As we explore further we find that a rich tapestry of facts and detail emerge to provide us with a fascinating insight into our subject. Below I have included information gathered from a variety of sources that help us to gain a deeper understanding of the scriptures.
As there was a certain rich man and he was a custom to don a purple robe and fine linen, making merry in luxury day by day.
This refers to the priestly garments as in Exodus 28:8
20. and there was a certain poor one named Lazarus, who had been laid at his porch, being plagued by sores.Some translations translate 'poor' as 'beggar' but that is an incorrect translation and can be found in 11 translations of the Bible. Lazarus was not a beggar, as in one who is lacking in financial means, but poor as in poorly ie in physical health or ill.
The Greek word here is ptōxós. i.e.
helpless as a beggar.
Reduced to beggary, begging, asking, helpless, powerless.I believe Lazarus suffered from long term diseases similar to herpes, HSV-1 and HSV-2, which was documented right back to the ancient Greeks as sores that seemed to creep over the surface of the skin. Herpes is derived from the Greek word meaning '' to creep''.
Barnes' Notes on the Bible states:
Beggar - Poor man. The original word does not mean "beggar,"
21. and longing to be filled from the crumbs that were falling from the table of the rich man.Lazarus was laid outside the porch of the rich mans house longing for help with food and water to strengthen him, but the rich man treats Lazarus with contempt. He appears indifferent to his needs and leaves him lying there without food, clothing or shelter for hours or may be days.The Sadducees did not esteem those who appeared more lowly than themselves.
But even the dogs coming licked his sores.Lazarus is so weak and helpless with not even enough strength to escape the dogs due to the lack of food and water. His immune system breaks down and his sores increase while his health decreases.
22. And it happened, the poor one died, and was carried away by the angels in to the bosom of Abraham.In John 11 word gets back to Mary and Martha that their brother Lazarus is dying so they find him and bring him to their home in Bethany where he is nursed by them until they call upon Jesus for help.
So the sisters sent word to Jesus, "Lord, the one you love is sick."
John 11:3.But Jesus waits 2 more days before going to see Lazarus because I believe he knows the rich man is about to die. At this point Lazarus has already died and his soul has now descended into a compartment in Hades called paradise where the souls of the saints occupied until Jesus resurrects them because he was a follower and he was loved by Jesus as told in John 1.
Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men." 9 (Now this, "He ascended"-what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?
And the rich one also died, and was buried.23. And being in torment in Hades, lifting up his eyes, he sees Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosoms.24.And send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for i am suffering in this flame.
The situation is now reversed as the rich man is punished for his evil deeds, just as in Exodus 1:22 when Pharaoh gave orders to all his people.
"Every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile."
Then we read in Exodus 13, God delivers his people from Egypt through the Red Sea while Pharoahs army is drowned through the intervention of God.The Sadducees denied the resurrection of the body in Mat 22:23, Luke 20:27, Acts 4:1-2, 23:8 and believed that a persons soul died with his body.The rich man now becomes the helpless one begging for water as Lazarus was when he was laid on his porch. The rich man is deep in Hades, deeper in the earth, being nearer to the centre where it is hotter, making him thirst for water endlessly and in pain from the flames from hell overflowing from the centre of the earth being "Gehenna," the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:14)
For a fire is kindled by my anger, and it burns to the depths of Sheol, it devours the earth and its increase, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.
Deuteronomy 32:22The rich man is kept or reserved in the ''Netherworld,'' Underworld," Sheol, Hades'' ''PIT'' Isaiah 14.15. 2 Peter 2:9. The souls of the unsaved dead await Judgment Day.
25. But Abraham said, child, remember that you fully received your good things in your life time, and Lazarus like wise the bad things. But now he is comforted, and you are suffering.The rich man had a good life right from the beginning as he was a Pharisee, being considered upper class in society.They lived in luxury at the cost of others. Lazarus however I believe suffered from terrible diseases probably most of his life and it would have been possible that with care he could have survived longer but for the indifference of the rich man in ignoring the need on his doorstep.
26. And besides all these things, a great chasm has been fixed between us, and you, so that those desiring to pass from here to you are not able, nor can they pass from there to us.Even if any one could get over to help the rich man it was impossible. After the first death it is too late, our destination relies on faith in Jesus Christ before we die and not after. For God is not mocked. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7
27. And he said, then I beg you, Father, that you send him to my Fathers house; 28. For I have five brothers, so that he may witness to them, that they not also come to this place of torment.Interestingly it is believed by scholars around the same time while Lazarus in John 11 is still laid dead in the tomb waiting for Jesus to raise him back to life. After 4 days Jesus leaves to visit Mary and Martha the sisters of Lazarus, he tells the disciples on the way about the story of Lazarus in Luke 16:19, just before raising Lazarus from the dead.At the same time we have Annas the High priest, the ruling power behind the Sadducees responsible later for the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Jesus. Annas is the father of 5 sons who met Jesus face to face and wanted Jesus dead, he had power and authority through his position. He and his gang denied the resurrection of the body in Mat 22:23, Luke 20:27, Acts 4:1-2, 23:8. and believed that a persons soul dies with his body.
Could this be the same five brother in laws the rich man was trying to reach? It is certainly a coincidence.In fact there is an amazing statement made in the Talmud that records and describes the family of Annas in not a particularly favourable light."Woe to the house of Annas!
Woe to their serpent's hiss!
They are high priests;
their sons are keepers of the treasury,
their sons-in-law are guardians of the temple,
and their servants beat people with staves." (Pesahim 57a)Did you notice the 5th verse down, it states that their sons-in-law are guardians of the Temple.
Abraham said to him, they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.30. But he said, no, father Abraham, but if one should go from the dead to them, they will repent.
Did Jesus grant the rich mans request? I believe so, by raising Lazarus soul back from Hades into his dead body to then warn the rich mans father in law Annas the High priest, and his five sons being his brother in - laws from hell.
Abraham gives a prophecy saying in Luke 16:31. And he said to him, if they will not hear Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded even if one from the dead should rise. Interestingly we read that Annas and his mob now wanted Lazarus dead. So, the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, John 12:10
IS THIS ALL A COINCIDENCE? I believe that the story of Lazarus as told in Luke 16:19 by Jesus was a true account but hidden within a parable.