law to fall," or to fail to be true, trustworthy, etc. The "tittle" refers to the very smallest marking of an Hebrew letter, of the law. Nothing was wrong with the law, a school-master to bring men or point men to Christ, Galatians 3:19-25. The weakness was in fallen men, not in the law, 1 Kings 8:46; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Jeremiah 17:9.

Verse 18

JESUS REGARDING DIVORCE V. 18

1) "Whosoever putteth away ’his wife," (pas ho apoluon ten gunaika autou) "Each one or whoever dismisses (releases) his wife," 1 Corinthians 7:10, as described Matthew 5:32, "Except for sexual acts of infidelity with another party."

2) "And marrieth another, committeth adultery:" (kai gamon heteran moicheuei) "And marries another, who is different, commits adultery," Matthew 5:32. Our Lord seems to have injected this matter into His teaching because of the laxity of the Pharisees who permitted divorce for "every cause" or about any kind of excuse.

3) "And whosoever marrieth her that Is put away from her husband," (kai ho apolelumenen apo andros gamon) "And the man who marries a woman who has been dismissed, released, or divorced from a husband;" This passage, in isolation might seem to imply that Jesus forbid divorce altogether, which is not true, when harmonized with other Scriptures, as Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:9.

4) "Committeth adultery," (moicheuei) "He commits adultery," an act of lawless, immoral, unethical infidelity against his marital partner and against the God of the law, Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:9. Instead of weakening the principles and force of morals and ethics of the law our Lord would strengthen the fiber of its righteous concepts of holiness and justice, Romans 7:12.

Verse 19

THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS V. 19-31

1) "There was a certain rich man," (anthropos de tis en plousios) "There was then a certain rich, wealthy, or plutocratic man," often called "Dives," a Latin word that means "Rich." His name is perhaps withheld by Jesus to avoid undue emotional pain to his family.

2) "Which was clothed in purple and fine linen," (kai enedidus keto prophuran kai busson) "And he formerly dressed in purple and fine linen," habitually, (lampras) "Splendidly," he dressed; The outer dress was of costly Tyrian purple, worn by the rich and the royal. His inner garment was of fine (soft) linen from Egypt. His clothes reflected comfort, wealth, and ease. The dress expresses extreme luxury and was worn only by those of much wealth, Ezra 8:15; Proverbs 31:22; Ezekiel 27:7; Revelation 18:12.

3) "And fared sumptuously every day:" (euphrainomenos kath’ hemeran) "Being merry every day," or "living it up" in mirth and splendor, daily, every day, 1 John 2:16. No charge of serious moral or ethical wrong is named against him at all. He simply coveted the pleasures of the world, neglecting his soul, till it was too late, till there were no friends to greet him, to welcome him home at death, Luke 16:9.

Verse 20

1) "And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus," (ptochos de tis onomati lazaros) "Then a certain poor man named Lazarus," during the life of the rich man. The name Lazarus is derived from Eleazar and means, "God (is) my help." The word beggar means an impoverished man, a man in poverty, a very poor man.

2) "Which was laid at his gate," (ebebleto pros ton pulona autou) "Had been placed at his gate," at the rich man’s gate.

3) "Full of sores," (heilkomenos) "Being covered by sores," perhaps sores of near Leprous nature, incurable sores, or contagious in nature; Contracting diseases were often caused by poor diet, or lack of medication, to keep diseases from spreading to others. Note, Lazarus was laid there, by others.

Verse 21

1) "And desiring to be fed," (kai epithumon chortasthenai) "And he desired to be satisfied," to be fed to satisfy his hunger; He accepted willingly the crumbs though they were not sufficient to satisfy his hunger.

2) "With the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table:" (apo ton piptonton apo tes trapezes tou plousiou) "From the things (crumbs) or scraps, failing from the table of the rich, wealthy or plutocratic man," He was satisfied or content with little. For with such, plus godliness, there is great gain, 1 Timothy 6:6.

3) "Moreover the dogs came," (alla kai hoi kubes erchomenoi) "But even the dogs came," or when they came around, the wild, stray, ownerless, common scavengers. These wild dogs still roam the streets of many eastern cities. They came to fight with the lepers for the scraps and then they lingered to become friends with the lepers. They also became their only physicians.

4) "And licked his sores." (epeleichon ta helke autou) "Licked his sores," as they licked their own sores, showing more humanity, care for the sickness or afflictions of Lazarus than the rich man did. Dogs were the only physicians that showed pity for the healing of the sores on Lazarus’ body, so far as is known. Yet he knew the Great Physician of the soul, whom to know is eternal life, John 10:27; John 17:3.

Verse 22

1) "And it came to pass, that the beggar died," (egeneto de apothanein ton ptochon) "Then it came to pass (occurred) that the poor man died, or expired," an happy release, with no mention of his burial or funeral rites, as in the case of the rich man. Funeral rites of the very poor usually attract little attention. Yet all men must die, Ecclesiastes 9:5; Hebrews 9:27.

