Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 16:20

And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Beggars;   Dead (People);   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Poor;   Rich, the;   Worldliness;   Scofield Reference Index - Parables;   Thompson Chain Reference - Accumulation of Wealth;   Beggars;   Diseases;   Earnestness-Indifference;   Earthly;   Friendless;   Friendship-Friendlessness;   Health-Disease;   Lazarus;   Mercy;   Neglect;   Poverty-Riches;   Riches, Earthly;   Treasures, Earthly;   Wealth;   The Topic Concordance - Damnation;   Wealth;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Diseases;   Gates;   Happiness of the Wicked, the;   Houses;   Parables;   Riches;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Lazarus;   Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Food;   Government;   Justice;   Lazarus;   Lending;   Luke, gospel of;   Sheol;   Wealth;   Work;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Abraham's Bosom;   Ethics;   Hades;   Hell;   Hospitality;   Immortality;   Intermediate State;   Jesus Christ;   Statute;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Soul sleep;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Beg;   Lazarus;   Poor;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Atonement, Day of;   Divination;   Eleazar;   Lazarus;   Poor;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Dives;   Intermediate State;   Lazarus;   Leprosy;   Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Wrath, Wrath of God;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Descent into Hades;   Ethics;   Lazarus;   Medicine;   Moses;   Parable;   Sin;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Almsgiving ;   Beggar;   Church (2);   Common Life;   Death (2);   Discourse;   Dives;   Ebionism (2);   Heart;   Hell ;   Home (2);   House;   Judgment;   Lazarus;   Man (2);   Parable;   Philanthropy;   Property (2);   Reality;   Restoration;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Social Life;   Steward, Stewardship;   Sympathy;   Wealth (2);   Winter ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Beggars;   Lazarus ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Lazarus;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Lazarus;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Beggar, Begging;   Laz'arus;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Beg;   Boil (1);   Immortal;   Lazarus;   Leper;   Parable;   Poor;   Poverty;   Punishment, Everlasting;   Sore;   Wealth;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abraham's Bosom;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for December 22;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

There was a certain beggar named Lazarus - His name is mentioned, because his character was good, and his end glorious; and because it is the purpose of God that the righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance. Lazarus, לעזר is a contraction of the word אלעזר Eliezar, which signifies the help or assistance of God - a name properly given to a man who was both poor and afflicted, and had no help but that which came from heaven.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-16.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And a certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate, full of sores.

Lazarus ... This is the only example of Jesus using a proper name to identify a character in one of his parables, and there must have been a good reason for this. It cannot be made the basis for advocating the parable as an historical event, as noted above; but there is quite possibly, in this, a prophecy of the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11). True, the Lazarus raised from the dead was presumably rich; this Lazarus was a beggar; but the use of a proper name for one who the rich man pleaded would be sent back from the dead to warn his brothers cannot fail of suggesting the fact that a Lazarus did rise from the dead, and true to the Lord's prophecy here, the Pharisees did not believe, but instead plotted to kill him!

The conviction expressed here is that by the use of this proper name, Jesus clearly hinted at what John recorded in that famed eleventh chapter. Nor is this the only hint of that "seventh sign" recorded by John. In his first open break with the Pharisees, after healing the man at Bethesda, Jesus promised the Pharisees "that greater works than these" the Father would show, that the Pharisees "may marvel" (John 5:20). By such a promise, Jesus meant that he would raise the dead; for he immediately foretold a time when all the dead on earth would "hear the voice of the Son of God, and COME FORTH" (John 5:29), those last two words being exactly the ones he cried in a loud voice over the grave of Lazarus (John 11:43); from this, it is mandatory to believe that Jesus had in mind to raise Lazarus at least three years before the event took place; and, knowing what he would do, and as the time for Lazarus' resurrection was then approaching, it was most significant that Jesus, contrary to all other usages in his parables, would throw in this word "Lazarus."

