Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 16:25

But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abraham;   Dead (People);   Death;   Happiness;   Hell;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Rich, the;   Righteous;   Sensuality;   Torments;   Wicked (People);   Worldliness;   Scofield Reference Index - Parables;   Thompson Chain Reference - Accumulation of Wealth;   Earthly;   Memories, Painful;   Painful Memories;   Poverty-Riches;   Reversals;   Riches, Earthly;   Treasures, Earthly;   Wealth;   The Topic Concordance - Damnation;   Wealth;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Death, Eternal;   Death of Saints, the;   Happiness of the Wicked, the;   Life, Natural;   Parables;   Punishment of the Wicked, the;   Riches;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Lazarus;   Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Evil;   Food;   Government;   Justice;   Lazarus;   Lending;   Luke, gospel of;   Mercy;   Sheol;   Wealth;   Work;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Abraham's Bosom;   Consolation;   Death, Mortality;   Eternal Punishment;   Ethics;   Hades;   Hell;   Hospitality;   Immortality;   Intermediate State;   Jesus Christ;   Remember, Remembrance;   Statute;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Soul sleep;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Lazarus;   Life;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Divination;   Eleazar;   Elisha;   Esau;   Lazarus;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Abraham;   Dives;   Intermediate State;   Lazarus;   Leprosy;   Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Wrath, Wrath of God;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Beatitudes;   Descent into Hades;   Ethics;   Lazarus;   Parable;   Sin;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Almsgiving ;   Beggar;   Boyhood of Jesus;   Brotherhood (2);   Church (2);   Comfort (2);   Common Life;   Discourse;   Dives;   Ebionism (2);   Equality;   Eternal Punishment;   Goodness (Human);   Heart;   Hell ;   Judgment;   Justice (2);   Lazarus;   Life and Death;   Man (2);   Parable;   Pleasure;   Property (2);   Reality;   Rest (2);   Restoration;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Sympathy;   Token;   Torment (2);   Wealth (2);   Winter ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Lazarus ;   42 Evil Wicked;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Lazarus;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Laz'arus;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Evil Thing;   Gulf;   Immortal;   Lazarus;   Life;   Parable;   Punishment, Everlasting;   Wealth;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abraham's Bosom;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for February 9;   Every Day Light - Devotion for December 22;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Son - This is a representation designed to correspond with the word “father.” He was a descendant of Abraham a Jew - and Abraham is represented as calling this thing to his remembrance. It would not lessen his sorrows to remember that he was a “son” of Abraham, and that he ought to have lived worthy of that relation to him.

Remember - This is a cutting word in this place. One of the chief torments of hell will be the “remembrance” of what was enjoyed and of what was done in this world. Nor will it be any mitigation of the suffering to spend an “eternity” where there will be nothing else to do, day or night, but to “remember” what “was” done, and what “might have been,” if the life had been right.

Thy good things - That is, property, splendor, honor.

Evil things - Poverty, contempt, and disease.

But now … - How changed the scene! How different the condition! And how much “better” was the portion of Lazarus, after all, than that of the rich man! It is probable that Lazarus had the most “real” happiness in the land of the living, for riches without the love of God can never confer happiness like the favor of God, even in poverty. But the comforts of the rich man are now gone forever, and the joys of Lazarus have just commenced. “One” is to be comforted, and “the other” to be tormented, to all eternity. How much better, therefore, is poverty, with the friendship of God, than riches, with all that the world can bestow! And how foolish to seek our chief pleasures only in this life!

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-16.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now here he is comforted, and thou art in anguish.

Son ... A moment earlier, the rich man had addressed Abraham as "Father," and here Abraham did not deny the fact of the rich man's being one of the patriarch's fleshly descendants. This circumstance makes it easy to identify the class of men represented by the rich man. Who but the Pharisees were always proclaiming their rights as children of Abraham (see Matthew 3:8; John 8:37-44, etc.)? Mere fleshly descent was exposed in this parable as having no value in the sight of God.

Good things ... evil things ... They are wrong who try to make this parable teach that mere wealth is sinful and mere poverty righteous. As Trench noted:

The rebuke of unbelief is the main intention of this parable; for if we conceive its primary purpose to warn against the abuse of riches, it will neither satisfactorily cohere with the discourse in which it is found, nor will it possess the unity of purpose, which so remarkably distinguished the parables of our Lord.[41]

It is most deplorable that some commentators have fitted this parable into their notions of some new social order, in which wealth is evil in itself, and poverty good. The rich man was not punished for being wealthy, but for being devoid of all sense of humanity; nor was Lazarus rewarded for being poor. Although not elaborated, the true character of the beggar is implicit in the name Jesus gave him, which means "God help, an abbreviated form of Eleazar."[42]

[41] Richard C. Trench, op. cit., p. 451.

[42] H. Leo Boles, Commentary on Luke (Nashville: The Gospel Advocate Company, 1972), p. 319.

