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Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

Luke 16

 

 

Verse 1

1. ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ … Jesus now passes from the sin of hypocrisy to the cognate sin of cupidity, as in Matthew 6:18-19. The whole series of parables is anti-pharisaic. In interpreting the two following parables it is very necessary to bear in mind the tertium comparationis, i.e. the one special point which our Lord had in view. To press each detail into a separate dogmatic truth is a course which has led to flagrant errors in theology and even in morals.

τις ἦν πλούσιος ὅς εἶχεν οἰκονόμον. The rich man and the steward are both men of the world. It is only in one general aspect that they correspond to God and to ourselves as His stewards (Titus 1:7) who are ‘required to be faithful,’ 1 Corinthians 4:1-5. No parable has been more diversely and multitudinously explained than this. For instance, in the steward some have seen the Pharisees, or the publicans, or Judas Iscariot, or Christ, or Satan, &c. To enter into and refute these explanations would take up much space and would be quite fruitless. We cannot be wrong if we seize as the main lesson of the parable, the one which Christ Himself attached to it (8–12), namely, the use of earthly gifts of wealth and opportunity for heavenly and not for earthly aims.

διεβλήθη. Vulg[294] diffamatus est. In Classic Greek the word means ‘was slandered.’ Here it has the more general sense (see LXX[295], Daniel 6:24), but perhaps involves the notion of a secret accusation.

ὡς διασκορπίζων. He not only ‘had wasted’ (i.e. squandered on himself) his lord’s goods, but was still doing so. The Vulg[296] quasi dissipasset misled the translators of the A.V[297]


Verses 1-13

Luke 16:1-13. THE UNJUST STEWARD


Verses 1-31

CHAPS. Luke 9:51 to Luke 18:31

This section forms a great episode in St Luke, which may be called the departure for the final conflict, and is identical with the journey (probably to the Feast of the Dedication, John 10:22) which is partially touched upon in Matthew 18:1 to Matthew 20:16 and Mark 10:1-31. It contains many incidents recorded by this Evangelist alone, and though the recorded identifications of time and place are vague, yet they all point (Luke 9:51, Luke 13:22, Luke 17:11, Luke 10:38) to a slow, solemn, and public progress from Galilee to Jerusalem, of which the events themselves are often grouped by subjective considerations. So little certain is the order of the separate incidents, that one writer (Rev. W. Stewart) has made an ingenious attempt to shew that it is determined by the alphabetic arrangement of the leading Greek verbs (ἀγαπᾶν, Luke 10:25-42; αἰτεῖν, Luke 11:1-5; Luke 11:8-13, &c.). Canon Westcott arranges the order thus: The Rejection of the Jews foreshewn; Preparation, Luke 9:43 to Luke 11:13; Lessons of Warning, Luke 11:14 to Luke 13:9; Lessons of Progress, Luke 13:10 to Luke 14:24; Lessons of Discipleship, Luke 14:25 to Luke 17:10; the Coming End, Luke 17:10 to Luke 18:30.

The order of events after ‘the Galilaean spring’ of our Lord’s ministry on the plain of Gennesareth seems to have been this: After the period of flight among the heathen or in countries which were only semi-Jewish, of which almost the sole recorded incident is the healing of the daughter of the Syrophoenician woman (Matthew 15:21-28) He returned to Peraea and fed the four thousand. He then sailed back to Gennesareth, but left it in deep sorrow on being met by the Pharisees with insolent demands for a sign from heaven. Turning His back once more on Galilee, He again travelled northwards; healed a blind man at Bethsaida Julias; received St Peter’s great confession on the way to Caesarea Philippi; was transfigured; healed the demoniac boy; rebuked the ambition of the disciples by the example of the little child; returned for a brief rest in Capernaum, during which occurred the incident of the Temple Tax; then journeyed to the Feast of Tabernacles, in the course of which journey occurred the incidents so fully narrated by St John (John 7:1 to John 10:21). The events and teachings in this great section of St Luke seem to belong mainly, if not entirely, to the two months between the hasty return of Jesus to Galilee and His arrival in Jerusalem, two months afterwards, at the Feast of Dedication;—a period respecting which St Luke must have had access to special sources of information.

For fuller discussion of the question I must refer to my Life of Christ, II. 89–150.