"That there is indeed here a suggestion of the great seventh miracle in John is implicit in the fact of the critical scholars' allegation that John's great miracle was only a drama invented to illustrate the point Jesus made here, a conceit that may be rejected out of hand (see comment on this in my Commentary on John, en loco). The exegesis here points out the true connection between this parable and the wonder of Lazarus' resurrection.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "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

And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus,.... By whom is designed, not any particular beggar in the times of Christ, that went by this name; though there were such persons in Israel, and in the times of our Lord; as blind Bartimaeus, and others: nor David, in the times of Saul, who was poor and needy; and who sometimes wanted bread, and at a certain time went to Abimelech for some: nor the godly poor in common, though the heirs of the heavenly kingdom are, generally speaking, the poor of this world; these receive Christ and his Gospel, and have their evil things here, and their good things hereafter; they are now slighted and neglected by men, but shall hereafter have a place in Abraham's bosom, and be for ever with the Lord: nor are the Gentiles intended; though they may be said to be poor and helpless, as they were without Christ, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, and without hope and God in the world; and were despised and rejected by the Jews, and not suffered to come into their temple, and were called and treated as dogs; though, as the Syrophenician woman pleaded, the dogs might eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table; and who, upon the breaking down of the middle wall of partition, were called by grace, and drawn to Christ, and were blessed with faithful Abraham, and made to sit down with him in the kingdom of heaven: but our Lord Jesus Christ himself is here meant; as appears from the cause and occasion of this parable, which was the derision of Christ by the covetous Pharisees, who, though high in the esteem of men, were an abomination to God; and from the scope and design of it, which is to represent the mean and despicable condition of Christ in this world, whilst the Pharisees, his enemies, lived in great pomp and splendour; and the exaltation of Christ hereafter, when they would be in the utmost distress; and also the infidelity of that people, who continued in their unbelief, notwithstanding the resurrection of Christ from the dead: the name Lazarus well agrees with him. The Syriac version calls him "Loozar", as if it signified one that was helpless, that had no help, but wanted it, and so a fit name for a beggar; and well suits with Christ, who looked, and there was none to help, Isaiah 63:5 nor did he receive any help from men; though rather, the word is the contraction of Eleazar, and so the Ethiopic version reads it here; and it is easy to observe, that he who is called R. Eleazar in the Babylonian Talmud, is in the Jerusalem called, times without number, רב לעזר, R. LazarF8T. Hieros. Biccurim, fol. 63. 3, 4. & 64. 1. & 65. 3, 4. & Sheviith, fol. 36. 3. & passim. ; and R. Liezer, is put for R. Eliezer: it is a rule given by one of the Jewish writersF9Juchasin, fol. 81. 1. , that

"in the Jerusalem Talmud, wherever R. Eleazar is written without an "aleph", R. Lazar ben Azariah is intended.'

And Christ may very well be called by this name; since this was the name of one of his types, Eleazer the son of Aaron, and one of his ancestors, who is mentioned in his genealogy, Matthew 1:15 and especially as the name signifies, that the Lord was his helper: see Exodus 18:4. Help was promised him by God, and he expected it, and firmly believed he should have it, and accordingly he had it: God did help him in a day of salvation: and which was no indication of weakness in him, who is the mighty God, and mighty to save; but of the Father's regard to him as man, and mediator; and of the concern that each of the divine persons had for, and in man's salvation: and on account of his circumstances of life, he might be called πτωχος, a "poor man", as he is in 2 Corinthians 8:9 and frequently in prophecy; see Psalm 34:6 Zechariah 9:9 and though by assuming human nature, he did not cease to be God, or to lose the riches of his divine nature and perfections, yet his divine perfections, and the glory of them, were much hid and covered in his state of humiliation; and he was much the reverse of many of them in his human nature; in which he was exposed to much outward poverty and meanness: he was born of poor parents; had no liberal education; was brought up to a trade: had not a foot of ground to call his own, nor where to lay his head: and lived upon the ministrations of others to him; and when he died, had nothing to bequeath his mother, but left her to the care of a disciple: and he is further described, by his posture and situation,

which was laid at his gate; that is, at the "rich man's", as is expressed in the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions: this was the place where beggars stood, or were laid, and asked alms; hence is that rule with the JewsF11Misn. Bava Bathra, c. 9. sect. 1. & T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 140. 2. Piske Tosaph. in Cetubot, art. 138, 372. , and in many other places the following phrase;

"if a man dies and leaves sons and daughters---if he leaves but a small substance, the daughters shall be taken care of, and the sons, ישאלו על הפתחים, "shall beg at the gates."'