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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 16:25". "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

But Abraham said, son,.... He calls him "son", not in a spiritual sense; he was not one of Abraham's spiritual seed, that trod in the steps of his faith; but because he was so according to the flesh; and in return to his calling him father: good men have not always good children, nor is any trust to be put in birth and parentage:

remember, that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things; temporal good things; a land flowing with milk and honey; all the outward blessings of life that could be wished for, the Jews had, whilst they were in their own land; and also ecclesiastical good things, as the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises, the fathers, and the Messiah according to the flesh, even all external privileges and ordinances, Romans 9:4.

And likewise Lazarus evil things; Christ was surrounded with the infirmities of human nature, he assumed; was attended with much outward meanness and poverty; was loaded with calumnies and reproaches; and followed with the wrath, hatred, and persecution of men; and suffered many evil things, as buffetings, scourging, spitting, and cruel mockings, and at last death itself:

but now he is comforted; see Psalm 16:9 compared with Acts 2:25. Christ being raised from the dead, and set in human nature at the right hand of God, is comforted with the presence of God, which for a while he was deprived of, when on the cross; and is delighted with the glory that it put upon him as man; and with pleasure sees the travail of his soul continually, his elect and redeemed ones, called and gathered by the grace of God, who are his jewels, his portion, and goodly heritage:

and thou art tormented; as were many of the Jews, his implacable enemies and persecutors in hell, and others in captivity, bondage, and distress.

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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 16:25". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-16.html. 1999.

People's New Testament

Son. Abraham recognizes the fleshly tie. His answer is fatherly, affectionate.

Remember. Analogy gives us every reason to suppose that in the disembodied state the whole life on earth will lie before the soul in all its thoughts, words, and deeds, like the map of the past journey before a traveler.--{Alford}.

Thy good things. He was of the number who receive their portion in this life, instead of that good part which shall never be taken from them. He had preferred the world and its rewards, and had obtained them. But he had lost the world to come. {Thy} is emphatic. Earthly possessions and enjoyments were his choice.

Now here he is comforted. The saved leave all sorrows behind when they leave the earth; the lost leave all their joys behind.

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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 16:25". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/luke-16.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Receivedst (απελαβεςapelabes). Second aorist indicative of απολαμβανωapolambanō old verb to get back what is promised and in full. See also Luke 6:34; Luke 18:30; Luke 23:41.

Evil things (τα κακαta kaka). Not “his,” but “the evil things” that came upon him.

Thou art in anguish (οδυνασαιodunāsai). Like καυχασαιkauchāsai in Romans 2:17. They contracted -αεσαιaesai without the loss of s. Common in the Koiné.

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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 16:25". "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

Son ( τέκνον )

Lit., child.

Receivedst ( ἀπέλαβες )

Received back ( ἀπό ) as a reward or quittance. Compare Luke 6:34; Luke 18:30; Luke 23:41.

Gulf ( χάσμα )

From χάσκω ,to yawn. Transcribed into the English chasm. In medical language, of the cavities in a wound or ulcer.

Is fixed ( ἐστήρικται )

Compare Luke 22:32; and see on 1 Peter 5:10.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "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

But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

But Abraham said, Son — According to the flesh. Is it not worthy of observation, that Abraham will not revile even a damned soul? and shall living men revile one another? Thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things - Thou didst choose and accept of worldly things as thy good, thy happiness. And can any be at a loss to know why he was in torments? This damnable idolatry, had there been nothing more, was enough to sink him to the nethermost hell.

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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 16:25". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-16.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

But Abraham said, Son1, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things2: but now3 here he is comforted and thou art in anguish4.

  1. But Abraham said, Son. A tender word (Joshua 7:19).

  2. Remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things. See Proverbs 5:11-14.

  3. But now. When a different order pertains from that of the earth.

  4. Here he is comforted and thou art in anguish. The woes received by Lazarus are not spoken of as "his". He neither earned nor deserved them (Revelation 7:13-17). His was the stewardship of suffering (1 Corinthians 4:9 2 Corinthians 4:7), and in its small details he had shown great faithfulness. The rich man had the stewardship of wealth, with its accompanying obligation of generosity. The obligation he had esteemed as too contemptibly small to deserve his notice; but in neglecting it, he had inadvertently been unfaithful in much. See Luke 16:10. This has been the sin of omission on the part of the rich man, and his sin of commission answered as a complement to it, for he had been guilty of that money-loving self-indulgence which was condemned by Jesus and justified by the Pharisees (Luke 16:14,15). No other crime is charged against the rich man, yet he is found in torment. But the rich man during his lifetime had been so deceived by his wealth that he had failed to detect his sin. Moreover, as he indicates in (Luke 16:28), a like deception was now being practiced upon his brethren. Thus the parable justifies the term "unrighteous" which Jesus had given to mammon at Luke 16:9,11.

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 16:25". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-16.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

Ver. 25. Son, remember, &c.] Son he calls him, with respect either ad procreationem carnis, aut ad aetatem, saith Piscator. But as it was but cold comfort to Dives in flames that Abraham called him son, so those that have no more to shroud themselves under than a general profession, shall find that an empty title yields but an empty comfort at last.

