Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 16:19

"Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Dead (People);   Extravagance;   Happiness;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Linen;   Rich, the;   Self-Indulgence;   Worldliness;   Scofield Reference Index - Parables;   Thompson Chain Reference - Accumulation of Wealth;   Clothing;   Dress;   Earthly;   Food;   Food, Physical-Spiritual;   Linen;   Luxury;   Parables;   Pleasure, Worldly;   Poverty-Riches;   Rich Apparel;   Riches, Earthly;   Self-Indulgence-Self-Denial;   Treasures, Earthly;   Truth;   Wealth;   Worldly;   The Topic Concordance - Damnation;   Wealth;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Diet of the Jews, the;   Garments;   Happiness of the Wicked, the;   Parables;   Riches;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Lazarus;   Parable;   Purple;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Dress;   Food;   Government;   Justice;   Lazarus;   Lending;   Luke, gospel of;   Sheol;   Wealth;   Work;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Abraham's Bosom;   Color, Symbolic Meaning of;   Ethics;   Hades;   Hell;   Hospitality;   Immortality;   Intermediate State;   Jesus Christ;   Statute;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Soul sleep;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Colour;   Dress;   Lazarus;   Linen;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Divination;   Dress;   Eleazar;   Flax;   Lazarus;   Linen;   Parable;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Dives;   Intermediate State;   Lazarus;   Leprosy;   Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Wrath, Wrath of God;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Abraham's Bosom;   Descent into Hades;   Ethics;   Lazarus;   Linen;   Magnifical;   Parable;   Sin;   Wealth;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Almsgiving ;   Beggar;   Church (2);   Common Life;   Dead, the ;   Discourse;   Dives;   Dress (2);   Ebionism (2);   Eschatology (2);   Giving;   Heart;   Hell ;   Home (2);   Immortality (2);   Impotence;   Joy;   Labour (2);   Lazarus;   Linen (2);   Man (2);   Parable;   Poet;   Poverty (2);   Property (2);   Prophet;   Purple (2);   Reality;   Restoration;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Self-Denial;   Social Life;   Soul;   Steward, Stewardship;   Sympathy;   Trade and Commerce;   Wealth (2);   Weaving;   Winter ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Lazarus ;   Purple;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Colors;   Garments;   Lazarus;   Purple;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Dress;   Laz'arus;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Rich (and forms);   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Purple;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Color;   Dress;   Fare;   Fine;   Immortal;   Lazarus;   Linen;   Parable;   Punishment, Everlasting;   Purple;   Wealth;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abraham's Bosom;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for December 22;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

There was a certain rich man - In the Scholia of some MSS. the name of this person is said to be Ninive. This account of the rich man and Lazarus is either a parable or a real history. If it be a parable, it is what may be: if it be a history, it is that which has been. Either a man may live as is here described, and go to perdition when he dies; or, some have lived in this way, and are now suffering the torments of an eternal fire. The account is equally instructive in whichsoever of these lights it is viewed. Let us carefully observe all the circumstances offered hereto our notice, and we shall see - I. The Crime of this man; and II. His Punishment.

    I. The Crime of this man.

  • There was a certain rich man in Jerusalem. Provided this be a real history, there is no doubt our Lord could have mentioned his name; but, as this might have given great offense, he chose to suppress it. His being rich is, in Christ's account, the first part of his sin. To this circumstance our Lord adds nothing: he does not say that he was born to a large estate; or that he acquired one by improper methods; or that he was haughty or insolent in the possession of it. Yet here is the first degree of his reprobation - he got all he could, and kept all to himself.
  • He was clothed with purple and fine linen. Purple was a very precious and costly stuff; but our Lord does not say that in the use of it he exceeded the bounds of his income, nor of his rank in life; nor is it said that he used his superb dress to be an agent to his crimes, by corrupting the hearts of others. Yet our Lord lays this down as a second cause of his perdition.
  • He fared sumptuously every day. Now let it be observed that the law of Moses, under which this man lived, forbade nothing on this point, but excess in eating and drinking; indeed, it seems as if a person was authorized to taste the sweets of an abundance, which that law promised as a reward of fidelity. Besides, this rich man is not accused of having eaten food which was prohibited by the law, or of having neglected the abstinences and fasts prescribed by it. It is true, he is said to have feasted sumptuously every day; but our Lord does not intimate that this was carried to excess, or that it ministered to debauch. He is not accused of licentious discourse, of gaming, of frequenting any thing like our modern plays, balls, masquerades, or other impure and unholy assemblies; of speaking an irreverent word against Divine revelation, or the ordinances of God. In a word, his probity is not attacked, nor is he accused of any of those crimes which pervert the soul or injure civil society. As Christ has described this man, does he appear culpable? What are his crimes? Why,
  • He was rich.
  • He was finely clothed. And
  • He feasted well.
  • No other evil is spoken of him. In comparison of thousands, he was not only blameless, but he was a virtuous man.

  • But it is intimated by many that "he was an uncharitable, hard-hearted, unfeeling wretch." Yet of this there is not a word spoken by Christ. Let us consider all the circumstances, and we shall see that our blessed Lord has not represented this man as a monster of inhumanity, but merely as an indolent man, who sought and had his portion in this life, and was not at all concerned about another.
  • Therefore we do not find that when Abraham addressed him on the cause of his reprobation, Luke 16:25, that he reproached him with hard-heartedness, saying, "Lazarus was hungry, and thou gavest him no meat; he was thirsty, and thou gavest him no drink, etc.;" but he said simply, Son, remember that thou didst receive thy good things in thy lifetime, Luke 16:25. "Thou hast sought thy consolation upon the earth, thou hast borne no cross, mortified no desire of the flesh, received not the salvation God had provided for thee; thou didst not belong to the people of God upon earth, and thou canst not dwell with them in glory."

