Abraham and Lazarus (Lk 16:23-16:23)

“In Hades,

Where the rich man

Was being tormented,

He looked up.

He saw Abraham

Far away,

With Lazarus

By his side.”

 

καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἅιδῃ ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ, ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις, ὁρᾷ Ἀβραὰμ ἀπὸ μακρόθεν καὶ Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the rich man was living in torment (ὑπάρχων ἐν βασάνοις) in Hades (καὶ ἐν τῷ Ἅιδῃ), the Greek name for hell, a permanent place of damnation as opposed to the vague Hebrew afterlife Sheol, the place of the dead.  This rich man looked up or lifted up his eyes (ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ).  He saw Abraham (ὁρᾷ Ἀβραὰμ), far away (ἀπὸ μακρόθεν), with Lazarus in his bosom (καὶ Λάζαρον ἐν τοῖς κόλποις αὐτοῦ).  Both Abraham and Lazarus were together, but far away since there was a clear difference between where the rich man and Lazarus with Abraham were.  Just as in life, there was a difference between the rich man and Lazarus, so too in death.  Do you believe that there will be options in the afterlife?

They died (Lk 16:22-16:22)

“The poor man,

Lazarus,

Died.

He was carried away

By the angels

To be with Abraham.

The rich man

Also died.

He was buried.”

 

ἐγένετο δὲ ἀποθανεῖν τὸν πτωχὸν καὶ ἀπενεχθῆναι αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀγγέλων εἰς τὸν κόλπον Ἀβραάμ· ἀπέθανεν δὲ καὶ ὁ πλούσιος καὶ ἐτάφη.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this poor man, Lazarus, died (ἐγένετο δὲ ἀποθανεῖν τὸν πτωχὸν).  He was carried away by the angels (καὶ ἀπενεχθῆναι αὐτὸν ὑπὸ τῶν ἀγγέλων) to be in the bosom of Abraham (εἰς τὸν κόλπον Ἀβραάμ).  The rich man also died (ἀπέθανεν δὲ καὶ ὁ πλούσιος) and he was buried (καὶ ἐτάφη).  Both men died, the rich and the poor man.  However, the poor man, Lazarus went to be with Abraham in his bosom, while the rich man just plain old died and was buried.  This is a clear acknowledgement of an afterlife, rarely mentioned elsewhere.  What are your expectations after your earthly death?

The dogs licked his sores (Lk 16:21-16:21)

“Lazarus longed

To satisfy

His hunger

With what fell

From the rich man’s table.

Even the dogs

Would come

And lick his sores.”

 

καὶ ἐπιθυμῶν χορτασθῆναι ἀπὸ τῶν πιπτόντων ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης τοῦ πλουσίου· ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ κύνες ἐρχόμενοι ἐπέλειχον τὰ ἕλκη αὐτοῦ.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that Lazarus longed to satisfy his hunger or to be fed (καὶ ἐπιθυμῶν χορτασθῆναι) with what fell from the rich man’s table (ἀπὸ τῆς τραπέζης τοῦ πλουσίου).  Even the dogs would come and lick his sores (ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ κύνες ἐρχόμενοι ἐπέλειχον τὰ ἕλκη αὐτοῦ).  Once again, Luke has a unique word use among the biblical writers of the Greek word ἐπέλειχον to lick off, lick clean, or lick up.  Lazarus was treated like a dog, getting the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table.  However, he was even worse, since the dogs were licking his sores.  Do you associate dogs with poverty?

 

Lazarus (Lk 16:20-16:20)

“At his gate,

Lay a poor man

Named Lazarus,

Covered with sores.”

 

πτωχὸς δέ τις ὀνόματι Λάζαρος ἐβέβλητο πρὸς τὸν πυλῶνα αὐτοῦ εἱλκωμένος

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that a certain poor beggar (πτωχὸς δέ τις) lay at the gate of this rich man (ἐβέβλητο πρὸς τὸν πυλῶνα αὐτοῦ).  He was named Lazarus (ὀνόματι Λάζαρος) and was covered with sores (εἱλκωμένος).  Once again, Luke is the only one in all the biblical literature to use this Greek word εἱλκωμένος that means to wound, to ulcerate, or to suffer from sores.  It was also unusual to give a name to this poor person, since most of the Jesus parables usually had unnamed people.  The rich man was unnamed.  Was this Lazarus connected to the brother of Martha and Mary in John, chapter 11?  From this story, we know that Lazarus was poor and had many sores.  There was no attempt to line him up with the women of Bethany, Martha and Mary.  Do you personally know a poor person?

The rich man (Lk 16:19-16:19)

There was a rich man,

Who was dressed

In purple

And fine linen.

He feasted sumptuously

Every day.”

 

Ἄνθρωπος δέ τις ἦν πλούσιος, καὶ ἐνεδιδύσκετο πορφύραν καὶ βύσσον εὐφραινόμενος καθ’ ἡμέραν λαμπρῶς.

 

This parable story about the poor man Lazarus and an unnamed rich man is only found in Luke, not in the other gospels.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that there was a rich man or a man with a lot of wealth (Ἄνθρωπος δέ τις ἦν πλούσιος), who was dressed in purple (καὶ ἐνεδιδύσκετο πορφύραν) and fine linen (καὶ βύσσον).  The use of the Greek word βύσσον is unique to Luke among all the biblical writers that means byssus, a form of Egyptian flax or fine linen, very costly, and delicate.  This rich man feasted sumptuously every day (εὐφραινόμενος καθ’ ἡμέραν λαμπρῶς).  Once again, Luke has a unique use of the word λαμπρῶς that means splendidly, magnificently, or sumptuously.  This unidentified rich man had wonderful clothes because purple meant that it had to be dyed and usually represented royal standing, and his linen clothes were not an ordinary line.  Finally, he had a lot of wonderful food to eat.  Clearly, he was a well-off rich wealthy person, but he does not have a name.  Do you personally know a rich person?

Trust in the Lord (Sir 11:20-11:22)

“Stand by your agreement!

Attend to it! Grow old in your work! Do not wonder

At the works of a sinner! Trust in the Lord!

Keep at your job!

It is easy in the sight of the Lord

To suddenly make

The poor become rich,

In an instant.

The blessing of the Lord

Is the reward of the pious.

Quickly God causes his blessings to flourish.”

You should trust in the Lord. Keep and attend to your agreements. Grow old at your work. Stay at your job. Do not wonder about the works of sinners. The Lord can make a poor man rich instantaneously. The blessing of the Lord is the reward for the pious ones. He can make his blessings flourish.