That thou in thy lifetime] Gregory the Great could never read these words without horror: lest himself, having such honours here, should be shut out of heaven. James 5:5; "Ye have lived in pleasure upon earth;" which is a purgatory, not a paradise.

Receivedst thy good things] Wicked men then have not only a civil title, but a right before God to earthly things. It is their portion, Psalms 17:14. And what Ananias had was his own, Acts 5:4, while he had it. God gave Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar for his pains at Tyre. It is hard to say they are usurpers. They shall not (saith one) be called to an account at the last day for possessing what they had, but for abusing that possession. As when the king gives a traitor his life, he gives him food and drink that may maintain his life. So here God deals, not as that cruel d’Alva did, who starved some prisoners after he had given them quarter, saying, Though I promised you your lives, I promised not to find you food. (Grimst. Hist. of the Netherl.).

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-16.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Luke 16:25

Memory in Another World.

"Son, remember." It is the voice, the first voice, the perpetual voice, which meets every man when he steps across the threshold of earth into the presence-chamber of eternity. All the future is so built upon and interwoven with the past, that for the saved and for the lost alike this word might almost be taken as the motto of their whole situation, as the explanation of their whole condition. Memory in another world is indispensable to the gladness of the glad, and strikes the deepest note in the sadness of the lost.

I. Memory will be so widened as to take in the whole life. We believe that what a man is in this life he is more in another, that tendencies here become results yonder, that his sin, that his falsehood, that his whole moral nature, be it good or bad, becomes there what it is only striving to be here. Whether saved or lost, he that dies is greater than when yet living; and all his powers are intensified and strengthened by that awful experience of death, and by what it brings with it. In this life, we have but the island memories heaving themselves into sight, but in the next the Lord shall cause the sea to go back by the breath of His mouth, and the channels of the great deep of a human heart's experience and actions shall be laid bare. "There shall be no more sea," but the solid land of a whole life will appear when God says "Son, remember."

II. Memory in a future state will probably be so rapid as to embrace all the past life at once. We do not know, we have no conception of, the extent to which our thinking and feeling and remembrance, are made tardy by the slow vehicle of this bodily organization in which the soul rides. From the mountain of eternity we shall look down and see the whole plain before us. The memory shall be perfect—perfect in the range of its grasp, and perfect in the rapidity with which it brings up all its objects before us at every instant.

III. There will be a constant remembrance in another world.

IV. Memory will be associated in a future life with a perfectly accurate knowledge of the consequences, and a perfectly sensitive conscience as to the criminality of the past.

A. Maclaren, Sermons preached in Manchester, p. 111.


References: Luke 16:25.—Christian World Pulpit, vol. x., p. 294; vol. xxviii., p. 123; R. Duckworth, Ibid., vol. xxii., p. 264; M. Dix, Sermons Doctrinal and Practical, p. 257.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/luke-16.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Luke 16:25. Son, remember that thou, &c.— Is it not worthy of observation, that Abraham will not revile even a damned soul?—shall then living men revile one another?—He tells the rich man, that in his life-time he received his good things, &c. Now, fully to understand this, we should consider that our Saviour's principal view in this discourse evidently was, to warn men of the danger of that worldly-mindedness, neglect of religion, and intenseness upon pleasure and profit, which is not so much any one vice, as it is the foundation of all vices. It is that which makes men regardless of futurity, and not to have God in their thoughts. It is that deceitfulness of riches, ambition, and voluptuousness, and that care of things temporal, which stifle all notions of religion, choke the word, and render it unfruitful. It is that temper which exposes a man to every temptation, and makes him ready to sacrifice theinterests of truth, holiness, and virtue, whenever they come in competition with the good things of this life, on which his heart is entirely set. But see this matter fully set forth in the Inferences at the end of the notes on chap. 12:

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". 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, 1. The title given to the rich man by father Abraham, Son. He does not revile him, though a very bad man: if we revile the good, we are unjust, they deserve it not; if we revile the bad, we are unwise, we shall get nothing by it: a wise man knows not what it is to give bad language.

Observe, 2. The admonition given, Remember that thou in thy life-time receivedst thy good things: thy good things in which thou placed all thy happiness; thy good things which thou looked upon thyself as the proprietor, and not as the dispenser of; now remember what thou had and what thou abused.

Learn hence,

1. That the outward blessings which are afforded to wicked men on earth, will be sadly remembered in hell: Son, remember that thou in thy life-time receivedst thy good things.

2. That no man ought to measure his happiness hereafter by his temporal felicity here: we may receive our good things here, and yet be tormented hereafter.

3. That no man ought to be excessively troubled if he meets with hardship here, because those for whom God designs good things hereafter, may have their evil things here: Son, thou hadst thy good things, and also Lazarus evil things.

4. The word (remember) implies that human souls, in their state of separation, do exercise memory, thought, and reflection on the past occurences and actions of their lives; and, consequently, that they do not sleep or fall into a state of insensibility and inactivity at death until the resurrection.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". 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

25.] The answer is solemn, calm, and fatherly;—there is no mocking, as is found in the Koran under the same circumstances; no grief, as is sometimes represented affecting the blessed spirits for the lot of the lost. (Klopstock, cited by Stier, iii. 319, edn. 2: Wehmuth der Himmlischen die verlorenen Seelen begleitet.)