This denotes the rejection of Christ by the Jews; he came to them, and they received him not; he had no entrance into their hearts, and was admitted but into few of their houses; they put those that confessed him out of their synagogues; and caused him himself to depart out of some of their cities; they delivered him up unto the Gentiles that were without; and at last led him without the gate of Jerusalem, where he suffered:

full of sores; so Nahum GamzuF12T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 21. 1. is said to have his whole body, מלא שחין, "full of ulcers": sometimes the Jewish phrase, which answers to the word here used, is מוכה שחין, "one plagued with ulcers"F13Misn. Cetubot, c. 3. sect. 5. & 7. 10. ; and this by the commentatorsF14Maimon. & Bartenora in lb. , is explained of a "leprous" person; so one of the names of the Messiah is with the JewsF15T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2. , חיוורא, which signifies "leprous", in proof of which, they produce Isaiah 53:4. "Surely he hath borne our griefs", &c. By these "sores" may be meant, sins; see Psalm 38:5. Christ was holy and righteous in himself, in his nature, life, and conversation; he was without both original, and actual sins, yet he was in the likeness of sinful flesh, and was reproached and calumniated by men as a sinner; and had really and actually all the sins of his people on him, by imputation; and was made even sin itself, for them; so that in this sense he might be said to be full of them, though in himself he was free from them: they may also intend the temptations of Satan, those fiery darts which were flung at him, and by which he suffered; as also the reproaches and persecutions of men, which attended him more or less, from the cradle to the cross; together with all his other sorrows and sufferings, being scourged, buffeted, and beaten, and wounded for our sins, and bruised for our transgressions; of which wounds and bruises he might be said to be full.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-16.html. 1999.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

20. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

[Lazarus.] I. We shew in our notes upon St. John 11:1, in several instances, that the word Lazar is by contraction used by the Talmudists for Eleazar. The author of Juchasin attests it: in the Jerusalem Talmud every R. Eleazar is written without an Aleph, R. Lazar.

II. In Midras Coheleth there is a certain beggar called Diglus Patragus or Petargus: poor, infirm, naked, and famished. But there could hardly be invented a more convenient name for a poor beggar than Lazar, which signifies the help of God, when he stands in so much need of the help of men.

But perhaps there may be something more aimed at in the name: for since the discourse is concerning Abraham and Lazarus, who would not call to mind Abraham and Eliezer his servant, one born at Damascus, a Gentile by birth, and sometime in posse the heir of Abraham; but shut out of the inheritance by the birth of Isaac, yet restored here into Abraham's bosom? Which I leave to the judgment of the reader, whether it might not hint the calling of the Gentiles into the faith of Abraham.

The Gemarists make Eliezer to accompany his master even in the cave of Machpelah: "R. Baanah painted the sepulchres: when he came to Abraham's cave, he found Eliezer standing at the mouth of it. He saith unto him, 'What is Abraham doing?' To whom he, He lieth in the embraces of Sarah. Then said Baanah, 'Go and tell him that Baanah is at the door,'" &c.

[Full of sores.] In the Hebrew language, stricken with ulcers. Sometimes his body full of ulcers, as in this story: "They tell of Nahum Gamzu, that he was blind, lame of both hands and of both feet, and in all his body full of sores. He was thrown into a ruinous house, the feet of his bed being put into basins full of water, that the ants might not creep upon him. His disciples ask him, 'Rabbi, how hath this mischief befallen thee, when as thou art a just man?'" He gives the reason himself; viz. Because he deferred to give something to a poor man that begged of him. We have the same story in Hieros Peah, where it were worth the while to take notice how they vary in the telling it.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-16.html. 1675.

People's New Testament

A certain beggar. Beggary, such as is here depicted, is much more common in the East than with us, and, in the absence of any more systematic provision, alms-giving to the poor was insisted upon by the Old Testament (Job 29:13; Psalm 41:1; Psalm 112:9; Proverbs 14:31).