    There are few who consider that it is a crime for those called Christians to live without Christ, when their lives are not stained with transgression. If Christianity only required men to live without gross outward sin, paganism could furnish us with many bright examples of this sort. But the religion of Christ requires a conformity, not only in a man's conduct, to the principles of the Gospel; but also a conformity in his heart to the spirit and mind of Christ.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-16.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    There was a certain rich man - Many have supposed that our Lord here refers to a “real history,” and gives an account of some man who had lived in this manner; but of this there is no evidence. The probability is that this narrative is to be considered as a parable, referring not to any particular case which “had” actually happened, but teaching that such cases “might” happen. The “design” of the narrative is to be collected from the previous conversation. He had taught the danger of the love of money Luke 16:1-2; the deceitful and treacherous nature of riches Luke 16:9-11; that what was in high esteem on earth was hateful to God Luke 16:15; that people who did not use their property aright could not be received into heaven Luke 16:11-12; that they ought to listen to Moses and the prophets Luke 16:16-17; and that it was the duty of people to show kindness to the poor. The design of the parable was to impress all these truths more vividly on the mind, and to show the Pharisees that, with all their boasted righteousness and their external correctness of character, they might be lost. Accordingly he speaks of no great fault in the rich man - no external, degrading vice - no open breach of the law; and leaves us to infer that the “mere possession of wealth” may be dangerous to the soul, and that a man surrounded with every temporal blessing may perish forever. It is remarkable that he gave no “name” to this rich man, though the poor man is mentioned by name. If this was a parable, it shows us how unwilling he was to fix suspicion on anyone. If it was not a parable, it shows also that he would not drag out wicked people before the public, but would conceal as much as possible all that had any connection with them. The “good” he would speak well of by name; the evil he would not “injure” by exposing them to public view.

    Clothed in purple - A purple robe or garment. This color was expensive as well as splendid, and was chiefly worn by princes, nobles, and those who were very wealthy. Compare Matthew 27:28. See the notes at Isaiah 1:18.

    Fine linen - This linen was chiefly produced of the flax that grew on the banks of the Nile, in Egypt, Proverbs 7:16; Ezekiel 27:7. It was especially soft and white, and was, therefore, much sought as an article of luxury, and was so expensive that it could be worn only by princes, by priests, or by those who were very rich, Genesis 41:42; 1 Chronicles 15:27; Exodus 28:5.

    Fared sumptuously - Feasted or lived in a splendid manner.

    Every day - Not merely occasionally, but constantly. This was a mark of great wealth, and, in the view of the world, evidence of great happiness. It is worthy of remark that Jesus did not charge on him any crime. He did not say that he had acquired this property by dishonesty, or even that he was unkind or uncharitable; but simply that he “was a rich man,” and that his riches did not secure him from death and perdition.

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    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-16.html. 1870.

    Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

    Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day.

    THE PARABLE OF THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS

    The Latin word for "rich man" is dives, and this is sometimes used as a proper name; but Jesus left him nameless.

    Clothed in purple ... Ancient craftsmen of Tyre discovered a process of making a very expensive and durable purple dye from the murex shell;[37] and, due to its cost, it could be afforded only by royalty and the very rich. From this, "royal purple" has entered into the vocabulary of all nations.

    Fine linens ... faring sumptuously ... These are additional touches to show the extravagant luxury in which the rich man lived. It should be noted that there is no hint of any unrighteous acquisition of wealth, nor of any overt, sinful action against Lazarus, nor even any hint that he denied the crumbs desired by the beggar. It is his total indifference to human suffering at his very gate which looms so ominously in the parable.

    And is this a parable? It would appear to be certain that it is; the placement of it alone is sufficient grounds for understanding it as a parable. Besides that, the element of Abraham presiding over Paradise forces one to seek an analogy. It is God, not Abraham, who has custody and control of the departed dead.

    ENDNOTE:

    [37] Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago: William Benton, 1961), Vol. 22, p. 653.

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    Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
    Bibliographical Information
    Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    There was a certain rich man,.... In Beza's most ancient copy, and in another manuscript of his it is read by way of preface, "he said also another parable": which shows, that this is not a history of matter of fact, or an historical account of two such persons, as the "rich" man and the beggar, who had lately lived at Jerusalem; though the Papists pretend, to this day, to point out the very spot of ground in Jerusalem, where this rich man's house stood: nor is it to be understood parabolically of any particular rich man, or prince; as Saul the first king of Israel; or Herod, who now was reigning, and was clothed in purple, and lived in a sumptuous manner: nor of rich men in general, though it greatly describes the characters of such, at least of many of them; who only take care of their bodies, and neglect their souls; adorn and pamper them, live in pleasure, and grow wanton, and have no regard to the poor saints; and when they die go to hell; for their riches will not profit them in a day of wrath, nor deliver from it, or be regarded by the Judge, any more than hills and mountains will hide them from his face: but by the rich man are meant, the Jews in general; for that this man is represented, and to be considered as a Jew, is evident from Abraham being his father, and his calling him so, and Abraham again calling him his son, Luke 16:24 of which relation the Jews much boasted and gloried in; and from his brethren having Moses and the prophets, Luke 16:29 which were peculiar to the Jewish people; and from that invincible and incurable infidelity in them, that they would not believe, though one rose from the dead, Luke 16:31 as the Jews would not believe in Christ though he himself rose from the dead, which was the sign he gave them of his being the Messiah: and the general design of the parable, is to expose the wickedness and unbelief of the Jews, and to show their danger and misery, for their contempt and rejection of the Messiah; and particularly the Pharisees are designed, who being covetous, had derided Christ for what he had before said; and, who though high in the esteem of men, were an abomination to God, Luke 16:14. These more especially boasted of Abraham being their father; and of their being the disciples of Moses, and trusted in him, and in his law; and thought they should have eternal life through having and reading the books of Moses and the prophets: these may be called "a man", because this was the name by which the Jews style themselves, in distinction from the Gentiles, whom they compare to beasts; See Gill on Matthew 15:26 and this they ground on a passage in Ezekiel 34:31 "and ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men": upon which their note isF5T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 114. 2. & Kimchi in loc. ,

    "ye are called, אדם, "men", but the nations of the earth are not called men.'