Verse 2

2. τί τοῦτο ἀκούω περὶ σοῦ; This might mean ‘Why do I hear this?’ (So the A.V[298] “How is it” &c.) but it is simpler to render it ‘What is this that I hear about thee?’ comp. Acts 14:15, τί ταῦτα ποιεῖτε; The interrog. and relative clauses are blended.

ἀπόδος τὸν λόγον. ‘Render the account.’

οὐ γὰρ δύνῃ ἔτι οἰκονομεῖν. ‘Thou canst not be any longer steward.’


Verse 3

3. σκάπτειν οὐκ ἰσχύω. ‘To dig I am not strong enough.’

ἐπαιτεῖν αἰσχύνομαι. Sirach 40:28, “better die than beg.”


Verse 4

4. ἔγνων τί ποιήσω. The original graphically represents the sudden flash of discovery, ‘I have it! I know now what to do.’ Subito consilium cepit.’ Bengel.

εἰς τοὺς οἴκους ἑαυτῶν. “Into their own houses.” I will confer on them such a boon that they will not leave me houseless. This eating the bread of dependence, which was all the steward hoped to gain after his life of dishonesty, was, after all a miserable prospect, Sirach 29:22-28. If different parts of the parable shadow forth different truths, we may notice that the steward has not enriched himself; what he has had he has spent. So at death, when we have to render the account of our stewardship to God, we cannot take with us one grain of earthly riches.


Verse 5

5. προσκαλεσάμενος ἕνα ἕκαστον. In the East rents are paid in kind, and a responsible steward, if left quite uncontrolled, has the amplest opportunity to defraud his lord, because the produce necessarily varies from year to year. The unjust steward would naturally receive from the tenants much more than he acknowledged in his accounts.


Verse 6

6. βάτους. The Hebrew bath and the Greek μετρητής, rather less than, but roughly corresponding to, the firkin = 9 gallons. This remission would represent a large sum of money.

δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα. ‘Receive thy bill.’ (Vulg[299] cautionem.) The steward hands the bill back to the tenant to be altered.

γράψον πεντήκοντα. Since Hebrew numerals were letters, and since Hebrew letters differed but slightly from each other, a very trivial forgery would represent a large difference.


Verse 7

7. κόρους. The cor was the same as the Hebrew homer = 10 ephahs. It is said to be about an English ‘quarter,’ i.e. 8 bushels, but from Jos. Antt. XV. 9, § 92, it seems to have been nearly 12 bushels. The steward knows what he is about, and makes his remissions according to the probabilities of the case and the temperament of the debtor. His astuteness tells him that some can be bought cheap.


Verse 8

8. ὁ κύριος. The lord is of course only the landlord of the parable. φρονίμως does not mean ‘wisely’ (a word which is used in a higher sense), but prudently. The tricky cleverness, by which the steward had endeavoured at once to escape detection, and to secure friends who would help him in his need, was exactly what an Oriental landlord would admire as clever, even though he saw through it. And the last act of the steward had been so far honest that for the first time he charged to the debtors the correct amount, while he doubtless represented the diminution as due to his kindly influence with his lord. The lesson to us is analogous skill and prudence, but spiritually employed. This is the sole point which the parable is meant to illustrate. The childish criticism of the Emperor Julian that it taught cheating (!) is refuted by the fact that parables are meant to teach lessons of heavenly wisdom by even the ‘imperfections’ of earth. There is then no greater difficulty in the Parable of the Unjust Steward than in that of the Unjust Judge or the Importunate Friend. The fraud of this “steward of injustice” is neither excused nor palliated; the lesson is drawn from his worldly prudence in supplying himself with friends for the day of need, which we are to do by wise and holy use of earthly gifts. This οἰκονόμος τῆς ἀδικίας (see Luke 16:9) was φρόνιμος, but he was not also πιστός, as we are urged to be (Luke 12:42). But faithful stewards may imitate him in the only point here touched upon, namely, the due application of means to ends.

οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου κ.τ.λ. ‘The sons of this age are more prudent than the sons of the light towards’ or ‘as regards (εἰς) their own generation’; i.e. they make better use of their earthly opportunities for their own lifetime than the sons of the light (John 12:36; Ephesians 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:5) do for their lifetime; or even than the sons of light do of their heavenly opportunities for eternity. The zeal and alacrity of the “devil’s martyrs” may be imitated even by God’s servants. With υἱοὶ φωτός comp. τέκνα ὑπακοῆς, 1 Peter 1:14, τέκνα κατάρας, 2 Peter 2:14, ὁ υἱὸς τῆς ἀπωλείας, 2 Thessalonians 2:3. It is a vivid Hebraism.