Named Lazarus. "Does not Christ seem to you to have been reading in that book where the found the name of the poor man written, but found not the name of the rich? For that book is the Book of Life."--{Augustine}.

Laid at his gate. Carried there because unable to walk. At the gate, where so many were passing, would be a favorable place for alms.

Full of sores. Cutaneous sores are most common in connection with abject poverty.

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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 16:20". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/luke-16.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Beggar (πτωχοςptōchos). Original meaning of this old word. See note on Matthew 5:3. The name Lazarus is from Eleazaros “God a help,” and was a common one.

Lazar in English means one afflicted with a pestilential disease.

Was laid (ebeblēto). Past perfect passive of the common verb Ελεαζαροςballō He had been flung there and was still there, “as if contemptuous roughness is implied” (Plummer).

At his gate (εβεβλητοpros ton pulōna autou). Right in front of the large portico or gateway, not necessarily a part of the grand house, porch in Matthew 26:71.

Full of sores (βαλλωheilkōmenos). Perfect passive participle of προς τον πυλωνα αυτουhelkoō to make sore, to ulcerate, from ειλκωμενοςhelkos ulcer (Latin ulcus). See use of ελκοωhelkos in Luke 16:21. Common in Hippocrates and other medical writers. Here only in the N.T.

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "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

Beggar

See on poor, Matthew 5:3.

Lazarus

Abbreviated from Ἐλεάζαρος ,Eleazar, and meaning God a help. “It is a striking evidence of the deep impression which this parable has made on the mind of Christendom, that the term azar should have passed into so many languages as it has, losing altogether its signification as a proper name” (Trench).

Was laid ( ἐβέβλητο )

Lit., was thrown: east carelessly down by his bearers and left there.

Gate ( πυλῶνα )

The gateway, often separated from the house or temple. In Matthew 26:71, it is rendered porch.

Full of sores ( εἱλκωμένος )

Only here in New Testament. The regular medical term for to be ulcerated. John uses the kindred noun ἕλκος ,an ulcer (Revelation 16:2). See next verse.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "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

And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, (according to the Greek pronunciation) or Eleazer. By his name it may be conjectured, he was of no mean family, though it was thus reduced. There was no reason for our Lord to conceal his name, which probably was then well known. Theophylact observes, from the tradition of the Hebrews, that he lived at Jerusalem.

Yea, the dogs also came and licked his sores — It seems this circumstance is recorded to show that all his ulcers lay bare, and were not closed or bound up.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-16.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

and a certain beggar1 named Lazarus2 was laid at his gate3, full of sores,

  1. And a certain beggar. Literally, one who crouches. The Greek word "ptochos" is used thirty-four times in the New Testament, and is everywhere translated "poor", save here and Luke 16:22; Galatians 4:9. In the last stages of life Lazarus had become an object of charity, but there is nothing to indicate that he had been an habitual beggar.

  2. Named Lazarus. This is the only name which occurs in our Lord's parables. It is derived from Eleazar, which means "God a help". The name is symbolic of destitution, and many words indicative of beggary are derived from it.

  3. Was laid at his gate. In the East, the gates of the rich are still the resorts of the poor.

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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.
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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-16.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

Ver. 20. A certain beggar named Lazarus] Or Eleazar (as Tertullian and Prudentius call him), who having been Abraham’s faithful servant, now resteth in his bosom.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-16.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

20.] The significant name Lazarus (= Eleazarus = אֶלְעָזָר, Deus auxilium) should have prevented the expositors from imagining this to be a true history.

Perhaps by this name our Lord may have intended to fill in the character of the poor man, which indeed must otherwise be understood to be that of one who feared God.

ἐβέβ., was, or had been, cast down, i.e. was placed there on purpose to get what he could of alms.

