Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 16:24

And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.'
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abraham;   Dead (People);   Death;   Hell;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Rich, the;   Righteous;   Torments;   Wicked (People);   Worldliness;   Scofield Reference Index - Parables;   Thompson Chain Reference - Accumulation of Wealth;   Earthly;   Eternal;   Everlasting;   Future State of the Wicked;   Future, the;   Poverty-Riches;   Punishment;   Riches, Earthly;   Treasures, Earthly;   Wealth;   Words of Christ;   The Topic Concordance - Damnation;   Wealth;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Death, Eternal;   Happiness of the Wicked, the;   Parables;   Punishment of the Wicked, the;   Riches;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Lazarus;   Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Food;   Government;   Justice;   Lazarus;   Lending;   Luke, gospel of;   Mercy;   Sheol;   Wealth;   Work;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Abraham's Bosom;   Death, Mortality;   Eternal Punishment;   Ethics;   Fire;   Hades;   Hell;   Hospitality;   Immortality;   Intermediate State;   Jesus Christ;   Lake of Fire;   Statute;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Soul sleep;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Hell;   Lazarus;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Divination;   Eleazar;   Elisha;   Lazarus;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Abraham;   Dives;   Intermediate State;   Lazarus;   Leprosy;   Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Wrath, Wrath of God;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Descent into Hades;   Devil;   Ethics;   Lazarus;   Mercy, Merciful;   Parable;   Sin;   Water;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Abraham;   Almsgiving ;   Baptism;   Beggar;   Bosom ;   Boyhood of Jesus;   Church (2);   Claim;   Common Life;   Discourse;   Dives;   Ebionism (2);   Fathers;   Heart;   Hell ;   Judgment;   Judgment Damnation;   Lazarus;   Man (2);   Mercy;   Parable;   Property (2);   Reality;   Restoration;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Sympathy;   Torment (2);   Water (2);   Wealth (2);   Winter ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Lazarus ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Lazarus;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Laz'arus;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Fire;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Baptism (the Baptist Interpretation);   Cool;   Cry, Crying;   Immortal;   Lazarus;   Pain;   Parable;   Punishment, Everlasting;   Wealth;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abraham's Bosom;   Media;   Sheol;  
Devotionals:
Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life - Devotion for September 4;   Every Day Light - Devotion for December 22;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Father Abraham - The Jews considered it a signal honor that Abraham was their “father” - that is, that they were “descendants” from him. Though this man was now in misery, yet he seems not to have abandoned the idea of his relation to the father of the faithful. The Jews supposed that departed spirits might know and converse with each other. See Lightfoot on this place. Our Saviour speaks in conformity with that prevailing opinion; and as it was not easy to convey ideas about the spiritual world without some such representation, he, therefore, speaks in the language which was usual in his time. We are not, however, to suppose that this was “literally” true, but only that it was designed to represent more clearly the sufferings of the rich man in hell.

Have mercy on me - Pity me. The rich man is not represented as calling on “God.” The mercy of God will be at an end when the soul is lost. Nor did he “ask” to be released from that place. Lost spirits “know” that their sufferings will have no end, and that it would be in vain to ask to escape the place of torment. Nor does he ask to be admitted where Lazarus was. He had no “desire” to be in a holy place, and he well knew that there was no restoration to those who once sink down to hell.

Send Lazarus - This shows how low he was reduced, and how the circumstances of people change when they die. Just before, Lazarus was laid at his gate full of sores; now he is happy in heaven. Just before, he had nothing to give, and the rich man could expect to derive no benefit from him; now he asks, as the highest favor, that he might come and render him relief. Soon the poorest man on earth, if he is a friend of God, will have mercies which the rich, if unprepared to die, can never obtain. The rich will no longer despise such people; they would “then” be glad of their friendship, and would beg for the slightest favor at their hands.

Dip the tip … - This was a small favor to ask, and it shows the greatness of his distress when so small a thing would be considered a great relief.

