The teachings of Messiah, 9:51-19:44

5. The coming kingdom, 16:14-18:14

i] All things are reversed - the rich man and Lazarus


In the context of the Pharisees ridiculing Jesus following his statement "you cannot serve God and wealth", Luke records Jesus' condemnation of the Pharisees self-justification, v14-15, two sayings concerning the fulfillment of the law in Christ, v16-17, a saying on the law regarding divorce, which saying serves to illustrate the fulfillment of the law in Christ, v18, and an illustrative parable, the Rich Man and Lazarus, v19-31.


The passage before us illustrates the great reversal realized in the coming of Chist: In the face of the coming kingdom, good people under the law are condemned and repentant sinners under grace are blessed. Luke goes on to point out that the coming of the kingdom of God is evidenced by the replacement of the unchangeable law with a new word from God, an evidence of the kingdom's present reality more impressive than the visit of someone from the underworld.


i] Context: See 1:5-25. We now come to the next set of six episodes, The Coming Kingdom, 16:14-18:14, episodes which further reveal the teachings of Jesus. In these episodes Luke maintains his prime directive to reveal, in the presence of the coming kingdom, the condemnation of the "righteous" (self-righteous) under the law, in contrast to the blessing of the humble (repentant) under grace. This theme is central to the previous six episodes, in fact, as Ellis notes, "it may be that Luke intends the twelve episodes to be viewed as one unit."

Ellis is surely right when he treats the set of sayings, 16:14-18, and the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, as a single unit. Not all agree, so Marshall, Bock, etc. In 17:1-10, Jesus warns his disciples of the danger of causing "one of these little ones to sin". The "little ones" are God's children, Christ's brothers. The "sin" is law-righteousness, pharisaism, nomism. This fact is confirmed by a saying on forgiveness - an impossible law to keep. The disciples call for faith to do, but Jesus offers them a faith to receive. In 17:11-19 Luke illustrates the one law that we must obey, faith / reliance on Jesus for the full realization of the promised covenant blessings. A question asking when the kingdom of God would come then prompts a set of apocalyptic sayings, 17:20-37, followed up by the parable of the judge and the widow, 18:1-8. The following parable, the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, 18:9-14, also plays an important contextual role. The parable answers the question "whom does God vindicate?" In the day of judgment, when the Son of Man comes, who will stand? The answer is unexpected, because it is not the religious / righteous who stand in that terrible day, but the one who is humble before God and confident of his mercy.


ii] Structure: This passage, All things are reversed, presents as follows:

Setting, v14-15:

"the Pharisees, who loved money, ..... scoffed at Jesus."

Jesus' response, v15:

"what people value highly is detestable in God's sight."

Sayings, v16-18:

"the Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John, since then ...."

"it is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than ......."

"anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, ...."

Parable - the rich man and Lazarus, v19-31.


iii] Interpretation:

In response to the Pharisee's question, Jesus tells him that in the face of the coming kingdom he stands condemned. Continuing with the money theme developed in v1-13, Jesus exposes the self-righteousness of the Pharisees, as it relates to almsgiving. As far as Jesus is concerned, it is nothing more than a device for the accolades of their piers, and the truth is that "an outwardly cultivated righteousness can only disgust God", Nolland. This is a terrible time for a religious person to be found wanting before God. The time is fulfilled, the realization of the covenant (the agreement between God and mankind) is now, the kingdom of God is at hand, and all mankind is being forced up against it, to either find themselves blessed, or cursed, v16.

Jesus goes on in the following sayings, v17-18, to provide evidence for the present reality of the kingdom. The Pharisees know well that the law is unchangeable, and yet before their very eyes it is changing. Take for example divorce. Under the Mosaic Law, divorce was possible; under the new utopian law of the kingdom, to divorce and remarry, or marry a divorced person, is to commit adultery. Such a fulfilling of the law, in the ministry of Christ the messiah, proclaims that the kingdom of God is indeed at hand.

