Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 16:29

But Abraham *said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.'
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Abraham;   Dead (People);   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Word of God;   Thompson Chain Reference - Accumulation of Wealth;   Earthly;   Poverty-Riches;   Riches, Earthly;   Treasures, Earthly;   Wealth;   The Topic Concordance - Damnation;   Wealth;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Parables;   Scriptures, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Lazarus;   Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Lazarus;   Luke, gospel of;   Sheol;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Abraham's Bosom;   Ethics;   Hades;   Hell;   Hospitality;   Immortality;   Intermediate State;   Jesus Christ;   Statute;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Soul sleep;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Lazarus;   Scripture;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Divination;   Lazarus;   Pentateuch;   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;   Ethics;   Lazarus;   Parable;   Sin;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Almsgiving ;   Authority in Religion;   Beggar;   Church (2);   Common Life;   Discourse;   Dives;   Ebionism (2);   Heart;   Hell ;   Lazarus;   Man (2);   Moses;   Moses ;   Parable;   Property (2);   Restoration;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Scripture (2);   Sympathy;   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;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Immortal;   Lazarus;   Parable;   Punishment, Everlasting;   Wealth;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abraham's Bosom;   Bible Canon;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for December 22;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

They have Moses and the prophets - This plainly supposes they were all Jewish believers: they had these writings in their hands, but they did not permit them to influence their lives.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

They have Moses - The writings of Moses. The first five books of the Bible.

The prophets - The remainder of the Old Testament. What the prophets had written.

Hear them - Hear them speak in the Scriptures. Read them, or hear them read in the synagogues, and attend to what they have delivered.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-16.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

But Abraham saith, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

As Boles said, "We have here one of many testimonies of Jesus, including that of Abraham from the heavenly world, that the Old Testament scriptures are the word of God."[43]

This ties this whole parable and its teachings into Jesus' conflict with the Pharisees, due to their unwillingness to hear, believe, and obey the law of Moses. This shows that the opportunities of the rich man to know God's will were more than ample, there being no reason whatever why some special sign should have been provided for him. The same is true of every man.

ENDNOTE:

[43] Ibid., p. 324.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "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

Abraham said unto him..... In reply to this his request:

they have Moses and the prophets; that is, their writings; which shows this man, and his five brethren, to be Jews; for to them were the oracles of God committed; and these had the writings of Moses and the prophets read to them every sabbath day; and is true, whether the contemporaries and immediate successors of the Pharisees are meant, or the ten tribes: and also shows, that one view of the parable, is to establish the authority of these writings; see Luke 16:16 and that it is a peculiar privilege to have them; and that they ought to be attended to and regarded;

let them hear them; for they testified concerning Christ, and concerning the sins of the Jews, and the calamities, both temporal and eternal, that should come upon them; and which, testimony was sufficient to leave them without excuse: and indeed, the word of God, read, explained, and heard, is the ordinary means of conversion, or of bringing men to faith and repentance.

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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 16:29". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-16.html. 1999.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

29. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

[They have Moses and the prophets.] The historical books also are comprehended under the title of the Prophets, according to the common acceptation of the Jews, and the reading in their synagogues: "All the books of the Prophets are eight; Joshua, Judges, Samuel, the Kings, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the twelve." So the Gemara also reckons them. So we find the Octateuch of the Prophets, as well as the Pentateuch of Moses, in Photius; of which we have spoken elsewhere.

But are the Hagiographa excluded, when mention is made only of the law and the prophets? Our Saviour speaks after the usual manner of their reading Moses and the Prophets in their synagogues; where every ordinary person, even the most rude and illiterate, met with them, though he had neither Moses nor the prophets nor the Hagiographa at his own house. Indeed, the holy writings, were not read in the synagogues (for what reason I will not dispute in this place), but they were, however, far from being rejected by the people, but accounted for divine writings, which may be evinced, besides other things, even from the very name. Our Saviour therefore makes no mention of them, not because he lightly esteems them, but because Moses and the prophets were heard by every one every sabbath day; and so were not the Hagiographa.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-16.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Let them hear them (ακουσατωσαν αυτωνakousatōsan autōn). Even the heathen have the evidence of nature to show the existence of God as Paul argues in Romans so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20.).

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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 16:29". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-16.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

The Fourfold Gospel

But Abraham saith, They have Moses and the prophets1; let them hear them2.

  1. They have Moses and the prophets. That is, the entire Old Testament.

  2. Let them hear them. See Luke 24:27; John 1:45; John 5:39-46. The Scriptures are a sufficient guide to godliness (2 Timothy 3:16,17), and a failure to live rightly when possession them is due to lack of will, and not to lack of knowledge.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-16.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

Ver. 29. Let them hear them] Hell is to be escaped by hearing the word read and preached, John 5:25; Isaiah 55:3.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-16.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

That is, they have the inspired writings of Moses and the prophets, which sufficiently declare the mind and will of God to mankind, and therefore it is unreasonable to expect any farther revelation.