    And they may be called a "certain" man, a famous man, a man of note, as the Jews, and especially the Pharisees, thought themselves to be; and therefore coveted the chief places in the synagogues, and at feasts, and loved salutations and greetings in market places, and to be called of men Rabbi, and master: as also a "rich man"; for the Jews in general were a wealthy people, lived in a very fruitful country, and were greatly indulged with the riches of providential goodness; and particularly the Pharisees, many of whom were of the great sanhedrim, and rulers of synagogues, and elders of the people; and who by various methods, amassed to themselves great riches, and even devoured widows' houses; see Luke 6:24 and they were also rich in outward means and ordinances, having the oracles of God, his word, worship, and service; and as to their spiritual and eternal estate, in their own esteem; though they were not truly rich in grace, not in faith, nor in spiritual knowledge, nor even in good works, of which they so much boasted; but in appearance, and in their own conceit, they were rich in the knowledge of the law, and in righteousness, which they imagined was perfect, and so stood in need of nothing; no, not of repentance, and especially of Christ, or of any thing from him:

    which was clothed in purple and fine linen; or "byssus", which is said toF6Philostrat. Vit. Appollon. l. 2. c. 9. grow on a tree, in height equal to a poplar, and in leaves like a willow, and was brought out of India into Egypt, and much used there, as it also was among the Jews: hence we often readF7Targum in Gen. xli. 42. in 2 Chron. v. 12. & in Ezek. xliv. 17. of בוצא or לבושין דבוץ "garments of byssus", or fine linen: the Jews in general dressed well; their common apparel were fine linen and silk; see Ezekiel 16:10 and so the Arabic version here renders it, "silk and purple"; and the Persic version, "silks and bombycines": and the priests particularly, were arrayed in such a habit; the robe of the ephod, and also its curious girdle, were of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine linen, and at the hem of it were pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet, Exodus 28:6. And as for the Pharisees, they loved to go in long robes, and to make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, which were fringes of blue, joined unto them; and which may figuratively express the fine outside show of holiness and righteousness, they made;

    and fared sumptuously every day. The Jews in common lived well, being in a land that flowed with milk and honey; see Ezekiel 16:13 and especially the priests, who offered up lambs every day, besides other offerings, of which they had their part; as also the Pharisees, who were often at feasts, where they loved the chief places: and this may signify the easy and jocund life they lived; knowing no sorrow upon spiritual accounts, having no sense of sin, nor sight of the spirituality of the law, nor view of danger; but at perfect ease, and not emptied from vessel to vessel.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-16.html. 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    6 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in h purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

    (6) The end of the poverty and misery of the godly will be everlasting joy, as the end of riotous living and the cruel pride of the rich will be everlasting misery, without any hope of mercy.

    (h) Very gorgeously and sumptuously, for purple garments were costly, and this fine linen, which was a kind of linen that came out of Achaia, was as precious as gold.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/luke-16.html. 1599-1645.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    purple and fine linen, etc. — (Compare Esther 8:15; Revelation 18:12); wanting nothing which taste and appetite craved and money could procure.

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    This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-16.html. 1871-8.

    John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

    19. There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

    [There was a certain rich man.] Whoever believes this not to be a parable, but a true story, let him believe also those little friars, whose trade it is to shew the monuments at Jerusalem to pilgrims, and point exactly to the place where the house of the 'rich glutton' stood. Most accurate keepers of antiquity indeed! who, after so many hundreds of years, such overthrows of Jerusalem, such devastations and changes, can rake out of the rubbish the place of so private a house, and such a one too as never had any being, but merely in parable. And that it was a parable, not only the consent of all expositors may assure us, but the thing itself speaks it.

    The main scope and design of it seems this, to hint the destruction of the unbelieving Jews, who, though they had Moses and the Prophets, did not believe them, nay, would not believe, though one (even Jesus) arose from the dead. For that conclusion of the parable abundantly evidenceth what it aimed at: "If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead."

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    Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-16.html. 1675.

    People's New Testament

    A certain rich man. Not one whom the world would call great, but eminently respectable; one whom the worldly would admire, while the poor man was one whom the covetous would despise.

    Clothed in purple. The purple was anciently the royal color, the gorgeous hue of the imperial robes, and hence the very term, the {purple,} is still used to signify the royal dignity.

    And fine linen. The finest apparel.

    Faring sumptuously every day. Enjoying not only the most sumptuous fare on the table every day, but every sensual enjoyment. How the world would admire his lot in life!

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
    Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
    Bibliographical Information
    Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/luke-16.html. 1891.

    Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

    He was clothed (ενεδιδυσκετοenedidusketo). Imperfect middle of ενδιδυσκωendiduskō a late intensive form of ενδυωenduō He clothed himself in or with. It was his habit.

    Purple (πορπυρανporphuran). This purple dye was obtained from the purple fish, a species of mussel or μυρεχmurex (1 Maccabees 4:23). It was very costly and was used for the upper garment by the wealthy and princes (royal purple). They had three shades of purple (deep violet, deep scarlet or crimson, deep blue). See also Mark 15:17, Mark 15:20; Revelation 18:12.

    Fine linen (βυσσονbusson).

    Byssus or Egyptian flax (India and Achaia also). It is a yellowed flax from which fine linen was made for undergarments. It was used for wrapping mummies. “Some of the Egyptian linen was so fine that it was called woven air” (Vincent). Here only in the N.T. for the adjective βυσσινοςbussinos occurs in Revelation 18:12; Revelation 19:8, Revelation 19:14.

    Faring sumptuously (ευπραινομενος λαμπρωςeuphrainomenos lamprōs).

    Making merry brilliantly. The verb ευπραινομαιeuphrainomai we have already had in Luke 12:19; Luke 15:23, Luke 15:25, Luke 15:32. ΛαμπρωςLamprōs is an old adverb from λαμπροςlampros brilliant, shining, splendid, magnificent. It occurs here only in the N.T. This parable apparently was meant for the Pharisees (Luke 16:14) who were lovers of money. It shows the wrong use of money and opportunity.