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus, v19-31, serves to illustrate / reinforce the teaching of the introductory sayings. The kingdom of God is at hand, the great reversal of the day of judgment is upon us, the rich / righteous brought low, the poor / humble lifted high. Of all people, the Pharisees, with their knowledge of the scriptures, should realize that the covenant is being fuflilled before their very eyes.


A saying concerning the relationship between the proclamation of the law and the prophets up to the Baptist, and the proclamation of the kingdom from the Baptist onward, v16. This verse is usually linked to verses 17 and 18, or possibly just verse 17, or even left to stand as an independent saying, but it is rarely linked to verses 14 and 15. None-the-less, it does seem likely that this verse, with its dominant judgment theme, sits better with v14 and 15. The Pharisees, with their flawed works-based holiness / nomism, are like a stricken ship being driven upon a rocky shore; they are about to come to grief in the face of the kingdom's coming. The kingdom is bursting in on the world and everyone is being forced up against it. Confronted with this reality, a person must either resist and be condemned, or believe and be blessed. See exegesis of paV eiV authn biazetai, "everyone is being forced up against it", below.


A saying expressing the inviable nature of God's word, v17; Verses 17 and 18 together serve as an evidence of the kingdom's coming. Note the point of the argument. It is not that "the moral elements of the Law are indestructible", Plummer, but the exact opposite. The Mosaic Law is being set aside ("fulfilled") because of the arrival of something greater. To touch even the smallest bit of the law is an anathema, yet we see in verse 18 that this is exactly what is happening.


A saying on the idealistic indention of the law concerning marriage and divorce, v18. This seemingly incongruous saying demonstrates that the Mosaic Law has indeed been turned on its head. Such an impossible event must herald the inauguration of God's long-promised reign through His messiah. The Mosaic law "is superseded by a higher and prior demand under which all now stand", Ellis.

Matthew covers this subject in greater detail, cf. Matt.5:31-32, 19,3-9. The intention of the command in all three gospels is probably the same, but is made somewhat unclear by the exception in Matthew; parektoV logou porneiaV, "except a matter (on the grounds) of fornication." Given the difficulties caused by the exception, it is understandable why Luke would leave it out. Mark goes for an even simpler version, Mk.10:11-12. At first sight the exception looks like an example of reductionism, blunting Jesus' utopian demands. Yet, if the exception is original it helps us understand Luke's rather difficult second clause; "marrying the one having been divorced by a man / husband commits adultery." The gist of Jesus' instruction on divorce is probably something like this: any man who divorces his wife for another woman, except on the grounds of unchastity, makes her an adulteress / commits adultery against her (by putting her in a situation where she is forced into adultery by taking another partner). By implication any man who marries a divorced woman (a wife who has been divorced on the grounds of adultery) commits adultery (by marrying an adulteress). The exception does not imply that having divorced an adulterous wife a man may remarry. The statement "and marries another" simply indicates the intention behind an improper divorce, namely the desire for another woman. The exception is a ground for divorce, not annulment.

It is fascinating how this classic example of Jesus' utopian ethic has been applied in the life of the Christian church. We have taken what is an ideal and turned it into a rule to be obeyed. We are right to aim at the ideal, for indeed, it does give direction to the Christian life. Yet, obedience in all its forms, physical, emotional, intellectual, is another thing. In the face of marriage failure the church has, too often, either excluded a brother, or practiced reductionism where church law has skirted around divorce, eg. for Anglicans, allowing divorce and remarriage if they profess faith and/or are the innocent party, or for Catholics, allowing divorce and remarriage by annulling the first marriage. The truth is, Jesus' "utopian" ethic serves a much higher purpose. The Mosaic Law is fulfilled / completed in the ethic of the kingdom, an ethic which defines the perfection of an acceptable son of God, a perfection that only Christ has lived. Before such perfection we can only but bow our heads in repentance and seek in Jesus, that one faithful man, a righteousness bestowed as the gift of a gracious God.