Learn thence, that a standing revelation of God is evidence sufficient for divine things: it is a more certain way of conveyance, and more secured from imposture.

Secondly, that there is a sufficient evidence that Moses and the prophets, or the writings of the holy scriptures, are of divine authority, and therefore to be read and heard, to be believed and assented to: They have Moses, etc.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". 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

29.] ἡ πίστις ἐξ ἀκοῆς, ἡ δὲ ἀκοὴ διὰ ῥήματος χριστοῦ. Romans 10:17. ‘Auditu fideli salvamur, non apparitionibus.’ Bengel. This verse furnishes a weighty testimony from our Lord Himself of the sufficiency then of the O.T. Scriptures for the salvation of the Jews. It is not so now.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-16.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 16:29. λέγει, saith) Abraham gives no answer on the point, whether Lazarus could be sent by him to the brothers of the rich man. There is not, certainly, such a wide gulf separating from the earth either heaven or hell, as separates the two latter from one another.— ΄ωσέα, Moses) A personification for the Law, appropriately used here as being in antithesis to Lazarus. It is just the same as if they had Moses face to face. [Besides these means of conviction, we are supplied amply with the words of Christ and the writings of His witnesses, by whom also the resurrection from the dead is solemnly affirmed.—V. g.] The scope of this narrative is to commend Scripture, which the Pharisees despised, being ‘covetous,’ Luke 16:14, ‘justifying’ and “exalting themselves,” Luke 16:15, and despising the law, Luke 16:17, all which feelings of the Pharisees are utterly swept away by Scripture. Moses and the prophets are here considered especially, inasmuch (in so far) as they testify concerning Christ Jesus, Luke 16:16, whom the Pharisees were deriding, Luke 16:14.— ἀκουσάτωσαν, let them hear) This is said sternly. No man is compelled. It is in the believing hearing of the word that we are saved, not by means of apparitions. Herod, as being one not desirous to hear, is not permitted to see a miracle. The question as to men’s state after death is less openly and less at large treated of in the Old Testament [than in the New]; and yet that which is revealed on the subject must suffice for leading men (the Jews) to repent. They are mistaken who suppose that it is only by the revelation of those mysteries that the ungodly are to be gained over to religion.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". 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

Christ here represents to us the genius of wicked and carnal men, that would be converted by revelations and some extraordinary signs; if they could see one risen from the dead, then they would believe the resurrection; if they could see a glorified saint, or hear or see a damned soul, then they would believe a heaven and a hell: he here brings in Abraham saying,

They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. God will have men believe the propositions of His word, and live up to the rule of life prescribed there, and not expect to have their curiosity satisfied by needless and extraordinary revelations. But is there then no need of the gospel to bring men to heaven? Doubtless there is, but that is included in Moses and the prophets, who all prophesied of Christ, though more darkly than he is revealed in the New Testament.

Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me, John 5:39,46, Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me: now they at that time had no Scriptures to search but those of Moses and the prophets; for the New Testament was not at that time written.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 16:29". 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

у них есть Моисей и пророки Т.е. Писания Ветхого Завета.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-16.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

They have Moses and the prophets; the Old Testament scriptures. Great and momentous truths are revealed by God in the Bible. If men who have the Bible and the preaching of the gospel are not led, under the influence of the Spirit, to believe, no other means would be availing; but they will be left to pursue their chosen course of wickedness to the place of endless torment.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "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 says, “They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.” ’

Abraham points him, and all who hear, to Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them. They are the means by which God speaks to the world. No reference is made to Jesus. The poignant emphasis is on the fact that the Pharisees, who claimed to honour Moses and the prophets, did not in fact even listen to them (see Luke 16:15-16). They had actually shielded themselves from them by their tradition. For had they listened to their deeper voice they would have known the truth about riches. Even more so would they know about them if they heeded the approach of the Kingly Rule of God which has now come (Luke 16:16).

For what the Law and the Prophets had to say consider the following, (Deuteronomy 15:1-3; Deuteronomy 15:7-12; Deuteronomy 22:1-2; Deuteronomy 23:19; Deuteronomy 24:7; Deuteronomy 24:14-15; Deuteronomy 24:19-21; Deuteronomy 25:13-14; Isaiah 3:14-15; Isaiah 5:7-8; Isaiah 10:1-3; Isaiah 32:6-7; Isaiah 58:3; Isaiah 58:6-7; Isaiah 58:10; Jeremiah 5:26-28; Jeremiah 7:5-6; Ezekiel 18:12-18; Ezekiel 33:15; Amos 2:6-8; Amos 5:11-12; Amos 8:4-6; Micah 2:1-2; Micah 3:1-3; Micah 6:10-11; Zechariah 7:9-10; Malachi 3:5). Their message was clear enough.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-16.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

29.They have Moses and the prophets—Even from these they might learn (not that it is wicked to be rich and blessed to be a beggar, but) that a rich, infidel, sensual worldliness meets a terrible retribution from a just God.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "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 16:29. They have Moses and the prophets, i.e., the Old Testament.