Cool my tongue - The effect of great “heat” on the body is to produce almost insupportable thirst. Those who travel in burning deserts thus suffer inexpressibly when they are deprived of water. So “pain” of any kind produces thirst, and particularly if connected with fever. The sufferings of the rich man are, therefore, represented as producing burning “thirst,” so much that even a drop of water would be refreshing to his tongue. We can scarce form an idea of more distress and misery than where this is continued from one day to another without relief. We are not to suppose that he had been guilty of any particular wickedness with his “tongue” as the cause of this. It is simply an idea to represent the natural effect of great suffering, and especially suffering in the midst of great heat.

I am tormented - I am in anguish - in insupportable distress.

In this flame - The lost are often represented as suffering “in flames,” because “fire” is an image of the severest pain that we know. It is not certain, however, that the wicked will be doomed to suffer in “material” fire. See the notes at Mark 9:44.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-16.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And he cried, and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.

Father Abraham ... Here is found the absolute necessity for seeing this as a parable; for Abraham himself, like all the saints in death, is in the place here called "Abraham's bosom." Abraham is therefore a type of God who presides over both Paradise and the place of the wicked in Hades. This, of course, negates any support that might be supposed in this connection for praying to departed saints. Besides that, as Wesley said:

It cannot be denied but here in Scripture is the precedent of praying to departed saints. But who is it that prays, and with what success? Will anyone who considers this be found copying after him?[39]

Send Lazarus ... Ah, so the rich man did know Lazarus, after all, apparently even fancying that Lazarus was under some obligation to him, perhaps for the crumbs!

This flame ... Jesus invariably used fire in his reference to eternal punishment, and he did not depart from the pattern here. It is no comfort to view this as merely a symbol of the real punishment; because what kind of punishment is that which would require so dreadful a symbol of it? The logic that suggests that this is symbolical language was thus stated by Dummelow: "The rich man was not in hell ([Greek: Gehenna]), for no one is sent there till after the last judgment."[40] In addition to this, Dives was at the time indicated here a disembodied spirit upon which actual flame would have no effect.

[39] John Wesley, op. cit., p. 267.

[40] J. R. Dummelow, op. cit., p. 761.

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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 16:24". "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 he cried and said, father Abraham,.... The Jews used to call Abraham their father, and were proud of their descent from him, Matthew 3:9 and so persons are after death represented by them, as speaking to, and discoursing with him; as in the passage cited in the note See Gill on Luke 16:22 to which the following may be addedF3T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 18. 2. ;

"says R. Jonathan, from whence does it appear that the dead discourse with each other? it is said, Deuteronomy 34:4 "And the Lord said unto him, this is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying", &c. what is the meaning of the word "saying?" the holy blessed God said to Moses, "go say to Abraham", &c.'

And here the Jews, in their distress, are represented as applying to him, saying,

have mercy on me, and send Lazarus; which seems to have respect to the mercy promised to Abraham, the covenant made with him, and the oath swore unto him, to send the Messiah, Luke 1:70 and which now, too late, these wretched Jews plead, the Messiah being sent already:

that he may dip the tip of his finger in water; in allusion to the washings and purifications among the Jews, and the sprinkling of blood by the finger of the high priest; which were typical of cleansing, pardon, comfort, and refreshment, by the grace and blood of Christ:

and cool my tongue; which had spoken so many scurrilous and blasphemous things of Christ; saying that he was a sinner, a glutton, and a winebibber, a Samaritan, and had a devil; that he cast out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of devils; and that he was a seditious person, and guilty of blasphemy: so the Jews represent persons in hell, desirous of cooling water, and as sometimes favoured with it, and sometimes not: they sayF4Ib. fol. 15. 2. , he that reads "Keriat Shema, (i.e. hear, O Israel", &c.) and very accurately examines the letters of it, מצננין, "they cool hell for him", as it is said, Psalm 68:14. And elsewhereF5T. Hieros. Sanhedrin, fol. 23. 3. & Chagiga, fol, 77. 4. , they speak of a disciple, or good man, that was seen after death amidst gardens, and orchards, and fountains of water; and of a publican, or wicked man, seen standing by the bank of a river, seeking ממטי מיא ולא מטי, "to come to the water, but could not come at it". So MahometF6Koran, c. 7. p. 121. (sura 7:50) has a passage that is somewhat like to this text;

"the inhabitants of hell fire, shall call to the inhabitants of paradise, saying, pour upon us some water, or of those refreshments God hath bestowed on you.'