The teaching parable / illustration of the rich man and Lazarus, v19-31: Interpretations of this parable are many. Nolland suggests that it serves to condemn "conspicuous consumption"; such people "will discover in Hades the bitter truth of the implications of their disregard for the basic demands of the law and the prophets. Those who live so, despite all pretense of piety, will not mend their ways even if one should rise from the dead to bring them warning." We are best to follow the lead of Ellis who argues that the parable illustrates truths revealed in the introductory sayings. These sayings proclaim the present reality of "the coming messianic age", a reality demonstrated by the "superseding" of the Mosaic law "as a pointer [that] the law stands fulfilled." Israel has this witness in Moses and the Prophets, v29, such that "the abiding witness of the Old testament message [serves as a] sufficient basis for believing the kingdom of God message. No miraculous sign would be more persuasive." So, what we have in this illustration is a judgment scene, the great reversal, the settling of accounts. This reality is pressing up against us even now - "the kingdom of God is at hand." Such is evidenced in a reading of "Moses and the Prophets" in that the inviable covenant law is even now being superseded / fulfilled in Christ the messiah (the tithe, alms, ... finds perfection in "no man can serve two masters"; divorce finds perfection in no divorce.) This evidence is more substantial than if someone was to rise from the dead. The Pharisees may seek to "justify themselves", but in reality they are about to be overwhelmed by the day of judgment - the great reversal when the poor / humble (repentant) are "comforted" and the rich (self righteous) "are in agony." This reality prompts the need for repentance, now!

As for the parable itself, it presents in the form of a moral folk-tale. It is very likely that it was a well-known Jewish story of the reversal of fortunes in the afterlife. The moral of the story is found in v29; "they have Moses and the Prophets, they should listen to them." This could serve as Jesus' punch-line, or even be part of the original folk-tale. Either way, the statement serves Jesus' purpose. Evans thinks that the concluding words, v30-31, are a Lukan construction making the point that "a message of exhortation to repentance through the preaching of the resurrection of Jesus ..... is represented as being no more than what the law (Moses) and the prophets had been saying." There is some evidence of Lukan shaping of the tradition, but it is more than likely that these two verses are part of the original folk-tale and, as with the story itself, say nothing whatsoever about the resurrection of Christ, the preaching of the resurrection, the resurrection of the just and unjust, or even anything about Hades / Hell / the underworld. The point simply is that the miraculous return of a dead person from Hades would be no greater an evidence for the need of repentance than the divine Word found in the Law and the Prophets, a word even now finding completion in Christ.


iv] Synoptics:

The opening, v14-15, is unique to Luke, while the following sayings, v16-18, are found in different contexts in Matthew and Mark: v16, Matt.11:12-13; v17, Matt.5:18; v18; Matt.5:32 / 19:9, Mark 10:11-12. The parable, the rich man and Lazarus, is unique to Luke.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.


Text - 16:14

In the face of the coming kingdom everything is turned on his head, v14-31: i] A condemnation of the Pharisees' self-righteousness, v14-15. Jesus has just finished making the point that it is not possible to stand in the face of the coming kingdom and "serve the things of this world." Foolish as it may seem, this is exactly what "the children of light" do. The Pharisees ("who loved money" - Luke's comment) react with cynicism. Jesus' response is straight to the point. They may have some righteous standing in the sight of their religious cronies for their tithing and alms-giving, but in the eyes of God their status is nothing; they should beware!

uJparconteV (uJparkw) pres. part. "who [loved money]" - being [lovers of money]. The participle is probably, adjectival, attributive, modifying "the Pharisees", as NIV, or possibly causal, "the Pharisees ...... sneered at Jesus because they loved money (there are those who argue that in NT. Greek a participle is always adverbial unless it can be proved otherwise, eg. is articular). The present tense possibly indicating "a permanent characteristic", Plummer. "The Pharisees were fond of money", Moffatt, or stronger "avaricious", TH.

hkouon (akouw) imperf. "heard [all this]" - was hearing [all these things]. The imperfect is durative, expressing the fact that the Pharisees had been listening all along to Jesus' teaching, namely, that the "children of light" were foolish to think that it was possible to be loyal to God, and at the same time dabble in this worlds things.