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    The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
    Bibliographical Information
    Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-16.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

    Vincent's Word Studies

    Was clothed

    Imperfect, and frequentative; denoting his habitual attire.

    Purple ( πορφύραν )

    Originally the purple fish from which the color was obtained, and thence applied to the color itself. Several kinds of these were found in the Mediterranean. The color was contained in a vein about the neck. Under the term purple the ancients included three distinct colors: 1. A deep violet, with a black or dusky tinge; the color meant by Homer in describing an ocean wave: “As when the great sea grows purple with dumb swell” (“Iliad,” xiv., 16). 2. Deep scarlet or crimson - the Tyrian purple. 3. The deep blue of the Mediterranean. The dye was permanent. Alexander is said by Plutarch to have found in the royal palace at Susa garments which preserved their freshness of color though they had been laid up for nearly two hundred years; and Mr. St. John (“Manners and Customs of Ancient Greece”) relates that a small pot of the dye was discovered at Pompeii which had preserved the tone and richness attributed to the Tyrian purple. This fixedness of color is alluded to in Isaiah 1:18 - though your sins were as scarlet, the term being rendered in the Septuagint φοινικοῦν , which, with its kindred words, denoted darker shades of red. A full and interesting description of the purple may be found in J. A. St. John's “Manners and Customs of Ancient Greece,” iii., 224: sq.

    Fine linen ( βύσσον )

    ByssusA yellowish flax, and the linen made from it. Herodotus says it was used for enveloping mummies (ii., 86), a statement confirmed by microscopic examinations. He also speaks of it as a bandage for a wound (vii., 181). It is the word used by the Septuagint for linen (Luke 15:23, Luke 15:24, Luke 15:29, Luke 15:32. Wyc., he ate, each day, shiningly.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-16.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

    There was a certain rich man — Very probably a Pharisee, and one that justified himself before men; a very honest, as well as honourable gentleman: though it was not proper to mention his name on this occasion: who was clothed in purple and fine linen - and doubtless esteemed on this account, (perhaps not only by those who sold it, but by most that knew him,) as encouraging trade, and acting according to his quality: And feasted splendidly every day - And consequently was esteemed yet more, for his generosity and hospitality in keeping so good a table.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
    Bibliographical Information
    Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-16.html. 1765.

    The Fourfold Gospel

    Now1 there was a certain rich man2, and he was clothed in purple3 and fine linen4, faring sumptuously every day5:
      SECOND GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES. (Probably in Perea.) F. PARABLE OF THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS. Luke 16:19-31

    1. Now. The parable we are about to study is a direct advance upon the thoughts in the previous section. We may say generally that if the parable of the unjust steward teaches how riches are to be used, this parable sets forth the terrible consequences of a failure to so use them. Each point of the previous discourse is covered in detail, as will be shown by the references in the discussion of the parable.

    2. There was a certain rich man. For convenience's sake, this rich man has been commonly called Dives, which is simply Latin for "rich man", and is therefore not truly a name, for it is not fitting to name him whom the Lord left nameless.

    3. And he was clothed in purple. Along the coast of Tyre there was found a rare shell-fish (Murex purpurarius) from which a costly purple dye was obtained, each little animal yielding about one drop of it. Woolen garments dyed with it were worn by kings and nobles, and idol images were sometimes arrayed in them. This purple robe formed the outer, and the linen the inner garment.

    4. And fine linen. The "byssus", or fine linen of Egypt, was produced from flax, which grew on the banks of the Nile. It was dazzlingly white, and worth twice its weight in gold (Genesis 41:42; Exodus 26:31-33; Exodus 28:5 1 Chronicles 15:27; Ezekiel 27:7).

    5. Faring sumptuously every day. The mention of these garments and a continual banqueting indicates a life of extreme luxury.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
    Bibliographical Information
    J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-16.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

    Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

    Purple; worn only by persons of very high rank.

    Luke 16:20,21. A very graphic description of extreme helplessness and misery.

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    Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-16.html. 1878.

    Scofield's Reference Notes

    There

    vs. Luke 16:19-31. are not said to be a parable. Rich men and beggars are common; there is no reason why Jesus may not have had in mind a particular case. In no parable is an individual named.

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    Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Luke 16:19". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/luke-16.html. 1917.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

    Ver. 19. There was a certain rich man] Not once named, as Lazarus was, though never so little esteemed of men. God knew him by name, as he did Moses; when the rich man’s name is written in the earth, rots above ground, is left for a reproach.

    Which was clothed in purple, &c.] Gr. ενεδιδυσκετο, was commonly so clothed. It was his every day’s wear, as the word implieth. ( Verbum est quasi frequentativum. Pasor.)

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    Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-16.html. 1865-1868.

    Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

    Luke 16:19. There was a certain rich man, The reasoning made use of by our Lord in the preceding verses was clear and unanswerable; but the Pharisees, stupified with the intoxication of sensual pleasures, were deaf to every argument, how cogent soever, if it was levelled against their lusts. As an illustration therefore and confirmation of his assertion, and that he might rouse them out of their lethargy, he made the thunder of the divine judgments to sound in their ears, by this very strong and affecting parable of the rich man and the beggar; very similar whereto isa parable which the Jews have in their Gemara. The original, which we render fared sumptuously every day, is very expressive, "He delighted himself, and cheered his heart with sumptuoussplendour and luxury every day." It is remarked by Archbishop Tillotson on this parable, that our Saviour calls the poor man by his proper name, but only speaks of the rich man under a general appellation:—"I cannot but take notice," says he, "of the decorum which our Saviour uses. He would not name any rich man, because that was invidious: he endeavours to make all men sensible of their duty, but he would provoke none by any peevish reflection: for nothing is more improper than to provoke those whom we intend to persuade. While a man's reason is calm and undisturbed, it is capable of truth fairly propounded; but if once we stir up men's passions, it is like muddying of the water;—they can discern nothing clearly afterwards."

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    Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/luke-16.html. 1801-1803.

    Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

    Our Saviour in his parabolical history of Dives and Lazarus, instructs us concerning the right use of riches, which is to capacitate us to do good to others; declaring that in the life to come, the pious poor man shall be eternally happy, while the unmerciful rich man shall be intolerably miserable.

    Here observe, 1. The different state and condition of good and bad men in the other world, from what they are in this; here the wicked prosper, grow rich and great, and the good and virtuous are in calamity, suffer poverty and, distress, which has staggered many men, yea, the best of men, in the belief of a divine providence.

    Observe, 2. That our Saviour did not consure the rich man for being rich, but for being sensual; not for wearing costly apparel, and keeping a plentiful table, (which if managed according to men's qualities and estates, is a commendable virtue,) but his sensuality and luxury, and forgetting to feed the hungry with the superfluities of his table; these are the things for which he is censured.

    From whence we may learn, that pride and luxury, intemperance and sensuality, are such abuses of worldly riches, as worldly men are very prone and incident to. Rich men too often make their back and their belly their god; sacrificing and devoting all they have to the service of those idols.

    Observe, 3. That a poor and mean condition is the lot of many good men, nay, perhaps of the most in this world. That a man may be poor and miserable in this world, and yet be very dear to God: the grace of sanctification is sometimes bestowed most eminently, where the gifts of providence have been dispensed most sparingly; consequently from the present state of men in this world, we can make no judgment of their future condition in the world to come.

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    Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/luke-16.html. 1700-1703.

    Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

    19.] δέ connects this directly with what goes before; being an answer, not immediately to any thing said by the Pharisees, but to their scoffs at Him;—q. d. ‘hear now a parable.’

    ἄνθρ. πλ.] Tertullian thought (l. c.) that Herod was meant, and by Lazarus John; and this view has been taken by Paulus and Schleiermacher also: but surely with no probability. Our Lord might hint with stern rebuke at the present notorious crime of Herod, but can hardly be thought to have spoken thus of him. That the circumstances will in some measure apply to these two, is owing, as above in ch. 15, to the parable taking the general case, of which theirs was a particular instance. Zeller (refuted by Bleek in loc.) thinks that the rich man sets forth the Jews and the poor man the Gentiles. In my view, the very name of the poor man (see below) is a sufficient answer to this.

    Observe, that this rich man is not accused of any flagrant crimes:—he lives, as the world would say, as became his means and station; he does not oppress nor spoil other men: he is simply a υἱὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου, in the highest form.

    πορφ. κ. βύσ., the Tyrian costly purple—and the fine linen (for under clothing) from Egypt.

    εὐφρ. λαμπ.] Probably the E. V. is right—fared sumptuously:epulabatur splendide,’ Vulg. Others render it ‘enjoyed himself sumptuously.’

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    Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-16.html. 1863-1878.

    Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

    Luke 16:19. After Jesus in Luke 16:15-18 has rebuked the Pharisees, He now justifies in opposition to them the doctrines, Luke 16:9-13, on account of which they had derided Him,—showing them in the following fictitious doctrinal narrative (which is not, as with Hengstenberg, to be transferred to the repast of Bethany) to what riches lead if they are not applied in the manner prescribed in Luke 16:9, to the ποιεῖν ἑαυτῷ φίλους.(206) Comp. Theophylact. De Wette (comp. Holtzmann) wrongly denies all connection with what goes before, and finds set forth only the thought: Blessed are the poor; woe to the rich (Luke 6:20; Luke 6:24), so that there is wanting any moral view of the future retribution, and hence the suspicion arises that in the first portion, Luke 16:19-26, “the well-known prejudice” of Luke, or of his informant, against riches and in favour of poverty, is arbitrarily introduced. Comp. Schwegler, I. p. 59; also Köstlin, p. 271, and Hilgenfeld, according to whom the parable no longer appears in its primitive form, and must have received from Luke an appendix hostile to the Jews. The moral standard of the retribution is at Luke 16:27 ff., so emphatically made prominent(207) that it is unreasonable to separate it from the first part of the narrative, and (Strauss, I. p. 632; comp. Schwegler, Baur, Zeller) to speak of the Essene-like contempt of riches (Josephus, Bell. ii. 8. 3).

    δέ] transitional, but to put the matter now, so as to act upon your will, etc. See above.

    καὶ ἐνεδιδύσκ.] a simple connective link, where the periodic style would have turned the phrase by means of a relative, as is done subsequently in Luke 16:20.

    πορφύρ. κ. βύσς.] His upper garment was of purple wool, his underclothing of Egyptian byssus (white cotton), which among the Hebrews was frequently used for delicate and luxurious materials.

    Jesus does not give any name for the rich man, which is not to he taken, as by many of the Fathers, as a suggestion of reproach (Euthymius Zigabenus refers to Psalms 15:4), and in general, the absence of the name is to be regarded as unintentional; for the poor man, however, even a significant name readily presented itself to the sympathy of Jesus. Tradition calls the rich man νινευής, which, according to a Scholiast, appeared also in certain MSS.; as, moreover, the Sahidic version has the addition: cujus erat nomen Nineue.

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    Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/luke-16.html. 1832.

    Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

    Luke 16:19. ἄνθρωπος, a man) This parable (for it is a parable, though a true narrative may lie underneath it) not only condemns the abuse of external goods by covetousness and pride, but also condemns a proud contempt of the law and the prophets: comp. Luke 16:14 et seqq. The rich man is the exact representative of the Pharisees: Lazarus is an example of the poor in spirit: The state of both respectively in this life and in that which is to come is shown.— πορφύραν καὶ βύσσον, purple and fine linen) forming a beautifully blending of colours.