2) "And was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom." (kai apenechthenai auton hupo ton angelon eos ton kolpon Abraam) "And he came to be carried away by the angels into the bosom of Abraham." Formerly dogs were his only attendants, Hebrews 1:14, Angels accompanied his soul to his "glory home," Psalms 34:7; 2 Corinthians 5:1. Abraham’s bosom signifies heaven, the resting place of the souls of the redeemed after death, till the resurrection; For it is to heaven, not an half-way house, that the soul goes to be with Christ in death, 2 Corinthians 5:8.

3) "The rich man also died, and was buried;" (apethanen de kai ho plousios kai etaphe) "Then the rich man also died and was buried," (Ecclesiastes 8:8) in keeping with the splendor of rank and wealth he had enjoyed in this life. That he was buried at all seems almost ironic in the light of what follows, Proverbs 14:32. When a wicked man dies his "expectation perishes," his hopes end, Proverbs 10:28; Proverbs 11:7.

Verse 23

1) "And In hell he lift up his eyes," (kai en to hade eparas tous ophthalmous autou) "And in the hades (place of torments, called hell) he lifted up his eyes," the holding place (abode) of the souls of the responsible unbelievers after death. It is a place of conscious torments, Luke 13:28; Revelation 14:10-11.

2) "Being in torments," (huparchon en basanois) "Being or existing in torments," in mental, emotional, and spiritual state and place (location) of torments, with every sense-faculty of body and spirit that he had while living, to see, hear, taste, feel and to think, His final damnation was yet future, Revelation 20:11; Revelation 20:15.

3) "And seeth Abraham afar off," (hora Abraam apo makrothein) "He sees Abraham from afar," observes him, is given a vision of him at rest, tormenting him the more.

4) "And Lazarus in his bosom." (kai Lazaron en tois kolpois autou) "And Lazarus in his bosom," resting and residing there, where he was prepared to be, at rest, Hebrews 4:9; Revelation 14:13.

Verse 24

1) "And he cried and said," (kai autos phonesas eipen) "And calling (crying) he said," from his torments in hell, Luke 16:23, with the faculty of speech and emotion. It was a well meaning but unavailing cry, John 3:8; John 8:37.

2) "Father Abraham, have mercy on me," (pater Abraam eleeson me) "Father Abraham, pity me," or have pity on me, show mercy to me, a thing he was given, but spurned, all his life on earth, a thing he never showed to man himself, Luke 3:21-22; Acts 17:28; But he had now hardened his heart so long that mercy was no more available, Proverbs 29:1.

3) "And send Lazarus," (kai pempson Lazaron) "And just send Lazarus," any way to get him here, for I knew him well on earth, and I believe he will help me. But his cry was too late, Jeremiah 7:16; Jeremiah 14:11.

4) "That he may dip the tip of his finger in water," (hina bapse to akron tou daktulou autou hudatos) "In order that he may dip or immerse the tip of his finger in water;" But Lazarus had now graduated beyond being a servant to the rich man any more. It was the rich man who was a beggar now, but too late, Proverbs 1:20-28.

5) "And cool my tongue;" (kai katapsukse ten glossan mou) "And he may cool my tongue," Zechariah 14:12, with just the tip of his wet finger or moist finger tip. But after death there awaits no place to find mercy, but cold judgment that is just; John 5:30.

6) "For I am tormented in this flame." (hoti odunomai en te phlogi taute) "Because I am continually suffering anguish in this flame; Torture is physical, of the body; while torment is of the conscience and the soul, involving the memory, the computerized Memorex system of the soul, Isaiah 66:24; Mark 9:43-44.

Verse 25

1) "But Abraham said, Son," (eipen de Abraam teknon) "Then Abraham said, child," in a very calm and kindly manner. There was no mocking of his state; nor was there any remorse concerning him either.

2) "Remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things," (mnestheti hoti apelabes ta agatha sou en te zoe sou) "Just remember (recall) that you did’ receive your very good things in your life; "Start and keep remembering, your pleasures that you chose, and your opportunities to make your life right with God, while you were royally robed and bountifully fed, Luke 16:19; Matthew 19:23; Luke 6:24; Job 21:13; Psalms 73:14.

3) "And likewise Lazarus evil things:" (kai Lazaros homoios ta kake) "And Lazarus in a similar manner received the bad things," less ideal, or undesirable things, or less desirable food, shelter, and clothing.

4) "But now he is comforted," (nun de hode parakleitai) "Yet, now, here and hereafter forever, he is comforted," present with the Lord, 2 Corinthians 5:8, at rest, Revelation 14:13.

5) "And thou art tormented." (su de odunasai) "Yet you are suffering," being in a state of torments, where the cries of torments of minds and souls have no rest forever and ever, Revelation 14:11. He was tormented because in unbelief he abused mercy, until it was too late, Proverbs 1:20-25; Proverbs 29:1; Hebrews 4:7. John 8:24.