exemukthrizon (ekmukthrizw) imperf. "were sneering" - they were ridiculing, mocking, deriding. Imperfect is again durative, as NIV. Lit. "turn up the nose." A fairly strong reaction, but understandable, particularly for those who see wealth as a blessing from God and who also understand the impossible nature of Jesus' "utopian" ethic. "Jeered at him", NJB.


autoiV dat. pro. "[he said] to them. Dative of indirect object.

oiJ dikaiounteV "[you are] the ones who justify" - the ones justifying. The articular participle is functioning as a predicate adjective asserting a truth about "you", the substantive. The verb to-be is supplied and "you" is emphatic, as NIV. "The ones' = "those characterized by the fact that", TH. The present tense possibly expresses attempted action, so "trying to justify yourselves", or simply "claim to be / present as, just", TH. They strive to maintain a high moral standing, primarily before their fellows. Creed is probably right to put it in the context of the use of money, particularly almsgiving; "you do indeed give alms, but you only do so to justify yourselves before men", Creed.

enwpion + gen. "in the eyes of [men / others]" - before. "You are always making yourselves look good", CEV.

de "but" - but, and. Here adversative, as NIV.

oJti "-" - for, because, since. Here expressing cause/reason. Marshall is probably right by noting that "knows your hearts" carries the implicit consequence "and judges them". So, "God knows what you are like (and holds you accountable), for there is nothing more loathsome to God than human pride", Barclay. Another possible implicit thought is: "I can make this complaint because the things that people exalt are an abomination before God", Bock.

en + dat. "[what is highly valued] among [men] / [what people value highly]" - [the thing esteemed] in [men]. Local, expressing space / sphere - distributive; "among", but possibly association, "with", so Culy.

bdelugma (a atoV) "detestable [in God's sight]" - detestable, an abomination, abhorrent [before God]. In the immediate context where the issue of stewardship of the resources on loan to us from God is covered, v1-13, the Pharisees, whose stewardship under the law is impeccable (tithing), are condemned for loving their wealth (as we all do!). Their righteousness under the law is an abomination to God. It is for this reason that we need to stand in Christ's righteousness rather than our own.


ii] Three sayings, v16-18. a) A saying concerning the relationship between the proclamation of the law and the prophets up to the Baptist, and the proclamation of the kingdom from the Baptist onward, v16. John the Baptist, standing at the end of the old era and at the beginning of the new, was privileged to announce the fulfillment of the covenant promises. He was privileged to announce the realization of the long-promised kingdom of God, of God's eternal reign in his messiah, Christ. As the kingdom bursts into the world in the life and teachings of Jesus, the Pharisees, in fact all people, "are being forced up against it", and in this confrontation many will be broken. So, be warned.

oJ nomoV kai oiJ profhtai "the Law and the Prophets" - "This is a summary way of referring to Old Testament preaching", Fitzmyer.

eprofhteusan (profhteuw) "were proclaimed" - prophesied. Variant transposed from Matthew's version of this saying, Matt.11:13. The verb must be supplied with some direction from the preposition "until" = "up to" and a little more direction from the parallel "the kingdom of God has been preached" So, "were proclaimed", NIV is a reasonable guess. The NJB and REB take the conservative path and go with the verb to-be; "till John we had the Law and the Prophets", Berkeley. An obvious ellipsis like this usually indicates that the verb to-be was intended. Other contenders are "were enough till John", Rieu; "continue up to John", Johnson; "lasted till John", Moffatt; "were the supreme revelation up to John", Barclay; "were in force", Phillips.

mecri + gen. "until [John]" - up to [John]. Temporal, of time "up to", or "up to and including." On the one hand, the intended division may be the beginning of the ministry of John, so "up to John", since his message was the same as that of Jesus, namely "the kingdom of God is at hand." Like Jesus, John preached the kingdom. On the other hand, John points to the the beginning of a new era, the realization of the covenant in Christ, and does so standing at the end of the covenant era proclaimed in the Law and the Prophets. This covenant, God's covenant of grace toward his people, which agreement has been ratified on numerous occasion, is realized in Christ. John but pointed to its realization and was thus not part of the age of fulfilment.

