Luke 16:19-31

Luke 16:19-31
Narrative Lectionary 334


19 “There was a richA manB who was dressed inC purpleD

Notes on verse 19a

A “rich” = plousios. From ploutos (abundance, wealth, or riches; money, possessions, spiritual abundance, or a valuable bestowment); from polus (much, many, abundant) OR pleo (to sail, voyage); {probably from pluno (to plunge – so to wash); from pluo (to flow)} OR pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity). This is wealthy, having full resources. It can be a rich person or refer to God’s abundance.
B “man” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
C “dressed in” = endidusko. 2x in NT – 1x when the soldiers dressed Jesus in purple at the crucifixion in Mark 15:17 & 1x of the rich man dressed in purple in Luke 16:19. From enduo (to clothe, put on in a literal or figurative sense); {from en (in, on, at, by, with, within) + duno (to enter, sink into; can also be set like the sun); {from duo (to sink)}}. This is to be clothed in or put on.
D “purple” = porphura. 4x in NT – 2x of the purple cloak the soldiers put on Jesus at the crucifixion, 1x of the rich man in Luke 16 & 1x of the purple goods from Babylon in Revelation 18:12. Perhaps from phuro (to mix something dry with something wet). This is purple dye, cloth, or a garment from that cloth. Its shade ranged from violet to scarlet to blue. The dye was made from a snail. The color symbolized royalty, wealth, or power.

and fine linenE and who feastedF sumptuouslyG every day. 

Notes on verse 19b

E “fine linen” = bussos. 1x in NT.  From Hebrew buts (byssus). Root may mean to bleach. This is byssus, a kind of flax or linen made out of it. It was a desirable, delicate, and costly fabric.
F “feasted” = euphraino. 14x in NT. From eu (good, well, well done) + phren (diaphragm, heart, intellect, understanding; figurative for personal opinion or inner mindset; thought regulating action; sympathy, feelings, cognition); {perhaps from phrao (to rein in or curb)}. This is to be glad, revel, feast. It is having a positive outlook, rejoicing.
G “sumptuously” = lampros. 1x in NT. From lampros (shining, splendid, magnificent); from lampo (to give light literally or figuratively). This is splendidly, luxuriously.

20 And at his gateH layI a poor manJ namedK Lazarus,L covered with sores,M 

Notes on verse 20

H “gate” = pulon. 18x in NT. From pule (gate, large entrance to a city or a fortress; often used for an exit way; often figurative for authority and power). This is a porch, gateway, or vestibule. It is a passageway from the street through the house to the courtyard.
I “lay” = ballo. This is to throw, cast, rush, place, or drop. It is throwing, but it could be with more or less velocity and with more or less force/violence.
J “poor man” = ptochos. From ptosso (to crouch or cower as a beggar does). This is poor or destitute – someone who is extremely poor and bowed down because of a long struggle under poverty. Properly, it means bent over so figuratively it is someone who is deeply destitute and lacking tangible resources. This is a beggar – as extremely opposite a wealthy person as possible.
K “named” = onoma. May be from ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.
L “Lazarus” = Lazaros. 15x in NT. 15x in NT. From Hebrew Elazar (God has helped or God is helper); {from el (God, a god) + azar (to help, protect, support, ally; properly, to surround so as to provide aid)}. This is Lazarus or Eliezer, meaning “God has helped” or “God is helper.”
M “covered with sores” = helkoo. 1x in NT. From helkos (wound, ulcer); from helkuo (to drag, pull, draw in). This is to wound or suffer from ulcers.