μνήσθητι] Analogy gives us every reason to suppose, that in the disembodied state the whole life on earth will lie before the soul in all its thoughts, words, and deeds, like a map of the past journey before a traveller.

ἀπέλαβες—not sufficiently expressed by ‘receivedst,’ E. V.:—it is analogous to ἀπ έχουσιν, Matthew 6:2; Matthew 6:5; Matthew 6:16,—and expresses the receipt in full, the exhaustion of all claim on.

Those that were good things to thee, τὰ ἀγ. σου, came to an end in thy lifetime: there are no more of them.

What a weighty, precious word is this σου: were it not for it, De Wette and the like, who maintain that the only meaning of the parable is, ‘Woe to the rich, but blessed are the poor’—would have found in this verse at least a specious defence for their view:—though even then τὰ ἀγ. would have implied the same, in fair interpretation.

τὰ κακά—not αὐτοῦ—for to him they were not so.

παρακαλ.] See ch. Luke 6:24.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-16.html. 1863-1878.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 1549

THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS

Luke 16:25. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

THE more strongly the discourses of a minister bear upon the prevailing vices of the day, the more will they, whose besetting sin is pointed out and reprobated, pour contempt upon the preacher and his word. Our blessed Lord had spoken the parable of the unjust steward, in order to shew, that every one should consider himself as responsible to God for the use he makes of that which is entrusted to him. “The Pharisees, who were covetous, immediately derided him [Note: ver. 14.].” Our Lord, however, was not to be deterred by their derision; on the contrary, he addressed to them a personal and severe reproof, and added another parable, that should enforce, with tenfold energy, his preceding admonitions. He represented a rich man, after a short enjoyment of his carnal pleasures, doomed to eternal misery in hell; and a poor man, after a transient scene of sufferings on earth, exalted to a state of everlasting felicity in heaven.

In opening this parable we shall present to your view,

I. Their different conditions in this world—

The Rich Man enjoyed all that could gratify an earthly mind—

[High titles, stately mansions, superb clothing, pompous equipage, numerous attendants, sumptuous entertainments, courtly friends, and flattering sycophants, were his distinguished portion, his daily enjoyment — — — These were the things in which he took delight; nor had his vain earthly heart a thought or wish beyond them [Note: “Thy good things.”], Doubtless he was to many in his day an object of admiration and envy. And many amongst ourselves are ready to say, Give me but such a portion as his, and I desire no more.]

The Poor Man was as destitute as a human being could be—

[He wanted even the most common necessaries of life. In addition to this, he was “full of sores” from head to foot; without medical aid to cure them, or even a friendly hand to bind them up; so that “the very dogs came and licked them.” Unable to walk, he was carried, and, as if no man cared what became of him, was cast [Note: ἐβέβλητο.] at the Rich Man’s gate, to gather a scanty and precarious subsistence from the crumbs which fell from his table. Thus destitute of food, of health, of friends, a very outcast from society, he protracted a wretched existence, till death relieved him of his sorrows.

Who would have thought that these two men were of the same species, or that, if they were, a just and merciful God should put such a difference between them?]

But our minds will be reconciled to this seeming inequality of state, if we survey,

II. Their still more different conditions in the invisible world—

The Rich Man was reduced to a state of deserved misery—

[We read not of any enormous crimes that he committed; and therefore we cannot justly impute any to him. His elegant clothing and costly fare were not in themselves sinful, provided they were such as were suited to his station in life. That which constituted his guilt in the sight of God was, that his heart was set upon them; that he sought his happiness in them rather than in God; and that he lived solely for himself, to the neglect of those, whose necessities he should have delighted to relieve. And behold, what fearful punishment this iniquity brought upon him! His career of sin was soon terminated; and nothing of all his happiness remained to him but the guilt which he had contracted by it. He was buried indeed in a sumptuous manner; but what pleasure could he receive from funeral processions, sepulchral monuments, or flattering inscriptions? Alas! his body was insensible of the honours paid to it, and his soul was enduring unutterable anguish in the flames of hell. He prayed indeed, but his prayer was now too late. Had he called upon God when he was on earth, he might have obtained all the glory of heaven: but now he was refused, though he asked no more than a momentary mitigation of his pain. He begged that a messenger might be sent to warn and to convince his five surviving brethren, who were walking securely in his delusive steps: but neither could this be granted him; nor indeed would it have been of any use to those who disregarded the testimony of the sacred records. Instead of finding any relief, he was upbraided with his having sought an earthly portion, while he neglected those things which were to endure for ever; the remembrance of which folly could not but greatly aggravate his misery. Ah! how altered now his state, from honour to ignominy, from pleasure to pain, from affluence to extremest want!]