hJ basileia (a) "the good news of the kingdom" - the kingdom. "The good news concerning" has become a folk-law tack-on not found in the text - for those who do not believe the message it is bad news. "The kingdom" of God entails "all the blessings that are brought by the eschatological rule of God", Nolland. So the kingdom entails the dynamic reign of God in Christ, which entity a person may enter into for salvation by reliance on / faith in the faithfulness of Christ.

tou qeou (oV) gen. "of God" - The genitive is usually classified as verbal, subjective, although adjectival, possessive may be a better classification.

euaggelizetai (euaggelizw) pres. pas. "is being preached" - is being communicated. The present tense is durative, where the action begins in the past and continues in the present. The verb serves to express the action of communicating an important message, here the message concerning the coming kingdom of God, the message concerning the long promised inauguration of God's reign in Christ. "From then onwards the kingdom of God has been preached", NJB.

paV "everyone" - all, every, the whole. Possibly "anyone", the kingdom is open to all, so "anyone presses in", Manson. "Everybody" is more likely, not "all the Jewish authorities", but "everyone."

biazetai (biazw) pres. pas "is forcing his way [into it]" - is being violently forced [into it]. The present tense is possibly tendential, expressing attempted action, "trying to", although more likely durative, where the action begins in the past and continues in the present. The action of the verb primarily describes the application of a strong force, although some argue for a less violent constant pressure. This action may be positive or negative. The preposition eiV can mean "into" or "to/toward = against", even possibly representing an Aramaic preposition not required in Greek, so "everyone oppresses it", Leaney. Finally, the verb here takes either the middle or passive voice: active, "to force"; middle, "to make use of force"; passive, "to be forced." The middle voice is accepted by most commentators so the choice is between everyone trying to force their way into the kingdom, "storm his way into it", Barclay, as NIV, along with most translations, or everyone is acting violently against / striving against the kingdom, "but every man treats it with violence", Torrey. The problem is, not paV, "everyone", uses force to get in the kingdom, or uses force to oppose the kingdom, so the passive voice is more likely. The passive is usually taken to mean "everyone is urged to enter the kingdom", although the more likely sense is that "everyone is forced up against the kingdom", ie. The kingdom is bursting in on the world and everyone is being forced up against it. Confronted with this reality, a person must either resist and be condemned, or believe and be blessed. Note Matthew 11:12 for a different slant on a very similar saying.


b) A saying expressing the inviable nature of God's word, v17; "It is very difficult, well-nigh impossible, for the law to pass away (but that's exactly what's happening in the face of the coming kingdom)", Evans.

de "-" - but. Here best taken as a connective rather than adversative, contrastive, or continuative. Best untranslated, as NIV.

eukopwteron (eukopoV) com. adj. "[it is] easier" - Comparative adjective serving as a predicate; "it is easier." "It is an easier thing for heaven and earth to pass away than for one comma of the Law to be deleted", Rieu.

parelqein aor. inf. "to disappear" - to pass away, come to an end, disappear. "Cease to be", Barclay. The infinitive, with it's own subject, "heaven and earth" (accusative infinitive construction), is functioning as the subject of the verb to-be "is [easier]", "for heaven and earth to disappear is easier ...."

h] "than" - Forming a comparative clause, usually with the verb in the indicative mood, although here an accusative infinitive construction.

mian keraian acc. "the least stroke of a pen" - one small stroke. The jot or tittle, a small stroke mark of a pen to distinguish certain letters of the Hebrew alphabet, eg. d, r, h.