21 who longedN to satisfy his hungerO with what fell from the rich man’s table;P

Notes on verse 21a

N “longed” = epithumeo. 16x in NT. From epi (on, upon, fitting) + thumos (passion, wrath; actions emerging from passion or impulse) {from thuo (to rush along, breathe violently, offer sacrifice)}. This is desire, lust, longing for, setting one’s heart on. It is a longing whether good or bad. In either case, passion and yearning is set on the object of desire.
O “satisfy his hunger” = chortazo. 16x in NT. From chortos (food, grass, grain, hay; a place for feeding, a court, garden; by implication, a pasture or vegetation). This is to feed, fodder, fill, or satisfy. It carries the sense of abundantly supplied food – even gorging on food.
P “table” = trapeza. 15x in NT. Probably from tessares (four; figuratively, can mean total inclusion or universality) + peze (by foot or land) or pezos (by foot or land); {from pous (foot)}. This is a table – whether for eating or conducting business. Literally, four feet. This is where the word “trapeze” comes from.

even the dogsQ would come and lickR his sores.S 

Notes on verse 21b

Q “dogs” = kuon. 5x in NT– do not give what is holy to dogs (Mt 7:6), dogs licked Lazarus’s wounds in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Lk 16:21), beware of the dogs who mutilate the flesh (Ph 3:2), the dog returns to its own vomit (2 Pet 2:22), and outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murders and idolaters (Rev 22:15). This is a dog as a scavenger or, figuratively, a spiritual predator.
R “lick” = apoleicho. 1x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + leicho (to lick) OR from epileicho (to lick over); {from epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + leicho (to lick)}. This is to lick, lick up.
S “sores” = helkos. Related to “covered with sores” in v20. 3x in NT. See note M above.

22T The poor man diedU and was carried awayV by the angelsW

Notes on verse 22a

T {untranslated} = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
U “died” = apothnesko. From apo (from, away from) + thnesko (to die, be dead). This is to die off. It is death with an emphasis on the way that death separates. It can also mean to wither or decay.
V “carried away” = apophero. 6x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + phero (to bear, bring, lead, make known publicly; to carry in a literal or figurative sense). This is to carry off or away. It can mean carry off violently.
W “angels” = aggelos. Probably from ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide) + agele (flock, herd, drove); {also from ago (see above)}. This is angel or messenger. Properly, it is one sent with news or to perform a specific task. This messenger can be human or an angel from heaven. More commonly, it is used for angels in the New Testament.

to be withX Abraham.Y The rich man also died and was buried.Z 

Notes on verse 22b

X “to be with” = eis + kolpos. Literally “into the bosom of.” Kolpos is 6x in NT. It is bosom (as in the bosom of Abraham from Like 16:22-23). It is also chest, where their garments would fold over. Reclining in this position connoted intimacy and union.
Y “Abraham” = Abraam. From Hebrew Abraham (exalted father); from the same as Abiram (exalted father, a high father – lofty) {from ab (father literal or figurative) + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is Abraham, father of many nations or father of a multitude.
Z “buried” = thapto. 11x in NT. This is to bury or hold a funeral.

23 In Hades,AA where he was beingBB tormented,CC

Notes on verse 23a

AA “Hades” = Hades. 10x in NT. From a (not, without) + eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is Literally, the world that is not seen. It is Hades, hell, the place where the dead reside. It can also refer to the grave.
BB “being” = huparcho. From hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is to begin or be ready, to exist or possess. It is what one already has or possesses.
CC “tormented” = basanos. 3x in NT. From basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is to torture or torment or afflict. Properly, it refers to a touchstone – used to test how pure gold or silver are by what mark they leave behind.

he looked upDD and sawEE Abraham far away with Lazarus by his side.FF 

Notes on verse 23b

DD “looked up” = epairo + ho + ophthalmos + autos. Literally “lifted up his eyes.” Epairo is 19x in NT. From epi (on, upon, among, what is fitting) + airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is to lift up or raise in a literal or figurative sense. Figuratively, it could mean to exalt oneself. Ophthalmos is from optanomai (to appear, be seen by). This is eye or sight. It is used figuratively for the mind’s eye, a vision, or for envy.
EE “saw” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
FF “side” = kolpos. Same as “to be with” in v22. See note X above.