This man could not so much as get a drop of water to cool his tongue, not the least refreshment, nor mitigation of the anguish of his conscience, for the sins of his tongue:

for I am tormented in this flame; in the destruction of Jerusalem, and calamities at Bither, and other afflictions; together with the wrath of God poured into the conscience, and the bitter remorses of that for speaking against the Messiah; and which are still greater in hell, where the worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched.

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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-16.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Father Abraham — a well-founded, but unavailing, claim of natural descent (Luke 3:8; John 8:37).

mercy on me — who never showed any (James 2:3).

send Lazarus — the pining victim of his merciless neglect.

that he may — take me hence? No; that he dares not to ask.

dip  …  tongue — that is the least conceivable and the most momentary abatement of his torment; that is all. But even this he is told is (1) unreasonable.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
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 16:24". "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

24. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

[And he cried and said.] We have mention of the dead discoursing one amongst another, and also with those that are alive. "R. Samuel Bar Nachman saith, R. Jonathan saith, How doth it appear that the dead have any discourse amongst themselves? It appears from what is said, And the Lord said unto him, This is the land, concerning which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and Jacob saying: What is the meaning of saying? The Holy Blessed God saith unto Moses, Go thou and say to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, The oath which I sware unto you, I have performed unto your children." Note that: "Go thou and say to Abraham," &c. "There is a story of a certain pious man, that went and lodged in a burying-place, and heard two souls discoursing amongst themselves. Said the one unto the other, 'Come, my companion, and let us wander about the world, and listen behind the veil, what kind of plagues are coming upon the world.' To which the other replied, 'O my companion, I cannot; for I am buried in a cane mat: but do thou go, and whatsoever thou hearest, do thou come and tell me.' The soul went, and wandered about the world," &c.

"The year following he went again, and lodging in a place of burial, he heard two souls discoursing between themselves. Saith the one unto the other, 'O my companion, come, let us wander about the world, and hearken behind the veil, what kind of plagues are coming upon the world.' To which the other, 'O my companion, let me alone; for the words that formerly passed between thee and me were heard amongst the living.' 'Whence could they know?' 'Perhaps some other person that is dead went and told them.'"

"There was a certain person deposited some zuzees with a certain hostess till he should return; and went to the house of Rabh. When he returned she was dead. He went after her to the place of burial, and said unto her, 'Where are my zuzees?' She saith unto him, 'Go, take it from under the hinge of the door, in a certain place there: and speak to my mother to send me my black lead, and the reed of paint by the woman N., who is coming hither tomorrow.' But whence do they know that such a one shall die? Dumah [that is, the angel who is appointed over the dead] comes before, and proclaims it to them."

"The zuzees that belonged to orphans were deposited with the father of Samuel [the Rabbin]. He died, Samuel being absent. He went after him to the place of burial, and said unto them [i.e. to the dead], I look for Abba. They say unto him, Abba the good is here. 'I look for Abba Bar Abba.' They say unto him, 'Abba Bar Abba the good is here.' He saith unto them, 'I look for Abba Bar Abba the father of Samuel; where is he?' They say unto him, He is gone up to the academy of the firmament. Then he saw Levi [his colleague] sitting without." (The Gloss hath it, The dead appeared as without their graves, sitting in a circle, but Levi sat without the circle.) "He saith unto him, 'Why dost thou sit without? why dost thou not ascend?' He answered him, 'They say unto me, Because there want those years wherein thou didst not go into the academy of the Rabbi.' When his father came, he saw him weep. He saith unto him, 'Why dost thou weep?' He saith unto him, 'Where is the orphans' money?' He saith unto him, 'Go, and take it out of the mill-house,'" &c. But I fear, the reader will frown at this huge length of trifles.