ὑπέρ. The word helps out the decaying force of the comparative.


Verse 9

9. ἑαυτοῖς ποιήσατε φίλους ἐκ τοῦ μαμωνᾶ τῆς ἀδικίας. Comp. Luke 16:8, ὁ κριτὴς τῆς ἀδικίας, Luke 18:6. It is the qualitative genitive, and describes the characteristic abuse of wealth. This descriptive genitive in Hebrew makes up for the paucity of adjectives. The Greek may imply either, Make the unrighteous mammon your friend; or make yourselves friends by your use of the unrighteous mammon. There is no proof that mammon is the Hebrew equivalent to Plutus, the Greek god of wealth (Matthew 6:24). ‘Mammon’ simply means wealth, and is called ‘unrighteous’ by metonymy (i.e. the ethical character of the use is represented as cleaving to the thing itself) because the abuse of riches is more common than their right use (1 Timothy 6:10). It is not therefore necessary to give to the word ‘unrighteous’ the sense of ‘false’ or ‘unreal,’ though sometimes in the LXX[300] it has almost that meaning. We turn mammon into a friend, and make ourselves friends by its means, when we use riches not as our own to squander, but as God’s to employ in deeds of usefulness and mercy.

ὅταν ἐκλίπῃ. Cum defecerit. ‘When it (mammon) fails,’ which the true riches never do (Luke 12:33). The reading ἐκλίπητε means ‘when ye die.’

δέξωνται. The ‘they’ are either the poor who have been made friends by the right use of wealth (comp. Luke 16:4), or the word is the impersonal or categoric plural, as in Luke 12:11; Luke 12:20, Luke 23:31. Comp. Matthew 24:31; Mark 13:27; Tobit 4:7. The latter sense seems to be the best, for it is only by analogy that those whom we aid by a right use of riches can be said (‘by their prayers on earth, or their testimony in heaven’) to ‘receive’ us. The notion of a human welcome into heaven does not occur in Scripture.

εἰς τὰς αἰωνίους σκηνάς. ‘Into the eternal tents,’ John 14:2, “And give these the everlasting tabernacles which I had prepared for them,” 2 Esdras 2:11. (Comp. 2 Corinthians 5:1; Isaiah 33:20, and see p. 384.) The general duty inculcated is that of “laying up treasure in heaven” (Matthew 6:20; comp. 1 Timothy 6:17-19). There is no Ebionite reprobation of riches as riches here; only a warning not to trust in them (Mark 10:24).


Verse 10

10. ἐν ἐλαχίστῳ. Comp. Luke 19:17. The most which we can have in this world is ‘least’ compared to the smallest gift of heaven.


Verse 11

11. τὸ ἀληθινόν. The ideally genuine; lit. ‘that which is true,’ i.e. real and not evanescent. Earthly riches are neither true, nor ours.


Verse 12

12. ἐν τῷ ἀλλοτρίῳ. The expression refers to the faithlessness of the unjust steward. The lesson of the verse is that nothing which we possess on earth is our own; it is entrusted to us for temporary use (1 Chronicles 29:14), which shall be rewarded by real and eternal possessions (1 Peter 1:4). “Vitaque mancipio nulli datur, omnibus usu,” Lucr. III. 985.


Verse 13

13. οὐδεὶς οἰκέτηςδουλεύειν. No domestic can slave, &c.

δυσὶ κυρίοις. God requires a whole heart and an undivided service. “If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ,” Galatians 1:10. “Whosoever … will be the friend of the world is the enemy of God,” James 4:4. “Covetousness … is idolatry,” Colossians 3:5.

οὐ δύνασθε κ.τ.λ. If this point had been attended to commentators would not have fallen into the “unspeakable misrepresentations and unrighteous judgments” which have marked so many explanations of the preceding parable.


Verse 14

14. φιλάργυροι. ‘Lovers of money,’ 2 Timothy 3:2. The charge is amply borne out by the references in the Talmud to the rapacity shewn by the Rabbis and Priests of the period. See Matthew 23:13.