24 He called out,GG ‘FatherHH Abraham, have mercy onII me,

Notes on verse 24a

GG “called out” = phoneo. From phone (voice, sound, tone or noise; also a language or dialect); probably from phemi to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is to call out, summon, shout, address. It is making a sound whether of an animal, a person, or an instrument.
HH “father” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
II “have mercy on” = eleeo. From eleos (mercy, pity, tender mercy, or compassion; generally understood in action by word or deed). This is to have pity on, show mercy to, be compassionate; often used for God’s grace. When we sing or say “kyrie eleison” (Lord, have mercy), it is from this root verb.

and sendJJ Lazarus to dipKK the tip of his fingerLL in water

Notes on verse 24b

JJ “send” = pempo. This is to send, put forth, or dispatch. This often refers to a temporary errand. It is sending someone with a focus on the place they departed from. By contrast, another Greek word, hiemi, emphasizes the destination and yet another word, stello, focuses on the motion that goes with the sending.
KK “dip” = bapto. 4x in NT. This is to dip, dye, or submerge in liquid. It is the root of the word “baptism.”
LL “finger” = daktulos. 8x in NT. Probably from deka (ten). This is finger.

and coolMM my tongue;NN for I am in agonyOO in these flames.’PP 

Notes on verse 24c

MM “cool” = katapsucho. 1x in NT. From kata (down, against, among, according to) + psucho (to breathe, blow, bring cool air). This is to cool or refresh.
NN “tongue” = glossa. Root refers to a point that sticks out. This is tongue in a literal sense, but can also refer to language or a nation that speaks a different language. Figuratively, it can also refer to speaking in tongues or speech inspired by the Spirit.
OO “am in agony” = odunao. Related to “dressed in” in v19. 4x in NT– 1x of Jesus’s parents when they lose him at the Temple (Luke 2:48), 2x of the Rich Man’s agony in the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:24-25), and 1x when Paul feels grief on saying goodbye to the Ephesian elders (Acts 20:38). From odunao (pain, grief, sorrow, whether physical or mental); from duno (see note C above). This is to cause or experience great pain, whether of mind or body. It is personal anguish that is shown through grieving.
PP “flames” = phlox. 7x in NT. From phlego (to burn or flash). This is a flame or blaze. It is where the flowers of the same name take their name from.

25 But Abraham said, ‘Child,QQ rememberRR that during your lifetimeSS you receivedTT your goodUU things,

Notes on verse 25a

QQ “child” = teknon. From tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is a child, descendant, or inhabitant.
RR “remember” = mimnesko. From mnaomai (to remember; by implication give reward or consequence); perhaps from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). This is to remind or remember. It is memory through an active, intentional process or being mindful of. It is not incidentally or accidentally remembering.
SS “lifetime” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.
TT “received” = apolambano. 10x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + lambano (active acceptance/taking of what is available or what has been offered; emphasizes the choice and action of the individual). This is to receive back, separate, to get one’s due.
UU “good” = agathos. This is good, a benefit, or a good thing. It is good by its very nature, intrinsically good. A different word, kalos, refers to external signs of goodness.

and Lazarus in like mannerVV evilWW things; but now he is comfortedXX here, and you are in agony. 

Notes on verse 25b

VV “in like manner” = homoios. From the same as homou (together); from homos (the same). This is similar to, resembling, like.
WW “evil” = kakos. This is bad, evil, harm, ill. It is evil that is part of someone’s core character – intrinsic, rotted, worthless, depraved, causing harm. It refers to deep inner malice that comes from a rotten character. Can be contrasted with the Greek poneros, which is that which bears pain – a focus on the miseries and pains that come with evil. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue.
XX “comforted” = parakaleo. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud) {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is to call to, summon, invite, request, or beg. It can also be exhort or admonish. Also, this can be encourage, comfort, or console. This word has legal overtones and is used of one’s advocate in a courtroom. It is the root of the name of the Holy Spirit “paraclete” is our advocate and comforter.

26 Besides all this, between you and us a great chasmYY has been fixed,ZZ so that those who might wantAAA to passBBB from here to you cannotCCC do so, and no one can crossDDD from there to us.’ 