The Poor Man, on the contrary, was raised to a state of unspeakable felicity—

[As death put a speedy period to the enjoyments of the one, so it soon also terminated the sorrows of the other. Nothing is spoken of the burial of the Poor Man; he was carried unnoticed, unregretted, to the silent grave; or rather, his fellow-creatures probably rejoiced that they were rid of a public nuisance. Not but that he was honoured in his death; for though disregarded by men, he was attended by angels, who gladly received his departing spirit, and bore it on their wings to the regions of light and glory. Let our eyes now follow him to his blest abode: behold, he, who once had scarcely enough to satisfy the cravings of nature, is now sitting next to Abraham himself at the heavenly banquet [Note: At feasts they lay on couches; so that one seemed, as it were, to be in the bosom of the person next to him. In this view, the circumstance of his being in Abraham’s bosom is well worthy of notice.]; while the man who had “fared sumptuously every day” on earth, has not so much as a drop of water to cool his tongue! Nothing now remains to him of all his former sorrows, except indeed their sanctifying influence upon his soul. Now he has the good things which he sought on earth, the things in which alone he found delight. The enjoyment of the Divine presence was then his only consolation; and now it is his abiding, his ever-blessed portion.

Now let us contrast the two; and we shall confess that Lazarus with all his penury was, on the whole, an object of envy; while the Rich Man with all his indulgences was, on the whole, an object of the deepest commiseration.]

Let us learn from hence,

1. How vain are riches without grace!

[What could the Rich Man’s wealth procure him in this life? Nothing but food and raiment: nor were his delicacies more sweet to him, than to the cottager his homely meal. His riches could not ward off for a moment the stroke of death: much less could they “profit him in the day of wrath.” They served only to witness against him, and to “prey upon his flesh like fire [Note: James 5:1-5.].” Let not any then envy the great and gay; but rather seek to be rich in grace, and happy in the enjoyment of their God.]

2. What consolation will religion afford under the severest trials!

[Though Lazarus appeared so destitute, he doubtless had his comforts as well as his sorrows. He would console himself with such reflections as these: ‘I have no earthly treasures; but I have treasures laid up for me in heaven: I am diseased in body; but my soul flourishes in health and vigour: I am scantily supported with refuse crumbs; but I have meat to eat which the world knows not of: I am without a mortal friend to minister unto me; but God is my friend, and angels are my ministering servants: I have nothing that I can call my own in this life; but I have all the glory of heaven in the life to come.’ Yes, thousands of such considerations would raise his drooping spirits, and often render him happier than all the gratifications of sense could possibly have made him. And all who possess real religion in their hearts shall find it as conducive to their happiness in this life, as it is to their eternal felicity.]

3. How earnestly we should improve our time in preparation for eternity!

[Whether we be in prosperity or in affliction, we are hastening to the grave: the whole of this life is but as a dream: death will soon terminate our present joys or sorrows: and our condition in the future world will depend entirely on the manner in which we have lived in this state of probation. God has drawn aside for a moment the veil of the invisible world; and shewn us what we shall all be in a little time: yes; all of us shall be banquetting in heaven, or agonizing with inexpressible, unintermitted anguish in hell; and in whichever state we be, all transition from it will be prevented by an “impassable gulf.” Let us endeavour to realize these awful truths. Let us believe what the Scriptures have told us respecting the issue of a worldly life. Let us pity those who, like the five brethren, are hastening in the delusive paths of ease and pleasure to the place of torment. And let us live now, as we shall wish we had lived, when our state shall be for ever fixed.]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/shh/luke-16.html. 1832.

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

Luke 16:25. τέκνον] an address of sympathizing patriarchal love.

The emphasis of the refusal lies on ἀπέλαβες, which is hence placed first: that thou hast received thy good things; there is nothing more in arrear for thee as thy due acquittance (see on Luke 18:30), hence to thy lot cannot fall the refreshing craved. Compare the ἀπέχειν τὴν παράκλησιν, Luke 6:26. If the rich man had not used his treasures for splendour and pleasure, but charitably for others (Luke 16:9), he would, when that splendour and pleasure had passed away from him, have still retained as arrears in his favour the happiness which he had dispensed with.

τὰ ἀγαθά σου] i.e. the sum of thy happiness.

ὁμοίως] i.e. ἀπέλαβεν ἐν τῇ ζωῇ αὐτοῦ.

τὰ κακά] i.e. the sum of the evil, corresponding by way of contrast to the τὰ ἀγαθά σου. Observe that αὐτοῦ is not added.

νῦν δὲ κ. τ. λ.] but now, the reversed condition! He has the happiness left in arrear for him; thou, the sufferings left in arrear for thee! That Lazarus is not to be conceived of as simply a poor man and unfortunate, but as a pious man, who, without special deserving, is a suffering victim, is plain by virtue of the contrast from the unconverted state of the rich man, which brought him into Gehenna, Luke 16:28 ff. He was one of those to whom applied the μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ κ. τ. λ., Luke 6:21. Only this is not to be concluded from the silence of Lazarus before the rich man’s door and in the bosom of Abraham (Lange: “a princely proud, silent beggar—a humble blessed child of God without self-exaltation in the bosom of glory”), for the chief person, and therefore the speaker, is the rich man.