Let them hear them. This implies that these men, though children of Abraham and possessors of the Old Testament, had never rightly attended to it.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "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 16:29. , etc.: cf.Luke 18:20, where Jesus refers the ruler to the commandments. Moses, or the law, and the prophets = the O.T., the appointed, regular means of grace.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-16.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-16.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Moses and the prophets. The latter including the historical books. See App-1. Referring to Luke 16:16. Compare John 1:45; John 5:39, John 5:46.

Moses. See note on Luke 5:14.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "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

Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them. Still this does not satisfy.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-16.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(29) They have Moses and the prophets.—The words are in entire harmony with all the teaching of our Lord. The right use of lower knowledge is the condition of attaining to the higher, and without it signs and wonders avail but little: “He that hath, to him shall be given” (Mark 4:25); “He that willeth to do the will of God,” so far as he knows it, “shall know of the doctrine” which Christ came to proclaim, “whether it be of God” (John 7:17). It was because the scribes and their followers were unfaithful in a little, that more was denied them. “Moses and the Prophets” were enough to teach them that a life of self-indulgent luxury was evil in itself, and therefore must bring with it, in the end, shame and condemnation. (Comp. Notes on John 5:45-46.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
have
16; Isaiah 8:20; 34:16; Malachi 4:2-4; John 5:39-45; Acts 15:21; 17:11,12; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21
Reciprocal: Ecclesiastes 12:12 - by these;  Song of Solomon 8:2 - who;  Jeremiah 6:16 - Stand;  Malachi 4:4 - the law;  Mark 8:12 - Why;  John 5:47 - GeneralActs 24:14 - in the law;  Acts 26:22 - the prophets;  Romans 3:2 - because;  Romans 4:1 - Abraham;  Romans 10:17 - faith

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-16.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

29.They have Moses and the prophets. In the persons of the rich man and Abraham Christ reminds us, that we have received an undoubted rule of life, and that therefore we have no right to expect that the dead will rise to instruct and persuade us. Moses and the prophets were appointed to instruct, while they lived, the men of their own age; but it was with the design, that the same advantage should be derived by posterity from their writings. As it is the will of God that we should receive instructions, in this manner, about a holy life, there is no reason why the dead should assure us of the rewards and punishments of the future state; nor is there any excuse for the indifference of those who shelter themselves under the pretext, that they do not know what is going on beyond this world. Among irreligious men, we are aware, is frequently heard this wicked saying, or rather this grunting of hogs, that it is foolish in men to distress themselves with fears about a matter of uncertainty, since no one has ever returned to bring us tidings about hell.

With the view of counteracting every enchantment of Satan of this description, Christ draws their attention to the Law and the Prophets, agreeably to that passage in the writings of Moses:

It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou shouldest do it,
(
Deuteronomy 30:12.)

They who ridicule as fabulous what Scripture testifies as to the future judgment, will one day feel how shocking is the wickedness of giving the lie to the holy oracles of God. From such lethargy Christ arouses his followers, that they may not be deceived by the hope of escaping punishment, and thus fail to improve the time allowed for repentance.

Abraham’s reply amounts to this: By Moses and the prophets God had sufficiently made known to his people the doctrine of salvation, and nothing remains for us but that it obtain the assent of all. So thoroughly infected is the mind of man with a depraved curiosity, that the greater part of men are always gaping after new revelations. Now as nothing is more displeasing to God than when men are so eager to go beyond due bounds, he forbids them to inquire at magicians and soothsayers respecting the truth, and to consult pretended oracles after the manner of the Gentiles; and in order to restrain that itching curiosity, he promises, at the same time, that he will give prophets, from whom the people may learn whatever is necessary to be known for salvation, (Deuteronomy 18:9.) But if the prophets were sent for the express purpose; that God might keep his people under the guidance of his word, he who is not satisfied with this method of instruction is not actuated by a desire to learn, but tickled by ungodly wantonness; and therefore God complains that He is insulted, when He alone is not heard from the living to the dead, (Isaiah 8:19.)

The division of the word of God, which Abraham makes, into the Law and the Prophets, refers to the time of the Old Testament. Now that the more ample explanation of the Gospel has been added, there is still less excuse for our wickedness, if our dislike of that doctrine hurries us in every possible direction, and, in a word, if we do not permit ourselves to be regulated by the word of God. Hence too we infer how solid is the faith of Papists about purgatory and such fooleries, when it rests on nothing but phantoms. (311)

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:29". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-16.html. 1840-57.