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    Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-16.html. 1897.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    Ver. 19-22. It is a question of no great concern for us to be resolved about, whether this be a history, or narrative of matter of fact, or a parable. Those that contend on either side have probable arguments for their opinion, and it may be they best judge who determine it to be neither the one nor the other, but a profitable discourse, that hath in it something of both. Our chief concern is to consider what our Lord by it designed to instruct us in. And certainly those do not judge amiss who think that this discourse hath a great reference to what went before, Luke 16:9,10, where our Saviour had been exhorting his hearers to make themselves

    friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, as also to the Pharisees deriding him for his doctrine, Luke 16:14; our Lord by this discourse letting them know the danger of covetousness and uncharitableness, and also letting them know that what is highly esteemed among men may be abomination in the sight of God. He telleth them there was a certain rich man, who lived in great plenty and splendour; his clothing was purple and fine linen, that is, exceeding costly and splendid; his fare, or diet, was delicate and sumptuous, and that every day, from whence may easily be concluded, that if he had had a heart thereunto, he might have spared something for the poor. Nor were the objects of his charity far off.

    There was a certain beggar named Lazarus, poor enough, for he was full of sores, and would have been glad of the offal of the rich man’s table; but the dogs were more charitable than their master; we read of nothing which the rich man gave him, but

    the dogs came and licked his sores. What was the end of this? The beggar died, and he was by the angels carried into the bosom of Abraham, that is, into heaven; some will have the phrase signify, one of the chiefest mansions in heaven. Abraham was the father of believers, and an hospitable person while he lived upon the earth. Lazarus is expressed to have been conveyed to him. There are many things discoursed by men of wit and learning about this Abraham’s bosom, but the best centre here, that by it is meant heaven: and from hence two great points are proved:

    1. That the soul is capable of an existence separated from the body, and therefore is not, as some atheists dream, a mere affection of that, and an accident, but a distinct spiritual subsistence.

    2. That the souls of the good, when they depart from their bodies, immediately pass into an eternal state of blessedness.

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    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 16:19". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-16.html. 1685.

    Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

    Clothed in purple; an indication of great wealth.

    Fared sumptuously; lived in a luxurious and costly manner. A man’s condition in this world is no certain criterion of his character. A wicked man may be rich and surrounded with all the comforts and luxuries of life, while a good man may be poor, afflicted, and helpless. He may want even that which is squandered by the wicked on their dogs.

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    Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-16.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

    Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

    ‘Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day,’

    The story opens with the picture of a man who according to Pharisaic teaching was a man blessed by God. He was wealthy, he dressed in the most sumptuous of clothing, he ate at a well-filled table. He saw himself as ‘almost royalty’. He would have been admired and respected, and have been seen as a good example by all, for nothing bad was known about him. And all thought how fortunate he was. He was shielded from the problems of life that faced most people, a picture of total (but selfish and self-satisfied) contentment. His clothing, if not his life, was modelled on the woman in Proverbs 31:22. But whereas for her it was a sign of her industry, for him it was a sign of his total self-sufficiency and selfishness.

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    Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-16.html. 2013.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    19.A certain rich man—His name is not given; for Dives, which many suppose to be his proper name, is but the Latin word for

    rich man. Clothed in purple—The purple was anciently the royal colour, the gorgeous hue of the imperial robes; and hence the very term, the purple, is still used to signify the royal dignity. Though already used in our Saviour’s time by the opulent, it was considered a mark of pomp and effeminacy. This most brilliant dye was discovered, it was said, at Sidon, being the juice from a shellfish brought to notice by its having stained the mouth of a dog who had devoured one.

    Fine linen—The fine byssus or linen was first commonly used by the Jews in the time of Solomon. It was either white, or a brilliant yellow; so that this rich and effeminate man disclosed a golden undergarment beneath the external purple.

    Sumptuously—Brilliantly, magnificently; referring rather to external pomp than to luxurious diet.

    Every day—This rich display was not reserved for special days, for festivals, or galas; it was his ordinary style. It has been argued by many divines that no special wickedness is here ascribed to the rich man; nothing but ordinary worldliness; so that we thereby learn that it requires no extraordinary human guilt to attain a terrible destiny in the world to come. On the other hand, Strauss carries the same idea so far as to maintain that Jesus makes simply the being a rich man his only sin, and poverty the only merit of Lazarus by which he attains Paradise. Thence Strauss charges our Saviour with maintaining the ascetic doctrine of the Ebionites, that wealth is in itself a damnable sin, and poverty an excellence deserving salvation. But Trench well replies that Abraham, in whose bosom Lazarus reposed, was a rich man; and we may add that so were Isaac and Jacob; and both Moses and the prophets, whom this rich man was condemned for not believing, taught that riches were a blessing from God. And it may be doubted that Ebionitism or asceticism ever maintained that mere poverty was a merit or constituted a claim to Paradise. Religious poverty—poverty from devout motives and accompanied by rigid morality in all other respects, is the poverty which all asceticism demands in order to holy merit. It is perfectly preposterous to maintain that Jesus represents Lazarus as a voluntary religious mendicant. The sins of this rich man were those of the Sadducee: infidelity, selfishness, and a sordid, hard-hearted worldliness. And when we conceive such a character, all kinds of wickedness may be considered as truly in him. Such a man will for his own self-interest sacrifice every other interest. To benefit himself, he will invest in any iniquity, whether it be the rum traffic, the slave-trade, the gambling “hell,” or piracy. So that you may fully consider this rich man as the blank figure, the outline skeleton, upon which you may inscribe any or every iniquity you think proper.

     

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    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-16.html. 1874-1909.

    Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

    Luke 16:19. A certain rich man. His name is not given, but he is often called Dives, which is the Latin word for ‘rich man.’ Tradition gives him a name (Nineue), but there is no proof that an actual person was referred to.

    In purple. The costly material for upper garments, brought from Tyre.

    Fine linen. For under garments, from Egypt; some such was said to be worth twice its weight in gold.

    Faring sumptuously every day. He was not a glutton, nor recklessly extravagant, but he lived well, as a rich man could afford to do. There is no reason for supposing that he was a Sadducee; doubtless the rich among the Pharisees also lived according to their means and position. Nor is the man represented as specially a sinner. He was a ‘son of this world’ living to himself, without trying to make friends out of the mammon of unrighteousness. The parable teaches that such a one is punished after death

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    Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-16.html. 1879-90.