[And cool my tongue.] There was a good man and a wicked man that died. As for the good man, he had no funeral rites solemnized, but the wicked man had. Afterward, there was one saw in his dream the good man walking in gardens, and hard by pleasant springs: but the wicked man with his tongue trickling drop by drop at the bank of a river, endeavouring to touch the water, but he could not.

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Bibliographical Information
Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-16.html. 1675.

People's New Testament

And he cried. The only instance in the New Testament of prayers to the saints.

Father Abraham. His trust was in his fleshly descent. He said, "We have Abraham to our father."

Send Lazarus. He seems to think that he has some claims on him, in return for his crumbs.

Dip the tip of his finger in water. He only dares ask the smallest favors.

Tormented in this flame. "Flame may be regarded as a figurative term, to represent acutest suffering of which a spirit is susceptible by a material image of misery the most dire."--{Greswell}.

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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 16:24". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/luke-16.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

That he may dip (ινα βαπσηιhina bapsēi). First aorist active subjunctive of βαπτωbaptō common verb, to dip.

In water (υδατοςhudatos). Genitive, the specifying case, water and not something else.

Cool (καταπσυχηιkatapsuxēi). First aorist active subjunctive of καταπσυχωkatapsuchō a late Greek compound, to cool off, to make cool. Only here in the N.T. but common in medical books. Note perfective use of καταkata - (down). A small service that will be welcome.

For I am in anguish (οτι οδυνωμαιhoti odunōmai). The active has a causative sense to cause intense pain, the middle to torment oneself (Luke 2:48; Acts 20:38), the passive to be translated as here. Common verb, but no other examples 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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "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

Cool ( καταψύχειν )

Only here in New Testament. Common in medical language. See on Luke 21:26. Compare the exquisite passage in Dante, where Messer Adamo, the false coiner, horribly mutilated, and in the lowest circle of Malebolge, says:

“I had, while living, much of what I wished;

And now, alas! a drop of water crave.

The rivulets that from the verdant hills

Of Cassentin descend down into Arno,

Making their channels to be soft and cold,

Ever before me stand, and not in vain:

For far more doth their image dry me up

Than the disease which strips my face of flesh.”

Inferno, xxx., 65 sq.

Tormented ( ὀδυνῶμαι )

Used by Luke only. Tormented is too strong. The word is used of the sorrow of Joseph and Mary when the child Jesus was missing (Luke 2:48); and of the grief of the Ephesian elders on parting with Paul (Acts 20:38) Rev., I am in anguish.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "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 he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

Father Abraham, have mercy on me — It cannot be denied, but here is one precedent in Scripture of praying to departed saints: but who is it that prays, and with what success? Will any, who considers this, be fond of copying after him?

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-16.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

And he cried and said1, Father Abraham2, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.

  1. And he cried and said. In earnest entreaty.

  2. Father Abraham. The claim of kindred is not denied, but it is unavailing (Luke 3:8).

  3. Have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame. The smallness of the favor asked indicates the greatness of the distress, as it does in Luke 16:21, where crumbs are desired. There is a reciprocity also between the desired "crumbs" and the prayed-for "drop", which contains a covert reference to Luke 16:4,5. Had the rich man given more, he might now have asked for more. The friendship of Lazarus might have been easily won, and now the rich man needed that friendship, but he had neglected the principle set forth in Luke 16:9, and had abused his stewardship by wasting his substance upon himself. Again, the former condition of each party is sharply reversed. Lazarus feasts at a better banquet, and the rich man begs because of a more dire and insatiable craving. Thus the life despised of men was honored by God, and the man who was exalted among men is found to have been abominable unto God (Luke 16:15).

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 16:24". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-16.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

Ver. 24. And cool my tongue] In his tongue he was most tortured, quia plus lingua peccaverat, saith Cyprian. So Nestorius the heretic had his tongue eaten up with worms. {a} So Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester (two notorious persecutors), died with their tongues thrust out, big swollen, and black with inflammation of their bodies. A spectacle worthy to be noted of all such bloody burning persecutors.