pesein (piptw) aor. inf. "to drop" - to fall. Again, an accusative infinitive construction, where the subject of the infinitive, "one small stroke", takes the accusative case, "than one small stroke to drop from the law. The infinitive again forms a substantive infinitival phrase subject of an implied verb to-be"; "for heaven and earth to disappear is easier than for one dot of the law to become void is easy." It's easier for the world to disappear than for the law to become invalid", TH.


c) A saying on the idealistic indention of the law concerning marriage and divorce, v18. To make the point that the kingdom of God is indeed "at hand", Jesus points out how the ethic of the dawning kingdom has already transcended the Law of Moses, and it must be remembered that to alter even the minutest element of God's Law is an anathema. Yet, this is exactly what is happening, for the Mosaic Law on divorce is being replaced by a new utopian ethic. Although the Mosaic Law allowed divorce, the radical demands of the kingdom dictate the opposite. So then, the "fulfilling" (the perfect completing) of Mosaic law illustrates that a new age has dawned and anyone with even the slightest understanding of the Old Testament would know it.

oJ apoluwn (apoluw) pres. part. "[anyone] who divorces" - [all] the ones divorcing, sending away. Participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "anyone"; "any man who divorces his wife", Barclay.

autou gen. pro. "his [wife]" - The genitive is adjectival, relational.

gamwn (gamew) pres. part. "[and] marries [another]" - The present tense here is gnomic, expressing a timeless truth. The participle is again adjectival, attributive, limiting "anyone", but also possibly adverbial, final, expressing purpose, he divorces his wife "in order to marry another woman", see Nolland. Divorce, with the intention of marrying another, is adulterous. Only "divorcing" takes an article thus making "divorcing and remarrying" a single act.

kai "and" - It is more than likely that the conjunction here is consecutive, "so that"; "and so anyone marrying a woman divorced on the grounds of fornication is an adulterer."

o apolelumenhn (apoluw) perf. part. mid. / pas. "[the man who marries] a divorced [woman]" - [the one marrying] having been divorced [from a man / husband]. The participle serves as a substantive.

moiceuei (moiceuw) pres. "commits adultery" - violates the one flesh bond of marriage. The man who divorces and remarries commits adultery, presumable, against his first wife. As Marshall notes, in these instructions, Jesus is "going beyond Jewish law."


iii] The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, v19-31. The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus does not represent Jesus' teaching on the hereafter. The description, in the illustration, of Hades and of souls at death going into the underworld for punishment, is not part of New Testament teaching. The story does nothing more than illustrate the points alluded to by Jesus in the sayings recorded in verses 14 to 18. First, in the dawning of the kingdom of God there is a great reversal: the "rich" (the self-righteous) are set aside, the "poor" (the humble, repentant) are blessed. So, beware! Second, the Old Testament clearly points to the dawning of the kingdom of God in Christ, a reality made even more evident by Jesus fulfillment of the Law and Prophets, eg., his utopian teaching with regard the law on divorce. If a person is unwilling to respond to such an evident sign, then even a messenger from death's realm wouldn't convince them. So, look and believe.

eipen de kai eteran parabolhn "-" - and he spoke another parable. Variant, obviously added to deter a literal interpretation of the story.

de "-" - but, and, now. "Now there was a rich man."

enedidusketo (endiduskw) imperf. "who was dressed" - was clothing himself. The imperfect is iterative expressing repeated action: "it was his custom to dress in the finest cloths."

eufrainomenoV (eufrainw) pres. pas. part. "lived" - [a rich man ... was] being merry, glad, rejoicing (often used of feasting) [extravagantly every day]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "was clothed"; "it was his custom to dress ..... and live in luxury every day."

kaq (kata) + acc. "every [day]" - Distributive, as NIV.


ebablhto (ballw) pluperf. pas. "was laid" - [a certain poor man by name Lazarus] had been laid. Pluperfect expressing the fact that he had been laid there and was still there.

onomati (a atoV) dat. "named [Lazarus]" - by name [Lazarus]. Dative of reference / respect; "with respect to his name, Lazarus" = "named Lazarus."