ἐξεμυκτήριζον. Kept scoffing at Him. Comp. LXX[301], 2 Samuel 19:21; Psalms 2:4. The word is one expressive of the strongest and most open insolence, Luke 23:35. There is a weaker form of the word in Galatians 6:7. Here the jeering was doubtless aimed by these haughty and respected plutocrats at the deep poverty of Jesus and His humble followers. It marks however the phase of daring opposition which was not kindled till the close of His ministry. They thought it most ridiculous to suppose that riches hindered religion—for were not they rich and religious? And had not Shammai mentioned ‘riches’ as one of a Rabbi’s qualifications?


Verses 14-31

14–31. DIVES AND LAZARUS: A PARABLE TO THE COVETOUS, PRECEDED BY REBUKES TO THE PHARISEES


Verse 15

15. ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀνθρώπων. Luke 7:39, Luke 15:29; Matthew 23:25, &c.

γινώσκει τὰς καρδίας. Hence God is called καρδιογνώστης in Acts 15:8; and “in thy sight shall no man living be justified,” Psalms 143:2. There is perhaps a reference to 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Chronicles 28:9.

ὑψηλόν. ‘Lofty.’

βδέλυγμα. Their ‘derision’ might terribly rebound on themselves. Psalms 2:4.


Verse 16

16. μέχρι Ἰωάννου. This is one of our Lord’s clearest intimations that the aeon of the Law and the Prophets was now merging into a new dispensation, since they were only “a shadow of things to come,” Colossians 2:17.

εἰς αὐτὴν βιάζεται. The phrase is classical. Thuc. I. 63, VII. 69. It implies ‘is making forcible entrance into it,’ Matthew 11:12-13. The allusion is to the eagerness with which the message of the kingdom was accepted by the publicans and the people generally, Luke 7:20; John 12:19. The other rendering, ‘every man useth violence against it,’ does not agree so well with the parallel passage in St Matthew.


Verse 17

17. μίαν κεραίαν. The tip or horn of a letter, such as that which distinguishes ב from כ or ה from ח. Thus the Jews said that the letter Yod prostrated itself before God, because Solomon had taken it from the law (in the word Nashim) by marrying many wives, and God made this same answer to them. Similarly they said that when God took the Yod (the “jot” of Matthew 5:18) from the name Sarai, He divided it between Sarah and Abraham, since Yod = 10, and H = 5.

πεσεῖν. ‘To fall.’ See Matthew 5:18. The law did not fall to the ground; its abrogation was only its absolute fulfilment in all its eternal principles. The best comment on the verse is Matthew 5:27-48. The bearing of these remarks on the previous ones seems to be that our Lord charges the Pharisees with hypocrisy and men-pleasing, because while they professed the most scrupulous reverence to the Law, they lived in absolute violation of its spirit, which was alone valuable in God’s sight.


Verse 18

18. ὁ ἀπολύων τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ. At first sight this verse (which also occurs with an important limitation in Matthew 5:32) appears so loosely connected with the former as to lead the Dutch theologian Van der Palm to suppose that St Luke was merely utilising a spare fragment on the page by inserting isolated words of Christ. But compressed as the discourse is, we see that this verse illustrates, no less than the others, the spirit of the Pharisees. They professed to reverence the Law and the Prophets, yet divorce (so alien to the primitive institution of marriage) was so shamefully lax among them that great Rabbis in the Talmud practically abolished all the sacredness of marriage in direct contradiction to Malachi 2:15-16. Even Hillel said a man might divorce his wife if she over-salted his soup. They made the whole discussion turn, not on eternal truths, but on a mere narrow verbal disquisition about the meaning of two words ervath dabhar, ‘some uncleanness’ (lit. ‘matter of nakedness’), in Deuteronomy 24:1-2. Not only Hillel, but even the son of Sirach (Sirach 25:26) and Josephus (Antt. IV. 8, § 23), interpreted this to mean ‘for any or every cause.’ (Matthew 19:3-12; Mark 10:2-12.) Besides this shameful laxity the Pharisees had never had the courage to denounce the adulterous marriage and disgraceful divorce of which Herod Antipas had been guilty.


Verse 19

19. ἄνθρωπος δέ τις. He is left nameless, perhaps to imply that his name was not “written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Legend gives him the name Nimeusis or Nineues. ‘Dives’ is simply the Latin for ‘a rich man.’ Our Lord in the parable continues the subject of His discourse against the Pharisees, by shewing that wealth and respectability are very differently estimated on earth and in the world beyond. The parable illustrates each step of the previous discourse:—Dives regards all he has as his very own; uses it selfishly, which even Moses and the Prophets might have taught him not to do; and however lofty in his own eyes is an abomination before God.