{a} Nestorii lingua vermibus exesa. Evang.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-16.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Luke 16:24. Dip the tip of his finger, &c.— The Hebrews drank their wine mixed with water; and large quantities of water, on one occasion or other, were used at their feasts. See John 2:6. There seems therefore, in this petition, a proper allusion to that custom. It is observable, that the rich man speaks as knowing Lazarus, and as supposing, Luke 16:28 that his brethren also might know him, on his appearing to them.—And shall not Abraham's children, when they are in paradise, know each other?

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". 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

Observe here, 1. The place where the rich man suffers, it is in hell: the souls of wicked men, when they leave their bodies, do certainly go into a place of torment, which is not only beyond expression, but our apprehension also; Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive, those dreadful things which God hath prepared for them that hate him.

Observe, 2. The sin for which he suffers: it is the sin of unmercifulness.

Thence learn, that uncharitableness and unmercifulness to the poor, is a very great sin, and such a sin as alone, and without any other guilt, is sufficient to ruin a man forever; there is found in this sin great impiety towards God, and great inhumanity towards our own nature.

Observe, 3. The nature and quality of his sufferings; they are exceedingly painful, and void of the least degree of comfort; not a drop of water is granted to cool an inflamed tongue.

Learn thence, that the least refreshments are impatiently desired by the damned souls in hell, but righteously denied and withheld from them: a drop of water was desired, but not granted. No cup of water, no bowls of wine in hell; there is but one full cup in hell, and that is the cup of God's wrath, without any mixture of mercy or pity. That throat will be forever parched with thirst then, which is drenched and drowned with excess now: the songs of the drunkard here, will be turned into howlings and lamentations there.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". 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

24.] ‘Superbus temporis, mendicus inferni.’ Aug(100) (Trench, Par. in loc.)

On πάτερ ἀβρ. see Matthew 3:9.

φλογί, not subjective only, though perhaps mainly. The omission of the article before βασάνοις points no doubt to subjective torments;—but where lies the limit between inner and outer to the disembodied? Hardened sinners have died crying ‘Fire!’—Did the fire leave them, when they left their bodies?

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". 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 16:24. καὶ αὐτός] and he, on his part, as opposed to the patriarch and to Lazarus.

The poetical discourse as it advances now gives us a conversation from the two parts of Hades (for Rabbinical analogies, see in Lightfoot, p. 864 f.), in which, however, the prayer for the service of Lazarus is not on the part of the rich man continued presumption(212) (Lange, L. J. II. 1, p. 394: “that Lazarus was to be sent on an errand for him”), but finds its motive simply in the fact that it is precisely Lazarus whom he sees reposing on Abraham’s bosom. The text does not go further, but leaves to be felt with sufficient profundity what is the humiliating reversal of the relation (that the despised beggar was now to be the reviver of the rich man).

τὸ ἄκρον τ. δακτ.] even only such a smallest cooling, what a favour it would be to him in his glowing heat! Lange grotesquely conjectures that he asks only for such a delicate touching, because he had seen Lazarus in the impurity of his sores. In his condition he certainly had done with such reflections.

ὕδατος] Genitivus materiae. See Bernhardy, p. 168; Buttmann, Neut. Gr. p. 148 [E. T. 170].

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". 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 16:24. αὐτὸς, himself). No longer now does he enjoy the attendance of slaves, but is a beggar himself.— πάτερ, father) Implying his “glorying in the flesh” [boasting of mere outward privileges of descent from the father of the faithful]: ‘Son’ in Luke 16:25 corresponds to ‘Father’ here.— πέμψον, send) Even as yet the self-indulger holds in little esteem Lazarus, even as yet in little esteem Moses: Luke 16:30.— ἵνα βάψῃ, that he may dip) This verb does not always imply a great abundance of water: from it is derived βαπτίζω. Not even the slightest mitigation is vouchsafed. This truly is “the wine of the wrath of God poured out, ἄκρατον, without mixture.” Revelation 14:10, (Chrysostom observes, τῆς ἐλεημοσύνης σταγὼν ἀμίκτως ἔχει πρὸς τὴν ἀπήνειαν, A drop of the Divine compassion is not mixed with the unfeeling hard-heartedness of this rich feaster.— γλῶσσαν, tongue) His tongue it was that had especially sinned.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". 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 16:24". 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