eilkwmenoV (elkow) perf. pas. pat. "covered with sores" - having been covered with sores, ulcerated. The participle serves as an attributive adjective limiting the man; "a beggar named Lazarus, who was covered with sores, was laid ..."


epiqumwn (epqumew) pres. part. "longing [to eat]" - desiring. The participle is adjectival, further limiting, by describing the man; "he was a man who longed to eat from the rich man's table."

cortasqhnai (cortazw) aor. pas. inf. "to eat" - to be filled. The infinitive is usually classified as complementary, completing the sense of the participle "longing", although after a cognitive verb, as here, it may be treated as introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what he longed for; "he longed to satisfy his hunger", Barclay.

apo + gen. "-" - from. Expressing separation.

twn piptontwn (piptw) pres. part. "what fell" - the things falling. Participle serves as a substantive, "from what fell"; "he was happy to eat the scraps that fell from the rich man's table", CEV.

alla "-" - but. Adversative; introducing a clause contrasting what was desired with what actually happened.

kai "even" - and. Ascensive, as NIV.

ercomenoi (ercomai) pres. mid. part. "[dogs] came [and licked]" - [dogs] coming [were licking]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "were licking."


de "the time [came]" - and [it happened]. Denoting the next step in the narrative. Typically Lukan form, best treated as a temporal clause, "then the poor man died and was carried by the angels", TNT. As noted above, using this verse to support an immediate resurrection at death, as opposed to a resurrection of the dead at the return of Christ, is unwise. This applies to the following images of hell, etc.

apoqanein (apoqnhskw) aor. inf. "when [the beggar] died" - [the poor man] to die. With the infinitive apenecahnai, "to be carried away", this infinitive forms a substantival infinitival construction, subject of the verb egeneto, "came to be"; "the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham's side came to be."

uJpo + gen. "and [the angels]" - by [the angels]. Expressing agency; "carried away by the angels."


en + dat. "in [hell]" - in [hades]. Local, expressing space/sphere. The place of the dead; "the netherworld", NAB. "From among the dead", Phillips.

uJparcwn (uJparcw) pres. part. "where he was [in torment]" - being, existing [in a state of torment]. The participle is adverbial, possibly local, as NIV.

eparaV (epairw) aor. part. "he looked up" - having lifted up [the eyes]. The participle is adverbial, possibly temporal; "then, in Hades where he was in torment, he lifted his eyes."


fwnhsaV (fwnew) aor. part. "so he called [to him]" - [and he/this one] having called [said]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verb "he said"; "he cried out and said". Redundancy produces "he shouted", Barclay. Note that the NIV takes the participle as adverbial, consecutive, expressing result.

iJna + subj. "to [dip]" - that [he may dip]. Forming a purpose clause, "in order that he may dip."

oJti "because" - that. Expressing cause/reason, as NIV.

bayh/ (baptw) aor. subj. "[to] dip" - he may dip. Note that this verb takes the accusative of the thing dipped, namely "the finger", and the genitive of that into which it is dipped, namely the uJdatoV, "water."

tou daktulou (oV) gen. "[the tip] of [his] finger" - [the tip] of the finger [of him]. The genitive is adjectival, partitive.


oJti "[remember] that" - Here introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what should be remembered.

en + dat. "in [your lifetime]" - Temporal; "during your life."

apelabeV (apolambanw) aor. "you received" - Possibly with the sense here of "enjoyed"; "remember that you enjoyed the good things in your lifetime", Berkeley.

ta agaqa "good things" - the good. The rich man had "the good life", while Lazarus did it rough.

kai "while" - and. Here contrastive, as NIV.

ta kaka adj. "[Lazarus received] bad things" - The articular adjective serves as a substantive. "Received" = "enjoyed", is assumed.