πυλῶνα, see on ref. Matt.: it was the portal, which led out of the προαύλιον into the αὐλή.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-16.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 16:20. ὀνόματι, by name) Lazarus was known by his own name in heaven; whereas the rich man is not designated by any name (is not accounted worthy of any name or reputation marked by a name), Luke 16:25 [‘Son’], but has merely a genealogy in the world, Luke 16:27-28. [This is not due to the parabolic nature of the narrative, for] Even in a parable a proper name has place: Ezekiel 23:4 [Aholah and Aholibah]. However that there was really at Jerusalem at that time such a person, named Lazarus, is recorded by Theophylact from the tradition of the Hebrews.— ἐβέβλητο, was lying)(175) disabled in his limbs. His hunger and nakedness is opposed to the sumptuous fare and fine clothing of the rich man. The character which marked the soul of Lazarus is to be gathered in part from his own external condition, and in part from the opposite character of the rich man.— πυλῶνα, gate) that of a great house: the poor man was removed to a distance from the rich man, at such a distance however, as that the rich man might have been moved to compassion, and Lazarus at the same time might see his table. The antithesis is “Abraham’s bosom,” [ κόλπον, Luke 16:22], Comp. note Acts 12:13 [ πυλὼν is more spacious than πύλη, and may include the adjoining hall or uncovered entrance].

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". 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

See Poole on "Luke 16:19"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 16:20". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-16.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Лазарь Определенно, не Лазарь в Ин. 11 (который умер позже). Из всех притчей Иисуса только в этой единственной главному действующему лицу – нищему – было дано имя. Поэтому некоторые подозревают, что это была не воображаемая история, а на самом деле имевшее место реальное событие. В любом случае Христос использует ее таким же образом, как и все Свои притчи, – чтобы преподать урок, в данном случае на благо фарисеям. Богача из этой притчи иногда называют Дивес (англ. Дайвз), согласно латинскому эквиваленту для слова «богач».

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-16.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Begger; literally, a poor man.

Laid at his gate; there was then no public provision for the poor, and when disabled, they were often laid at the gates of the rich, that they might receive aid.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-16.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

20.Named Lazarus—The abbreviated form of Eleazar, signifying, “God is my help;” a very suitable name for one who had no sympathy from man, and very little aid from the brutes. But, besides this suitableness, it is very probable that our Lord was soon to be on his way to raise Lazarus of Bethany from the dead; a circumstance which not only sheds a peculiar illustration upon Luke 16:31, but suggests the reason why Jesus at this time adopted that name for the parable. See notes on Luke 13:32. Two messages had just been announced to Jesus: one that his friend Lazarus is dead; the other that his own life is threatened by Herod. To the silver-loving Pharisees, followers of Herod, he might now say: Let a Lazarus be as poor as a perishing beggar, and an Antipas rich as a prince, yet the destiny of the former is infinitely preferable to that of the latter.

Laid at his gate—Deposited there with the hope of attracting the rich man’s pity. The portals of the wealthy were the customary resort for mendicants.

Full of sores—Ulcerated; one of the natural effects of a mendicant’s life.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "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 16:20. A certain beggar. Introduced in contrast with the rich man, who is the principal figure.

Named Lazarus. The significant name is mentioned in this case. It means ‘God a help,’ not, as some suppose, ‘helpless.’ The Lazarus of this parable has nothing save the name in common with Lazarus of Bethany. We infer from the name, as well as from the sequel, that the beggar was one who feared God.

Was laid at his gate. The rich man thus had an opportunity of making a better use of his wealth, for the ‘gate’ was the only entrance to the house itself.

Full of sores. Covered with them. They might have been the result of insufficient food.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "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 16:20. gives the impression of a story from real life, but the name for the poor man is introduced for convenience in telling the tale. He has to be referred to in the sequel (Luke 16:24). No symbolic meaning should be attached to the name.— : Lazarus is brought into relation with the rich man. This favours the view that the moral is the folly of neglecting beneficence. If the story were meant to illustrate merely the reversals of lot, why not describe Lazarus’ situation in this world without reference to the rich man? Is he placed at his door simply that he may know him in the next world?— : covered with ulcers, therefore needing to be carried to the rich man’s gate; supposed to be a leper, hence the words lazaretto, lazar, etc.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-16.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

beggar = poor man. App-127.