παρακαλεῖται] see on Matthew 5:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:16. The notion that the earthly happiness of the rich man had been the recompense for his τινα ἀρετήν, and the misery of Lazarus the punishment for his τινα κακίαν (Euthymius Zigabenus, Theophylact; comp. Rabbins in Wetstein), is an incongruous reflection.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". 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 16:25. τέκνον, ‘Son’) The correlative is introduced from the relative, Father Abraham. The proper name is not here added. For Abraham did not know him as his son any longer. Joshua also called the wretched Achan Son [after his guilt] in ch. Luke 7:19.— μνήσθητι, remember) The dead retain the recollection of former events: see Luke 16:27.— ἀπέλαβες) hast carried off according to thy desire [hast received as the portion which thou didst desire]. The rich man had not thought so during life. The price is large both of prosperity and adversity respectively:(177) for the sowing time is in this life.— τὰ ἀγαθὰ thy good things) חלקם, Psalms 17:14.— ἐν τῇ ζωῇ σου. So the LXX., ἐν τῇ ζωῇ αὐτῶν in the same passage.— τὰ κακὰ, evil things) There is not added here his [as thy was added in the case of the good things of the rich man].— νῦν δὲ, but now) An argument based on the principle of fair compensation, to explain why each should be so treated as he is.— παρακλεῖται, he is comforted) in respect to his former miseries: 2 Thessalonians 2:16. He has no leisure [non vacat, no time or opportunity] now for departing [to cool thy tongue].— ὀδυνᾶσαι, thou art tormented) in pure and unmixed pain.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". 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. 25,26. We must still remember, that all these things are spoken in a figure. The

great gulf here mentioned, to be fixed between heaven and hell, is too wide for persons on opposite sides of it to be heard communicating their minds each to other. All that our Saviour designs to let us know is, that the circumstances of damned souls are such, that, if it were possible, they would beg the help and assistance of the meanest saints, whom they have in this life most scorned, despised, or abused; but as they will have no such opportunities as to crave any thing at their hands, so if they had, they could not receive the least relief from them; their state is determined, they are fixed for eternity, and there can be no change of their condition for the better. Abraham is here brought in calling this man

Son, either as lineally descended from him, or being a member of that church of which he was the father. It will add to the torments of the damned, to hear and consider the former means and advantages they have been under for salvation, if they have descended from godly parents, or have been members of the church of Christ.

That in thy lifetime thou receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things. The good things which the rich man received were no more the cause of his damnation, than the evil things which Lazarus met with were the cause of his salvation; but the rich man’s ill use of the former, and Lazarus’s good improvement of the latter, through the grace of God bestowed on him. Though it be not ordinary with God to give the same persons the upper and the nether springs, yet he sometimes doth it, of which Abraham, and Lot, and Job, and David, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Joseph of Arimathea, are some instances. But the term thy signifies the error of this rich man; he looked upon the good things of this life as his portion, those were the things which be set his heart upon, and let his heart run out to the neglecting the good things of another life. Lazarus received evil things, God gave him a mean, afflicted portion in this life; but he was found patient, and glorifying of God by a quiet and believing submission to his will under them; now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. So then it seemeth that departed souls do not sleep, as some have dreamed; if they did, they could neither have been capable of comfort or torment.

And besides all this, there is a great gulf fixed, &c.; the meaning of which is no more than,

1. That the state of souls upon their separation from the bodies of men and women is determined and fixed. As the tree falls, so it lieth.

2. That there is no commerce, or intercourse, between glorified and damned souls. The papists passage from purgatory to heaven is a new found way, or rather a new fancied one. If purgatory be (as they pretend) a place where souls are tormented, it may be wondered how they should pass over this gulf: it seemeth Abraham did not know the way, St. Peter knew as little; this is one of his pretended vicar’s new discoveries, but it is no wisdom in any souls to trust to this passage, of which Abraham knew as little as he did of our prayers passing to them, or to God for them, for there is casma mega esthrigmenon, a great gulf established.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 16:25". 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

Good things; wealth, honor, and pleasure.

Evil things; poverty, contempt, and distress. The faculty of memory is a great blessing; but men may so conduct in this world that the exercise of it will for ever torment them in the world to come.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-16.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘But Abraham said, “Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in the same way evil things, but now here he is comforted, and you are in anguish.” ’

‘Son.’ Abraham recognises his kinship. He is a son of Abraham, but it does him no good (compare Luke 3:8). The Pharisees also laid great stress on being sons of Abraham (John 8:33; John 8:39). The reply of Abraham to the rich man is the reply of Jesus to the taunts of the Pharisees (Luke 16:14). If in your life time you receive good things, and do not use them to the glory of God, in the afterlife you will receive bad things. Riches are a heavy responsibility which few can bear and survive, for they corrupt the soul.