πορφύραν καὶ βύσσον. The two words express extreme luxury. He wore purple without, Egyptian byssus underneath. Robes dyed in the blood of the murex purpurarius were very costly and were only worn by the greatest men.

“Over his lucent arms

A military vest of purple flowed

Livelier than Melibaean or the grain

Of Sarra (Tyre) worn by kings and heroes old

In time of truce.”

Byssus is the fine linen of Egypt (Genesis 41:42; Esther 8:15; Proverbs 31:22; Ezekiel 27:7; Revelation 18:12), a robe of which was worth twice its own weight in gold.

εὐφραινόμενος καθ' ἡμέραν λαμπρῶς. Literally, ‘making merry (Luke 12:19) every day, splendidly.’ Luther, lebte herrlich und in Freuden. It indicates a life of banquets. The description generally might well apply to Herod Antipas, Luke 7:25; Mark 7:14; Mark 7:21.


Verse 20

20. Λάζαρος. Lazarus is not from lo ezer, ‘no help,’ i.e. ‘forsaken,’ but from Elî ezer, ‘helped of God,’ Gotthilf. It is contracted from the commoner Eleazar. This is the only parable in which a proper name occurs; and the only miracles of which the recipients are named are, Mary Magdalene, Jairus, Malchus, and Bartimaeus. Whether in the name there be some allusive contrast to the young and perhaps wealthy Lazarus, brother of Martha and Mary, as Prof. Plumptre has conjectured, is uncertain. From this parable come the words—lazaretto, lazzarini, a lazar, &c.

ἐβέβλητο. Not ‘was laid,’ as in A.V[302], but ‘had been cast down,’ implying by one graphic touch the careless roughness and neglect with which he was treated.

πρὸς τὸν πυλῶνα αὐτοῦ. Not a mere πύλη but a πυλών—a stately portal.


Verse 21

21. ἀπὸ τῶν πιπτόντων. ‘From the things that fell.’ The word ψιχίων in some MSS. is a reminiscence of Matthew 15:27. The clause καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδίδου αὐτῷ in some MSS. is a gloss from Luke 15:16. It is not said that such fragments were refused him.

οἱ κύνες. There was no one to look after him. He was left to these unclean beasts. This seems to be involved in ἀλλὰ καί. The only dogs in the East are the wild and neglected Pariah dogs, which run about masterless and are the common scavengers.

ἐρχόμενοι ἐπέλειχον. The ἐρχόμενοι adds to the vividness of the picture. The incident is only added to give in one touch the abjectness of his misery, and therefore to enhance the rich man’s neglect. The fault of Dives was callous selfishness.


Verse 22

22. εἰς τὸν κόλπον Ἀβραάμ. Comp. Luke 13:28. This expression is used as a picture for the banquet of Paradise (comp. Numbers 11:12; John 1:18; John 13:23, and Ps. Josephus, De Maccab. 13).

ἀπέθανεν δέ. “They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave,” Job 21:13.

καὶ ἐτάφη. Nothing is said of the pauper-funeral of Lazarus. In one touch our Lord shews how little splendid obsequies can avail to alter the judgment of heaven.

“One second, and the angels alter that.”


Verse 23

23. ἐν τῷ ᾅδῃ. ‘In Hades.’ See Luke 10:15. Hades, which is represented as containing both Paradise and Gehenna, and is merely the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew Sheol, ‘the grave,’ is the intermediate condition of the dead between death and the final judgment. The scene on earth is contrasted with the reversed conditions of the other world. The entire imagery and phraseology are Jewish, and are borrowed from those which were current among the Rabbis of Christ’s day. Beyond the awful truth that death brings no necessary forgiveness, and therefore that the retribution must continue beyond the grave, we are not warranted in pressing the details of the parable which were used as part of the vivid picture. And since the scene is in Hades, we cannot draw from it any safe inferences as to the final condition of the lost. The state of Dives may be, as Tertullian says, a praelibatio sententiae, but it is not as yet the absolute sentence.