Lazarus. A common Talmudic contraction of the Hebrew Eleazar; but introduced by the Lord to point to His own closing comment in Luke 16:31.

laid = cast down.

at. Greek. pros. App-104.

full of sores. Greek. helkoo. Occurs only here.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "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

And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus - equivalent to the Old Testament Eleazer. The naming of this precious saint adds much to the liveliness of the picture; but to conclude from this that the story was rounded on fact, is going rather far. Cases of this heartless nature are, alas, but too common everywhere.

Which was laid at his gate. So he had to be carried and laid down at it.

Full of sores - open, running sores, which, as appears from the next verse, had not been closed, nor bound up, nor mollified with ointment (Isaiah 1:6).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "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

20. There was also a poor man. In the last stages of his life, this poor man has nothing to keep him alive, but the charity he receives. Named Lazarus. This is the only time Jesus mentions a name in a parable. Lazarus means God a help, and it is symbolic of absolute poverty. Augustine wrote: “Does not Christ seem to you to have been reading in that book where he found the name of the poor man written, but found not the name of the rich? For that book is the Book of Life.” [Book of the Living; see note on Revelation 20:14-15. ] The description shows the condition of the helpless poor at that time. The rich man has friends, and servants to wait on him. Lazarus has only dogs. [Dogs: see note on Matthew 7:6.] The whole point is that the rich man gave nothing to Lazarus. The bits of food from the rich man’s table was the garbage which would be thrown out on the street.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "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

(20) And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus.—The word for “beggar,” it may be noted, is the same as the “poor” of Luke 6:20. The occurrence in this one solitary instance of a personal name in our Lord’s parables, suggests the question, What was meant by it? Three answers present themselves, each of which is more or less compatible with the other two. (1) There may have been an actual beggar of that name known both to the disciples and the Pharisees. (2) The significance of the name, the current Greek form of Eleazar (=“God is the helper”), may have been meant to symbolise the outward wretchedness of one who had no other help. (3) As that which seems most probable, the name may have been intended as a warning to Lazarus of Bethany. He was certainly rich. We have seen some reason to identify him with the young ruler that had great possessions. (See Notes on Matthew 19:18.) In any case he was exposed to the temptations that wealth brings with it. What more effectual warning could be given him than to hear his own name brought into a parable, as belonging to the beggar who was carried into Abraham’s bosom, while his own actual life corresponded more or less closely to that of the rich man who passed into the torments of Hades? Was he not taught in this way, what all else failed to teach him, that if he wished for eternal life he must strip himself of the wealth which made it impossible for him to enter the Kingdom of God? It may be noted that almost every harmonised arrangement of the Gospel history places the parable almost immediately before the death and raising of Lazarus (see Note on John 11:1), while in some of them the question of the young ruler comes between the two. The combination, in either case, suggests the thought of a continuous process of spiritual education, by which the things that were “impossible with men” were shown to be “possible with God” (Matthew 19:26). First the picture of the unseen world drawn in symbolic imagery, so as to force itself upon his notice, then an actual experience of the realities of that life; this was what he needed, and this was given him.

Laid at his gate, full of sores, . . .—Literally, at his porch, or gateway. The Greek word for “full of sores” is somewhat more technical than the English one; literally, ulcerated, one which a medical writer like St. Luke would use to express a generally ulcerous state of the whole body. The description led, in course of time, to the application of the leper’s name to those who suffered from leprosy, as producing an analogous condition, and so we get the terms, lazar, lazar-house, lazaretto. In the Italian lazzaroni the idea of the beggary is prominent without that of the sores.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
a certain
18:35-43; 1 Samuel 2:8; James 1:9; 2:5
Lazarus
John 11:1
was laid
Acts 3:2
full
21; Job 2:7; Psalms 34:19; 73:14; Isaiah 1:6; Jeremiah 8:22
Reciprocal: Job 2:8 - took him;  Job 12:5 - of him;  Proverbs 22:2 - rich;  Isaiah 5:14 - he that rejoiceth;  Isaiah 14:10 - Art thou also;  Ezekiel 16:49 - neither;  Matthew 25:29 - shall be taken;  Mark 10:46 - begging;  Luke 16:3 - to beg;  Luke 16:25 - likewise;  John 9:8 - sat;  Revelation 16:2 - a noisome

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 16:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-16.html.