я мучаюсь Христос описывает ад как место, где уже начались невыразимые мучения. Неугасимый огонь (см. пояснение к Мф. 25:46), осуждающая совесть, питаемая непрекращающимися воспоминаниями об упущенной возможности (ст. 25), и постоянное, не подлежащее пересмотру отделение от Бога и всего доброго (ст. 26). Такие страдания являются характерными для этого места.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-16.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Father Abraham, have mercy on me; this shows that he was a Jew, or one of Abraham’s descendants. This is the only instance mentioned in Scripture of any one praying to a departed spirit, and he gained nothing by it but an increase of torment. Prayer is an act of religious worship, and the command of Jehovah is, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Matthew 4:10.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-16.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And he cried and said, “Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.” ’

This anonymous rich man who had needed nothing on earth, now cried out because he had nothing, and was in a state of torment.

‘Father Abraham.’ Like the Pharisees he claimed kinship with Abraham. But it had done him no good. Consequences in the afterlife are not the result of who we are, they result from what we have become.

Notice how the tables have turned. The rich man has become the beggar. He has nothing. He had never thought in terms of storing up treasure in Heaven, or of making friends in eternal dwellings. That had been for fools. But now he, who had never given even a cup of water to a beggar, was, as a beggar, calling on Lazarus for just a spot of water on his tongue. Lazarus in his earthly misery had once depended on him for crumbs, and he had let him down badly. Now he saw in Lazarus his only hope of even a little alleviation from his misery by means of a drop of water (a liquid ‘crumb’). Again we must not take this literally. He had no tongue, there was no flame, he was rather a disembodied spirit in anguish. The point is in the contrast.

Note the assumption that where Lazarus is there will be plenty of water. To a Jew living in Palestine a Paradise without water was inconceivable (see Revelation 22:1-5). Water was the essence of life. All knew of the burning heat of the desert and how it could leave a man parched and desperate and on the point of death. And of the joy of coming across an oasis or a spring which could finally relieve the desperate need. But in the world of the grave where men are apart from God, in contrast with those who go to be with God, there are no springs, not even spiritual ones.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-16.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24.Father Abraham—He reminds the great father of his descent from him. And he who sat at the banquet once, and refused the crumb to the beggar, now sees the beggar at the banquet, and is refused his supplication.

Dip’ cool my tongue’ this flame—That tongue which had so often been pampered with sensual gratifications, is now parched with the terrible deprivation. Those licentious passions which had heated his blood will now, in the atmosphere of the new world, kindle to a flame. Besides, the effeminacy which he had cultivated induces him to magnify his new sufferings, and he is perfectly miserable. But all these miseries are, it may be, rather natural than penal. This is the intermediate state, after death, but before the judgment-day. Sentence has not yet been pronounced, and penalty is not yet in its full sense now inflicted. So that we have here, perhaps, the natural sorrow of the lost spirit on leaving the body. Accommodation to his condition may enable his wretched excitement to subside into a permanent state of quiet, settled, and, perhaps, even contented consciousness of badness and woe. This poor wretch prays not to God but to a holy father. The result is a poor encouragement for praying to dead saints.

Flame—Are the damned tormented by a real material fire? We might, perhaps, answer—the visible fire may be but a material emblem of an immaterial power. The element of the very lake of fire may be to the human soul what the fire is to the visible human body.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "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 16:24. Father Abraham. Even there the man does not forget that he is a Jew.

Send Lazarus. It is possible, but not probable, that, he still fancies he has some right to the services of one who was his inferior on earth.