The reply is not saying that all who suffer in this life will have joy in the next life, and that all who have joy in this life will have sorrow in the next. That is to look at it superficially. The reply is particular to their situations. The one is the rich man who enjoyed his luxuries with thought or care for no one but his own family, who misused his riches and ignored God’s Instruction given in the Law of Moses. Who basically ignored God. He knew what the Instruction of God taught him, but the pleasure of sin and the delight in riches overrode it. His comforts anaesthetised him. He had thus rejected compassion and had chosen to enjoy ‘good things’. he had no doubt had compassion on those that he loved. But he had not looked outside his own circle. Thus the good things that he had enjoyed now witnessed against him, and cried out about his disobedience. The other is the man whose name was recorded in Heaven, who was the one whom God helped. In his life he had suffered lack, but because his heart was right towards God he had no lack in the next life. And the principle is that the joys or sorrows that they experienced in this life no longer matter, except to testify for or against what they were, for the next life sets all to rights for good or bad. (For was we discover at the end the condemnation of the rich man lay in the fact that he had ignored the Instruction of God).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-16.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

25.In thy lifetime receivedst thy good—He was of the number who receive their portion in this life instead of that good part which shall never be taken from them. He had preferred the world and its rewards, and had obtained them; but he had lost the world to come.

He is comforted—To be consoled, to be refreshed with repose, are terms of mild bliss with which the Jews characterized the lesser happiness of the intermediate state as compared with heaven.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "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 16:25. Son. The relation is acknowledged, in a tone of pity and tenderness, but that is of no avail.

Remember. Memory remains and is intensified in that state; it is here appealed to so as to prove to the man in torment the picture of his lot.

In thy life-time. Contrasted with ‘now.’

Didst receive. So that there is nothing left to be given you.

Thy good things. Thy is emphatic; what he had on earth, his wealth, was regarded as his chief good. Hence he received all his portion there. The connection with the preceding parable suggests that if he had made friends out of the mammon of unrighteousness, there would have been some of the ‘good things’ available for another world.

Lazarus in like manner evil things. All the good for one had come on earth; ‘in like manner’ all the evil for the other.

But now, etc. The reason was not that Lazarus had been poor and the other man rich. It was the rich man’s estimate of his wealth, of which Abraham spoke. So we may infer that it was the conduct of Lazarus under affliction and poverty which is alluded to. Comp. also Luke 16:27-31.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "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 16:25. : answering to , introducing in a kindly paternal tone a speech holding out no hope, all the less that it is so softly and quietly spoken.— , : you got your good things—what you desired, and thought you had a right to—Lazarus got the ills, not what he desired or deserved, but the ills to be met with on earth, of which he had a very full share (no after ).— , but now, the now of time and of logic: the reversal of lot in the state after death a hard fact, and equitable. The ultimate ground of the reversal, character, is not referred to; it is a mere question of fairness or poetic justice.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-16.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

appears from Philo, (de Execrat. p. 9, 37 b.) that the Jews not only acknowledged the existence of souls, and their state of happiness or misery after this life, but also that the souls of the saints and patriarchs interceded with God for their descendants, and obtained from them the succour they stood in need of. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-16.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Son = Child. Greek. teknon. App-108.

lifetime = life. Greek. zoe, as being the opposite of death. See App-170.

receivedst = didst receive back, or had all.

evil things. See App-128.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "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

But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

But Abraham said, Son (a stinging acknowledgment this of the natural relationship to him which he had claimed): remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. As it is a great law of God's kingdom that 'the nature of our present desires shall rule that of our future bliss,' so by that law, he whose "good things," craved and enjoyed, were all bounded by time, could look for none after his connection with time had come to an end (see Luke 6:24). But by the same law, he whose "evil things," all crowded into the present life, drove him to seek, and find, consolation in a life beyond the grave, is by death released from all evil and ushered into unmixed and uninterrupted good. See Luke 6:21. But secondly, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "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

25. Remember, my son. Alford (Greek Testament) says: “Analogy gives us every reason to suppose that in the disembodied state the whole life on earth will lie before the soul in all its thoughts, words, and deeds, like a map of the past journey before a traveler.”

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "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

(25) But Abraham said, Son, . . .—There is surely something suggestive that the Patriarch is represented as not disowning the relationship. If we find a meaning in the “friend” of the parables of the Labourers in the Vineyard (see Note on Matthew 20:13) and the Wedding Garment (see Note on Matthew 22:12), we ought not to ignore the thought that seems to be implied here. Here, too, was one who, even in Hades, was recognised as being, now more truly than he had been in his life, a “child” or “son of Abraham.” (Comp. Luke 19:9.) The word used is the same, in its tone of pity and tenderness, as that which the father used to the elder son in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:31), which our Lord addressed to the man sick of the palsy (Matthew 9:2), or to His own disciples (John 13:33).

Remember.—The word has a terrible force in its bearing upon the question of the future life. Memory intensified, reproducing the past visions, pleasures, and base joys, the mala mentis gaudia of the self-indulgent, and subject to the action of a conscience no longer narcotised into slumber—this makes the sharpest pang of the deserved anguish. In Christian eschatology the river of death is no water of Lethe, bringing with it the forgetfulness of past evil.

Thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things.—The verb, like “they have their reward,” in Matthew 6:2, implies that this was all he was to have. There is an emphasis, too, in the presence of the pronoun in the one clause, and its absence in the other. The rich man had made the pleasures of sense “his good things.” They were all that he cared for—all, therefore, that he was to have. He had identified himself with them. The “evil things” of Lazarus, on the other hand, had not been chosen by him; they were external to him, a discipline and a probation through which, turning them to their right use, he passed to his true good.

Now he is comforted.—Some of the better MSS. give, “now he is comforted here.”

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
Son
remember
23; Lamentations 1:7; Daniel 5:22,23,30; Mark 9:46
thy good
6:24; Job 21:13,14; 22:18; Psalms 17:14; 37:35,36; 49:11; 73:7,12-19; Romans 8:7; Philippians 3:19; 1 John 2:15
likewise
20; John 16:33; Acts 14:22; 1 Thessalonians 3:3; Hebrews 11:25; Revelation 7:14
Reciprocal: Genesis 41:53 - GeneralDeuteronomy 28:17 - General1 Samuel 2:5 - full;  Job 20:21 - none of his meat be left;  Job 21:16 - Lo;  Job 31:25 - rejoiced;  Psalm 10:18 - the man;  Psalm 42:4 - When;  Psalm 66:12 - but thou;  Psalm 77:8 - Is his;  Proverbs 14:13 - GeneralProverbs 21:17 - loveth;  Proverbs 23:18 - surely;  Proverbs 23:32 - At;  Ecclesiastes 7:6 - as;  Ecclesiastes 7:8 - Better;  Isaiah 24:11 - all joy;  Isaiah 65:13 - my servants shall eat;  Matthew 5:4 - GeneralMatthew 13:12 - from;  Matthew 16:26 - gain;  Matthew 20:14 - thine;  Matthew 27:4 - see;  Luke 6:20 - Blessed;  Luke 9:25 - what;  Luke 10:42 - which;  John 2:10 - but;  John 16:22 - and your;  Romans 4:1 - Abraham;  Romans 9:7 - because;  1 Corinthians 7:30 - that weep;  Galatians 6:7 - for;  2 Thessalonians 1:7 - who;  2 Thessalonians 1:9 - be;  2 Thessalonians 2:16 - everlasting;  1 Timothy 6:19 - the time;  James 2:5 - Hath not;  James 2:13 - he;  James 4:9 - let;  James 5:5 - have lived;  Revelation 14:13 - Yea;  Revelation 18:14 - departed

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-16.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

25.Son, remember. The word son appears to be used ironically, as a sharp and piercing reproof to the rich man, who falsely boasted in his lifetime that he was one of the sons of Abraham. It seems as if pain inflicted by a hot iron wounded his mind, when his hypocrisy and false confidence are placed before his eyes. When it is said that he is tormented in hell, because he had received his good things in his lifetime, we must not understand the meaning to be, that eternal destruction awaits all who have enjoyed prosperity in the world. On the contrary, as Augustine has judiciously observed, poor Lazarus was carried into the bosom of rich Abraham, to inform us, that riches do not shut against any man the gate of the kingdom of heaven, but that it is open alike to all who have either made a sober use of riches, or patiently endured the want of them. All that is meant is, that the rich man, who yielded to the allurements of the present life, abandoned himself entirely to earthly enjoyments, and despised God and His kingdom, now suffers the punishment of his own neglect.

Receivedst THY good things. The pronoun thy is emphatic, as if Abraham had said: Thou wast created for an immortal life, and the Law of God raised time on high to the contemplation of the heavenly life; but thou, forgetting so exalted a condition, didst choose to resemble a sow or a dog, and thou therefore receivest a reward which befits brutal pleasures. But now he enjoys comfort When it is said of Lazarus, on the other hand, that he enjoys comfort, because he had suffered many distresses in the world, it would be idle to apply this to all whose condition is wretched; because their afflictions, in many cases, are so far from having been of service to them, that they ought rather to bring upon them severer punishment. But Lazarus is commended for patient endurance of the cross, which always springs from faith and a genuine fear of God; for he who obstinately resists his sufferings, and whose ferocity remains unsubdued, has no claim to be rewarded for patience, by receiving from God comfort in exchange for the cross.

To sum up the whole, they who have patiently endured the burden of the cross laid upon them, and have not been rebellious against the yoke and chastisements of God, but, amidst uninterrupted sufferings, have cherished the hope of a better life, have a rest laid up for them in heaven, when the period of their warfare shall be terminated. On the contrary, wicked despisers of God, who are wholly engrossed in the pleasures of the flesh, and who by a sort of mental intoxication, drown every feeling of piety, will experience, immediately after death, such torments as will efface their empty enjoyments. It must also be recollected, that this comfort, which the sons of God enjoy, lies in this, that they perceive a crown of glory prepared for them, and rest in the joyful expectation of it; as, on the other hand, the wicked are tormented by the apprehension of the future judgment, which they see coming upon them.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:25". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-16.html. 1840-57.