odunasai (odunaw) pres. pas. "[you] are in agony" - are suffering. Describing the "great reversal" at the day of judgment. An actual reversal of rich and poor at the great assize, of the rich suffering and the poor comforted, is neither true, nor the point of the parable. Attempts at contextualizing / spiritualizing the "agony", eg. "the spiritual torture of remorse", Hauck, ignores the fact that the parable is just an illustration. The picture of "reversal" in the parable illustrates Jesus' teaching in v14-18. In these sayings Jesus reveals that the day of judgment is impacting on the "righteous" (the self-righteous Pharisees whose wealth is obviously read as a blessing from the Lord), an impact caused by the coming of the kingdom - the "righteous" are being judged and the "humble" (repentant) blessed. It is a mistake to allegorize this illustration.


en pasi toutoiV "besides all this" - in all these things. The preposition en is functioning adverbially, expressing association, "among all these things." Variant epi = "in addition to all these things", Culy. "And in any case."

oJpwV + subj. "so that [.... cannot]" - in order that [.... are not able]. Forming a purpose clause.

oiJ qelonteV (qelw) pres. part. "those who want" - the ones wanting. The participle functions as a substantive, as NIV.

diabhnai (diabainw) aor. inf. "to go" - The infinitive may be classified as complementary, completing the sense of the participle "wanting", but following a cognitive verb (here as a substantive participle) the infinitive may be classified as forming a dependent statement of perception expressing what is desired. "Those who wish to cross from here to you cannot do so", Barclay.


oun "then [I beg you]" - therefore. Inferential; drawing a logical conclusion.

iJna + subj. "-" - that [you may send]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what he asks of Abraham; "I beg you, father, to send ..."

mou gen. pro. "my [family]" - The genitive is adjectival, relational.


gar "for [I have five brothers]" - Expressing cause/reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why he wants Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his family.

oJpwV + subj. "let [him warn]" - that [he may warn]. Likely forming a purpose clause; "in order that." "Send him to my fathers house ...... that he may warn them", NRSV.

autoiV dat. pro. "them" - Dative of direct object after the verb diamarturomai, "testify to, declare to" = "warn".

iJna mh + subj. "so that" - lest [they may come]. Forming a negated purpose clause; "in order that they may not ..."

thV basanou (oV) gen. "of torment" - torment, torture. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "place"; "torturous place." Again, as noted above, it is not wise to use this verse to support the idea of a perpetual punishment in hell.


"They have the written word of God read and expounded in the synagogue", TH. As already noted, this fable is likely to be a folk-tale happily used by Jesus to illustrate his announcement of the coming kingdom. Some commentators see this verse as Jesus' application, and v30-31 as Luke's application, but it is more than likely they are all part of the fable. Evans is right when he makes the point that "the law is permanently there to move men to repentance", yet, within the context, this fact is even more compelling in that Jesus, the messiah, is completing / fulfilling the Law and the Prophets, so heightening the need for repentance in the face of eschatological necessity (the kingdom of God is at hand). Such is more compelling than "a messenger even from death's realm", Fitzmyer.

autwn gen. pro. "[let them listen to] them" - Genitive of direct object after the verb akouw, "listen to", which takes a genitive of persons.


ean + subj. "if" - Conditional sentence, 3rd. class, where the condition is regarded as a possibility, "if, as may be the case, .... then ...."

apo + gen. "from [the dead]" - Expressing source / origin, or separation, "away from / from among the dead."


autw/ dat. pro. "[he said] to him" - Dative of indirect object.

ei + ind. "if" - Introducing a conditional clause, 1st. class, where the condition is regarded as a reality. The negated verb ouk akouousin, "do not listen", really forms a single word, "disregard", and so is not forming a 2nd class condition, cf. Plummer; "if they disregard Moses and the Prophets, which they do, then ...." The apodosis of this conditional clause is formed by a second conditional clause, 3rd. class, where the condition has the possibility of coming true; "then, even if they had a visit by someone from the underworld then they probably wouldn't be convinced."

twn profhtwn (hV ou) gen. "[they do not listen to Moses and] the Prophets" - Genitive of direct object after the verb akouw, "listen to", which takes a genitive of persons.

ek + gen. "from [the dead]" - Expressing source / origin; "from the dead."


Luke Introduction



[Pumpkin Cottage]