    The Expositor's Greek Testament

    Luke 16:19. , etc.: either there was a certain rich man, or a certain man was rich, or there was a certain man—rich, this the first fact about him.— introduces the second, instead of , after the Hebrew manner.— : his clothing of the costliest: “purple without, Egyptian byssus underneath” (Farrar in C. G. T.).— (from ), splendidly, characterising his style of living; life a daily feast; here only in N.T.

     

     

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    Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-16.html. 1897-1910.

    Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

    Luke 16:19. There was a certain rich man, &c. — Our Lord, in the last paragraph, having exposed those parts of the character of the Pharisees which were most odious in the sight of God, and the roots from whence their other wickedness sprang, namely, their hypocrisy and worldly spirit, proceeds now sharply to rebuke their voluptuousness and love of pleasure, and set before them the consequences thereof in a most awakening parable, in which he unveils before their sight the rewards and punishments of the eternal world. It is the most alarming of all Christ’s parables, and the characters in it are drawn in such lively colours that many have been of opinion, in all ages of the church, that it is not a parable, but a real history. But the circumstances of the story are evidently parabolical, and some ancient MSS., particularly that of Beza, at Cambridge, have, at the beginning, — And he spake unto them another parable. It matters not much, however, to us, in the application of it, whether it be a parable or a real history, since the important truths contained in it are equally clear and equally certain, in whichever light it be considered. Which was clothed in purple and fine linen — And on that account, doubtless, was highly esteemed, and that not only by those who sold these articles, but by most that knew him, as encouraging trade, and acting according to his quality. And fared sumptuously every day — Taking care, not only to gratify his vanity by the finery and delicacy of his dress, but his palate also with the most exquisite meats which nature, assisted by art, could furnish: and consequently was esteemed yet more, for his generosity and hospitality in keeping so good a table. The original expression, ευφραινομενος καθημεραν λαμπρως, is very expressive, signifying that he feasted splendidly, or, delighted and cheered himself with luxury and splendour every day. His tables were loaded with the richest dainties, the most delicate wines delighted his taste, and all things ministering to sensuality were plentifully provided. Who so blessed as he? for every day this same delight returned; every day presented a new scene of bliss.

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    Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/luke-16.html. 1857.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    There was a certain rich man, &c. By this history of the rich man and Lazarus, he declares that those who are placed in affluent circumstances, draw upon themselves a sentence of condemnation, if seeing their neighbour in want, they neglect to succour him. (St. Cyril, in Cat. Græc. patrum.) --- He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shut up his bowels against him, how doth the charity of God abide in him? (1 John iii. 17.) A received tradition of the Jews informs us, that this Lazarus was a beggar, then at Jerusalem, suffering in the most wretched condition of poverty, and infirmity: him our Saviour introduces, to manifest more plainly the truth of what he had been saying (St. Cyril, in Cat. Græc. patrum.) --- By this, we are not to understand that all poverty is holy, and the possession of riches criminal; but, as luxury is the disgrace of riches, so holiness of life is the ornament of poverty. (St. Ambrose) --- A man may be reserved and modest in the midst of riches and honours, as he may be proud and avaricious in the obscurity of a poor and wretched life. --- Divers interpreters have looked upon this as a true history; but what is said of the rich man seeing Lazarus, of his tongue, of his finger, cannot be literal: souls having no such parts. (Witham) --- In this parable, which St. Ambrose takes to be a real fact, we have the name of the poor mendicant; but our Lord suppresses the name of the rich man, to signify that his name is blotted out of the book of life: besides, the rich man tells Abraham, that he has five brothers, who were probably still living; wherefore, to save their honour, our Lord named not their reprobated brother.

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    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-16.html. 1859.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    There was, &c. = But there was. This commences the second part of the Lord"s address to the Pharisees, against their tradition making void God"s word as to the dead, which may be seen in Psalms 6:5; Psalms 30:9; Psalms 31:17; Psalms 88:11; Psalms 115:17; Psalms 146:4. Ecclesiastes 9:6, Ecclesiastes 9:10; Ecclesiastes 12:7. Isaiah 38:17-19, &c. It is not called a "parable", because it cites a notable example of the Pharisees" tradition, which had been brought from Babylon. See many other examples in Lightfoot, vol. xii, pp. 159-68. Their teaching has no Structure. See C2 above.

    was clothed = was habitually clothed. Imperf. tense. See on Luke 8:27.

    sumptuously = in splendour. Greek. Adverb of lampros, is translated "gorgeous" in Luke 23:11. Only here.

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    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-16.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

    There was a certain rich man, [ Anthroopos (Greek #444) de (Greek #1161) tis (Greek #5100)]. The connecting particle should not have been omitted here-`But there was a certain rich man;' in contrast with the man of the former parable:

    Which was clothed in purple and fine linen (See Esther 8:15; Revelation 18:12), and fared sumptuously every day

    - wanting for nothing which appetite craved, and taste fancied, and money could procure.

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    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-16.html. 1871-8.

    The Bible Study New Testament

    19. There was once a rich man. Jesus tells this to illustrate the result of a wrong attitude and misuse of worldly wealth. The parable of the Shrewd Manager showed how worldly wealth is to be used; this parable shows the horror which a failure to use worldly wealth properly will bring. [Jesus brings the whole force of his rebuke on the one point of “failure to use.” Nothing said about this rich man wasting other people’s money nor any hint that he gained his riches dishonestly. To have described him as dishonest or drunken, would have clouded the issue. Here is a good citizen, with no hint of scandal attached to his name. He was “well off,” and made no attempt to help anyone else. He spent his worldly wealth pleasing himself, and spent none serving God or helping his fellow man.]