Notes on verse 26

YY “chasm” = chasma. 1x in NT. From chasko (to gape, yawn). This is gap, gulf, chasm, open space.
ZZ “fixed” = sterizo. 13x in NT. From sterigx (a support, plant down); perhaps from histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand firm). This is to make fast, support, strengthen, establish, fix firmly, to go resolutely.
AAA “want” = thelo. This is to wish, desire, will, or intend. It is to choose or prefer in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean inclined toward or take delight in. It can have a sense of being ready to act on the impulse in question.
BBB “pass” = diabaino. Related to “tormented” in v23. 3x in NT. From dia (through, for the sake of, across, thoroughly) + basis (see note CC above). This is to cross of step through.
CCC “cannot” = me + dunamai. Dunamai is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
DDD “cross” = diaperao. 6x in NT. From dia (through, for the sake of, across, thoroughly) + peran (over, beyond, across); {akin to pera (on the far side); perhaps from periro (to pierce)}. This is to cross or sail over entirely.

27 He said, ‘Then, father, I begEEE you to send him to my father’s houseFFF— 28 for I have five brothersGGG—that he may warnHHH them, so that they will not also come into this placeIII of torment.’ 

Notes on verses 27-28

EEE “beg” = erotao. From eromai (to ask) OR from ereo (to say, tell, call, speak of). This is asking a question or making an earnest request. It is used between someone with whom the asker is close in some sense. So, they anticipate special consideration for their request.
FFF “house” = oikos. This is house – the building, the household, the family, descendants, the temple.
GGG “brothers” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
HHH “warn” = diamarturomai. 15x in NT. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + marturomai (to witness, testify, call as a witness, affirm, charge, protest); {from martus (a witness whether having heard or seen something; witness literally, judicially, or figuratively; by analogy, a martyr)}. This is to affirm, give evidence, testify thoroughly. It is giving full testimony.
III “place” = topos. This is a place or region. It is a smaller space that can only hold a limited number of people whereas chora is a larger place. Figuratively it could be an opportunity.

29 Abraham replied, ‘They have MosesJJJ and the prophets;KKK they should listenLLL to them.’ 

Notes on verse 29

JJJ “Moses” = Mouses. From Hebrew Mosheh (Moses); from mashah (to pull out in a literal or figurative sense, to draw out) OR from Egyptian mes or mesu (child, son i.e. child of…). This is Moses – the one drawn out from the water, which is to say, rescued. If derived from the Egyptian, his name would share a root with Rameses and Thutmose.
KKK “prophets” = prophetes. Related to “called out” in v24. From pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (see note GG above). This is a prophet or poet – one who speaks with inspiration from God.
LLL “listen” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.

30 He said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if someone goesMMM to them from the dead,NNN they will repent.’OOO 

31 He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convincedPPP even if someone risesQQQ from the dead.’”

Notes on verses 30-31

MMM “goes” = poreuomai. From poros (ford, passageway). This is to go, travel, journey, or die. It refers to transporting things from one place to another and focuses on the personal significance of the destination.
NNN “dead” = nekros. Perhaps from nekus (corpse). This is dead of lifeless, mortal, corpse. It can also be used figuratively for powerless or ineffective. It is where the word “necrotic” comes from.
OOO “repent” = metanoeo. From meta (with, among, after, beyond) + noieo (to perceive, think, understand); {from nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect)}. This is to change how one thinks, to reconsider, to repent. It refers to a change of thinking, which means a change of purpose and behavior.
PPP “convinced” = peitho. This is to have confidence, to urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust. It is the root from which the Greek word for faith is drawn (pistis).
QQQ “rises” = anistemi. Related to “fixed” in v26. From ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + histemi (see note ZZ above). This is to raise up, rise, appear. It is to stand up literally or figuratively. Can also mean to resurrect.

Image credit: “Lazarus” by Charles Umlauf, 1950. Photo by Dieterkaupp.

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