Verse 26

1) "And beside all this," (kai en pasi toutois) "And among all these things," of good times and lost opportunities you squandered through all your life.

2) "Between us and you there in a great gulf fixed:" (metaksu hemon kai humon chasm a mega esteriktai) "Between us and you all (who are there) a great chasm has been firmly fixed," or immovably established, so that the plea for mercy or pity can not be granted. The decree of separation is irrevocable; Hebrews 9:27.

3) "So that they which would pass," (hopos hoi thelontes diabenai) "So that the ones longing (wishing earnestly) to pass," to come through to you, to offer a little relief, if they could. When men die in unbelief, the door is shut, the die is cast, their doom is forever sealed, Proverbs 11:7.

4) "From hence to you cannot;" (enthen pros humas me dunontai) "From here directly to you all are not able to do it," for, the chasm is impassable, 2 Thessalonians 1:9, based on the righteous justice of God.

5) "Neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence." (mede ekeithen pros hemas diaperosin) "Neither may they cross over from there to us." Hebrews 9:27; John 8:14.

Verse 27

1) "Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father," (eipen de eroto se oun pater) "Then he said, I request you therefore father," I appeal to you, father Abraham, Luke 16:24, but his prayer was too late, Jeremiah 7:16; Jeremiah 11:14.

2) "That thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:" (hina pempses auton eis ton oikon tou patros mou) "In order that you may send him into my father’s house," to my father’s residence, back on earth, as a witness and warning to them, as they are living selfishly and covetously as I did, lest they also go on in unbelief until it is too late, John 8:24.

Verse 28

1) "For I have five brethren;" (echo gar pente adelphous) "For I have five brothers," back home, in my father’s house, unprepared for life and death, as I and the rich barn builder were, until too late, Luke 12:10.

2) "That he may testify unto them," (hopos diamarturetai sutois) "So that he may witness to them," urgently witness to them, though they had the testimony of all the prophets regarding the need of looking to, believing on, or receiving the Savior, Isaiah 55:6-7; Acts 10:43.

3) "Lest they also come into this place of torment." (hine me kai autoi elthosin eis ton topon touton tes basanou) "In order that they may not also come to this place of torment," of which they were already warned, Psalms 9:17; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; And their coming here would also be an additional torment to me because of my memory of how I led them to follow me is the idea.

Verse 29

1) "Abraham saith unto him," (lege de Abraam) "Then Abraham replied," to his too late appeal.

2) "They have Moses and the prophets;" (echousi mousea kai tous prophetas) "They have (the testimony of) Moses and the prophets," adequate to keep them from hell, from following you, Deuteronomy 18:15-18. And they are heaven-sent messengers, John 1:45; John 5:39; John 5:45; Acts 17:11-12.

3) "Let them hear them." (akousatosan auton) "Let them hear (heed or obey) them," what they say and teach. And those who do not shall be cut off, be damned, Acts 3:22-24; Acts 10:43; Revelation 19:9.

Verse 30

1) "And he said, Nay, father Abraham:" (ho de eipen ouchi pater Abraam) "Then he replied, no, father Abraham," they are not enough, this theologian in hell reasoned; Still his attitude was that of the Pharisee, who considered himself righteous and wiser than others, Luke 18:9-11.

2) "But if one went unto them from the dead," (air ean tis apo nekron poreuthe pros autous) "But if someone should go directly to them from the dead," from out of the tombs to my father’s house; Though he was sincere he was wrong, John 5:40; John 8:24. The "if" consideration would not help. No special reports of belief or repentance is heard from the raising of Lazarus of Bethany.

3) "They will repent." (metanoesousin) "They will (then) repent." The lost in hell know that only those who repent can stay out of hell, Luke 13:3; Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30-31; 2 Corinthians 7:10; 2 Peter 3:9.

Verse 31

1) "And he said unto him," (eipen de auto) "Then he replied to him," that is Abraham asserted to him, in a revelation from heaven, regarding the unsaved yet on earth, as a final conclusion.

2) "If they hear not Moses and the prophets," (ei mouseos kai ton propheton ouk akouousin) "If they do not hear (give heed to) Moses and the prophets," the God-sent messengers that they have about them now, who have testified concerning salvation, Isaiah 53:1-12; Isaiah 55:1-3.

3) "Neither will they be persuaded," (oude peisthesontai) "Neither (not at all) will they (the five brothers on earth) be persuaded," to repent, to give heed, Deuteronomy 18:15-18.

4) "Though one rose from the dead." (ean tis ek nekron anaste) "Even if someone should rise again out of the dead," which Jesus Himself did; And the unbelieving Jews, who asked for the sign, thereafter hired men to tell it all about that His disciples came and stole His body from the grave, Matthew 28:11-15; John 8:21; John 8:24. They still did not believe. And today if men do not hear or give heed to the witness of His church people, they would not repent either, if one came back from the dead, in, a spectacular manner, Acts 1:8; Revelation 22:17.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Luke 16". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/luke-16.html. 1985.
 
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