ἀπὸ μακρόθεν. One of the numerous mixtures of analytic and synthetic expressions (see my Brief Greek Syntax, pp. 1–6) which we find in the decadent stages of a language. ΄ακρόθεν alone means ‘from afar,’ but is helped out by ἀπό, and the pleonasm is unconscious, as in Mon cher Monsieur.

ἐν τοῖς κόλποις. The plur. is often used for ‘bosom’ because the word properly means the folds of the robe (sinus). For the meaning of the metaphoric expression see John 1:18; John 13:23.


Verse 24

24. ὕδατος. The partitive genitive—‘in some water.’ But he who refused the crumbs is denied the drops.

ὀδυνῶμαι. ‘I am suffering pain.’ The verb is not βασανίζομαι. See Luke 2:48, where ὀδυνῶμαι is rendered ‘sorrowing.’

ἐν τῇ φλογὶ ταύτη. Perhaps meant to indicate the agony of remorseful memories. In Hades no

“Lethe the river of oblivion rolls:

Her watery labyrinth, whereof who drinks

Forthwith his former state and being forgets,

Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.”

As for the material flame and the burning tongue, “we may,” says Archbishop Trench, “safely say that the form in which the sense of pain, with the desire after alleviation, embodies itself, is figurative.” Even the fierce and gloomy Tertullian says that how to understand what is meant by these details “is scarcely perhaps discovered by those who inquire with gentleness, but by contentious controversialists never.”


Verse 25

25. τέκνον. ‘Child.’ Even in the punishment of Hades he is addressed by a word of tenderness (Luke 15:31, Luke 19:9).

ἀπέλαβες. ‘Receivedst to the full.’ Comp. ἀπέχειν, Luke 6:24.

τὰ ἀγαθά σου. The “good things” of Dives were such as he had accounted to be absolutely his own, and to be really good (Matthew 6:2); the “evil things” of Lazarus were not ‘his,’ but part of God’s merciful discipline to him, Revelation 7:14. The parable gives no ground for the interpretation that the temporal felicity of Dives was a reward for any good things he had done, or the misery of Lazarus a punishment for his temporal sins.

νῦν δὲ ὧδε. ‘But now, here.’

ὀδυνᾶσαι. ‘Thou art pained,’ as before. The parable is practically an expansion of the beatitudes and woes of Luke 6:22-25.


Verse 26

26. χάσμα μέγα ἐστήρικται. This, as Meyer says, is the argument ex impossibili after the argument ex aequo. Change of place is not a possible way of producing change of soul. Dives while he still had the heart of Dives would have been in agony even in Abraham’s bosom. But 1 Peter 3:19-20 throws a gleam of hope athwart this gulf. It may be (for we can pretend to no certainty) no longer impassable, since Christ died and went to preach to spirits in prison. With this “great gulf” (2 Samuel 18:17, LXX[303]) compare the interesting passage of Plato on the vain attempts of great criminals to climb out of their prisons. Rep. x. 14.

ὅπωςμὴ δύνωνται. ‘In order that they may not be able.’


Verse 27

27. εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ πατρός μου. It is difficult not to see in this request the dawn of a less selfish spirit in the rich man’s heart.


Verse 28

28. πέντε ἀδελφούς. If there be any special meaning in this detail, the clue to it is now lost. Some have seen in it a reference to the five sons of the High Priest Annas, all of whom succeeded to the Priesthood,—Eleazar, Jonathan, Theophilus, Matthias, and the younger Annas, besides his son-in-law Caiaphas. But this seems to be very unlikely. An allusion to Antipas and his brethren is less improbable, but our Lord would hardly have admitted into a parable an oblique personal reflexion.

ὅπως διαμαρτύρηται. ‘That he may bear (effectual) witness.’


Verse 29

29. ΄ωϋσέα καὶ τοὺς προφήτας. See John 1:45; John 5:39; John 5:46.


Verse 31

31. πεισθήσονται. “We are saved by faithful hearing, not by apparitions,” Bengel. This was most remarkably exemplified in the results which followed the raising of another Lazarus (John 12:10), and the resurrection of our Lord Himself (Matthew 28:11-13). Observe that the reply of Abraham (‘be persuaded,’ ‘arose,’ ‘from among’ [ἐκ not ἀπὸ] the dead) is much stronger than the words used by Dives. “A far mightier miracle … would be ineffectual for producing a far slighter effect,” Trench.

 


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"Commentary on Luke 16:4". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/luke-16.html. 1896.

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