That he may dip.... cool my tongue. The reason for this request is given: for I am in anguish in this flame. Our Lord uses this figure to represent a fearful truth. Though entirely figurative, it means that the souls of the impenitent after death suffer as terribly as though fire were tormenting their bodies. The close relation between sin and its punishment is suggested by the mention of the tongue. The chief organ of sin becomes the chief organ of punishment. The conditions are reversed: the former rich man, now in torment, would be glad to receive refreshment from the despised beggar, now in blessedness. Each retains his character.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "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 16:24. .: the rich man, like Lazarus, is a Jew, and probably, as a son of Abraham, very much surprised that he should find himself in such a place (Matthew 3:8-9), and still hoping that the patriarch can do something for him.— ( , here only in N.T.): surely that small service will not be refused! If the flames cannot be put out, may the pain they cause not be mitigated by a cooling drop of water on the tip of the tongue?—a pathetic request.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-16.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

he cried and said = crying out, he said. The Pharisees gave long stories of similar imaginary conversations and discourses. See Lightfoot, vol. xi, pp. 165-7. Father Abraham. Compare Matthew 3:9. John 8:39.

cool. Greek. katapsucho. Occurs only here. A medical word. tormented distressed. Greek. odunaomai. Occurs only in Luke (here, Luke 2:48, and Acts 20:38, "sorrowing").

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "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 he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

And he cried and said, Father Abraham - a well-rounded but unavailing claim of natural descent (see Luke 3:8; John 8:37),

Have mercy on me - `Have mercy on me who never showed any mercy to my fellow-men.' Not daring to cry to God, he applies in his desperation to one who has no power to help him.

And send Lazarus (the pining victim of his merciless neglect), that he may (do what? take him out of that place of torment? No, that he presumes not to ask; but merely), that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. What does this wretched man ask? He asks the least conceivable and the most momentary abatement of his torment-that is all. But even that is denied him, for two awfully weighty reasons. First, IT IS UNREASONABLE.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "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

24. Take pity on me. Note that the rich man was very conscious of his surroundings, and that he could both see and recognize Abraham. [The Jews had a saying: “Abraham sits at the entrance to Hades and will not let his descendants go in there.] He calls on Abraham for help. The conditions of the rich man and Lazarus are sharply reversed in the spirit world. [See note at the end of this chapter.]

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "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

(24) Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger . . .—The words, in their relation to the effect of the punishment on the rich man’s character, offer two tenable explanations. On the one hand, they have been thought to indicate the old selfish arrogance and heartlessness of the man who still looks on Lazarus as one who may be sent hither and thither, at any cost of suffering, to do his bidding and minister to his ease; on the other, we may see in them the traces of pride conquered, and the cry for mercy at last coming from lips that had never uttered it before, and the craving for help and sympathy from one whom in his lifetime he had despised as beneath his notice. There is something terribly significant in the fact that it is the “tongue” that suffers most in that agonising flame. That was the organ of the sense which the man had pampered by his riotous and sumptuous living: that is now the chief instrument of retribution. The lesson is the same as that which a poet of our own has taught us—

“The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices

Make instruments to scourge us.”—

Shakespeare, King Lear, v. 3.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
Father
30; 3:8; Matthew 3:9; John 8:33-39,53-56; Romans 4:12; 9:7,8
have
1 Samuel 28:16; Isaiah 27:11; James 2:13
in water
Isaiah 41:17,18; 65:13,14; John 4:10,14; 7:37; Revelation 7:16,17; 22:1
and cool
Zechariah 14:12; James 3:6
for
Isaiah 66:24; Matthew 25:41; Mark 9:43-49; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; Revelation 14:10,11; 19:20; 20:15
Reciprocal: Job 14:22 - his soul;  Job 20:17 - shall not see;  Job 20:21 - none of his meat be left;  Psalm 49:17 - he shall;  Psalm 112:10 - desire;  Psalm 119:155 - for they;  Proverbs 21:17 - loveth;  Proverbs 22:16 - he that giveth;  Jeremiah 2:25 - Withhold;  Ezekiel 32:21 - strong;  Zechariah 9:11 - out;  Matthew 5:22 - hell;  Matthew 13:42 - cast;  Matthew 18:8 - everlasting;  Matthew 25:8 - Give;  Mark 9:46 - GeneralLuke 9:25 - what;  Luke 13:16 - being;  Luke 16:25 - Son;  John 4:13 - Whosoever;  Hebrews 10:27 - fiery;  James 2:21 - Abraham

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 16:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-16.html.