     

     

     

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    Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/luke-16.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (19) There was a certain rich man . . .—Here, also, there is a certain appearance of abruptness. But the sneer of Luke 16:14 explains the sequence of thought. On the one side, among those who listened to our Lord, were the Pharisees, living in the love of money and of the enjoyments which money purchased; on the other, were the disciples, who had left all to follow their Master, poor with the poverty of beggars. The former had mocked at the counsel that they should make friends with the mammon of unrighteousness, who should receive them into everlasting habitations. They are now taught, and the disciples are taught also, what comes of the other friendship that men for the most part secure with money. It is clear that the section of Pharisees for whom the parable was specially designed, were such as those described as being “in king’s houses and in soft raiment, and living delicately” (see Notes on Matthew 11:8; Luke 7:25)—the scribes, i.e., who had attached themselves to the court of Herod Antipas, the Herodians, or those who, while differing from them politically, were ready to coalesce with them (Matthew 22:16; Mark 3:6), and reproduced their mode of life. In the rich man himself we find, generic as the description is, some features which must at least have reminded those who heard the parable, of the luxurious self-indulgence of the Tetrarch himself. There is the “purple garment,” rich with the dyes of Tyre, which was hardly worn, except by kings and princes and generals (see Notes on Matthew 27:28; Mark 15:17); the byssus, or fine linen of Egypt, coupled with purple in Revelation 18:12; Revelation 18:16, itself not unfrequently of the same colour. The “faring sumptuously” reminds us of the stately pomp of Herod’s feasts. (See Notes on Matthew 14:6; Mark 6:14; Mark 6:21, and the quotation from Persius cited in the latter.) If we assume that there is this sketch, as it were, of the Tetrarch’s character, it is obvious that the teaching of the parable receives a fresh significance. This, then, was what the scribes, even those that were not avowedly of the Herodian school, who should have been teachers of righteousness, were striving after. This was their highest ideal of happiness, and for this they were content to sacrifice their true calling here and their hopes of eternal life hereafter. It was meet that they should learn what was the outcome of such a life when it passed “behind the veil.” We may add, too, that this view enables us to trace a sequence of thought where all at first seems unconnected. The reference to the teaching of the scribes as to divorce (Luke 16:18), naturally suggested the most prominent and most recent instance in which their lax casuistry had shown itself most criminally compliant with the vices of an adulterous and incestuous prince.

    Fared sumptuously.—More literally, was sumptuously merry. The word is the same as that in Luke 15:32, and we can hardly doubt that there is a designed contrast between the holy mirth and joy in the one case, and the ignoble revelry of the other. There was “good cheer” in each, but of how different a complexion!

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    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-16.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
    river
    12:16-21; 18:24,25; James 5:1-5
    clothed
    1; 15:13; Job 21:11-15; Psalms 73:3-7; Ezekiel 16:49; Amos 6:4-6; Revelation 17:4; Revelation 18:7,16
    purple
    Judges 8:26; Esther 8:15; Ezekiel 16:13; 27:7; Mark 15:17,20
    Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 32:29 - they would;  1 Samuel 25:2 - man;  2 Samuel 12:1 - There were;  Job 12:5 - of him;  Job 15:29 - neither shall;  Job 21:10 - their cow;  Job 31:25 - rejoiced;  Psalm 4:6 - many;  Psalm 73:12 - these;  Psalm 78:30 - But;  Psalm 92:7 - it is that;  Proverbs 1:32 - and the;  Proverbs 14:24 - foolishness;  Proverbs 19:10 - Delight;  Proverbs 19:20 - be;  Proverbs 21:20 - but;  Proverbs 22:2 - rich;  Proverbs 23:20 - not;  Proverbs 28:6 - GeneralProverbs 31:24 - GeneralEcclesiastes 2:1 - I will;  Ecclesiastes 5:13 - riches;  Isaiah 3:23 - fine linen;  Isaiah 5:12 - the harp;  Lamentations 4:5 - brought;  Joel 1:5 - for;  Matthew 19:23 - That;  Matthew 25:19 - reckoneth;  Mark 8:36 - what;  Luke 1:53 - and;  Luke 6:24 - for;  Luke 8:18 - from;  Luke 12:19 - take;  Luke 17:27 - GeneralRomans 11:9 - their table;  Romans 13:13 - rioting;  Philippians 3:19 - whose God;  Colossians 3:2 - not;  1 Timothy 5:6 - she;  James 1:11 - so;  James 5:5 - have lived

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    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-16.html.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    Though Luke introduces some things between them, there can be no doubt that this example was intended by Christ to confirm the discourse which we have last examined. He points out what condition awaits those (307) who neglect the care of the poor, and indulge in all manner of gluttony; who give themselves up to drunkenness and other pleasures, and allow their neighbors to pine with hunger; nay, who cruelly kill with famine those whom they ought to have relieved, when the means of doing so were in their power. Some look upon it as a simple parable; but, as the name Lazarus occurs in it, I rather consider it to be the narrative of an actual fact. But that is of little consequence, provided that the reader comprehends the doctrine which it contains.

    19.There was a certain rich man He is, first of all, described as clothed in purple and fine linen, and enjoying every day splendor and luxury. This denotes a life spent amidst delicacies, and superfluity, and pomp. Not that all elegance and ornaments of dress are in themselves displeasing to God, or that all the care bestowed on preparing victuals ought to be condemned; but because it seldom happens that such things are kept in moderation. He who has a liking for fine dress will constantly increase his luxury by fresh additions; and it is scarcely possible that he who indulges in sumptuous and well garnished tables shall avoid falling into intemperance. But the chief accusation brought against this man is his cruelty in suffering Lazarus, poor andfull of sores, to lie out of doors at his gate.

    These two clauses Christ has exhibited in contrast. The rich man, devoted to the pleasures of the table and to display, swallowed up, like an unsatiable gulf, his enormous wealth, but remained unmoved by the poverty and distresses of Lazarus, and knowingly and willingly suffered him to pine away with hunger, cold, and the offensive smell of his sores. In this manner Ezekiel (Ezekiel 16:49) accuses Sodom of not stretching out her hand to the poor amidst fullness of bread and wine. Thefine linen, which is a peculiarly delicate fabric, is well-known to have been used by the inhabitants of eastern countries for elegance and splendor; a fashion which the Popish priests have imitated in what they call their surplices.

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    Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:19". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-16.html. 1840-57.