Luke 16:20
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores

New Living Translation
At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores.

English Standard Version
And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores,

Berean Study Bible
And a beggar named Lazarus lay at his gate, covered with sores

Berean Literal Bible
And a certain poor man named Lazarus, being full of sores, was laid at his gate

New American Standard Bible
"And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores,

King James Bible
And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, was left at his gate.

International Standard Version
A beggar named Lazarus, who was covered with sores, was brought to his gate.

NET Bible
But at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus whose body was covered with sores,

New Heart English Bible
A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was placed at his gate, full of sores,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“And there was a certain poor man whose name was Lazar and he lay at the gate of that rich man, being stricken with abscesses.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
There was also a beggar named Lazarus who was regularly brought to the gate of the rich man's house.

New American Standard 1977
“And a certain poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores,

Jubilee Bible 2000
and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores

King James 2000 Bible
And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores,

American King James Version
And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

American Standard Version
and a certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate, full of sores,

Douay-Rheims Bible
And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores,

Darby Bible Translation
And [there was] a poor man, by name Lazarus, [who] was laid at his gateway full of sores,

English Revised Version
and a certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate, full of sores,

Webster's Bible Translation
And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores,

Weymouth New Testament
while at his outer door there lay a beggar, Lazarus by name,

World English Bible
A certain beggar, named Lazarus, was laid at his gate, full of sores,

Young's Literal Translation
and there was a certain poor man, by name Lazarus, who was laid at his porch, full of sores,
Study Bible
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19Now there was a rich man dressed in purple and fine linen, who lived each day in joyous splendor. 20And a beggar named Lazarus lay at his gate, covered with sores 21and longing to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.…
Cross References
Matthew 26:71
When Peter had gone out to the gateway, another servant girl saw him and said to the people there, "This man was with Jesus of Nazareth."

Luke 16:19
Now there was a rich man dressed in purple and fine linen, who lived each day in joyous splendor.

Luke 16:21
and longing to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

Acts 3:2
And a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those entering the temple courts.
Treasury of Scripture

And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

a certain.

Luke 18:35-43 And it came to pass, that as he was come near to Jericho, a certain …

1 Samuel 2:8 He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts up the beggar from …

James 1:9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

James 2:5 Listen, my beloved brothers, Has not God chosen the poor of this …


John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of …

was laid.

Acts 3:2 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they …


Luke 16:21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's …

Job 2:7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job …

Psalm 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivers …

Psalm 73:14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

Isaiah 1:6 From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness …

Jeremiah 8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then …

(20) And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus.--The word for "beggar," it may be noted, is the same as the "poor" of Luke 6:20. The occurrence in this one solitary instance of a personal name in our Lord's parables, suggests the question, What was meant by it? Three answers present themselves, each of which is more or less compatible with the other two. (1) There may have been an actual beggar of that name known both to the disciples and the Pharisees. (2) The significance of the name, the current Greek form of Eleazar (="God is the helper"), may have been meant to symbolise the outward wretchedness of one who had no other help. (3) As that which seems most probable, the name may have been intended as a warning to Lazarus of Bethany. He was certainly rich. We have seen some reason to identify him with the young ruler that had great possessions. (See Notes on Matthew 19:18.) In any case he was exposed to the temptations that wealth brings with it. What more effectual warning could be given him than to hear his own name brought into a parable, as belonging to the beggar who was carried into Abraham's bosom, while his own actual life corresponded more or less closely to that of the rich man who passed into the torments of Hades? Was he not taught in this way, what all else failed to teach him, that if he wished for eternal life he must strip himself of the wealth which made it impossible for him to enter the Kingdom of God? It may be noted that almost every harmonised arrangement of the Gospel history places the parable almost immediately before the death and raising of Lazarus (see Note on John 11:1), while in some of them the question of the young ruler comes between the two. The combination, in either case, suggests the thought of a continuous process of spiritual education, by which the things that were "impossible with men" were shown to be "possible with God" (Matthew 19:26). First the picture of the unseen world drawn in symbolic imagery, so as to force itself upon his notice, then an actual experience of the realities of that life; this was what he needed, and this was given him.

Laid at his gate, full of sores, . . .--Literally, at his porch, or gateway. The Greek word for "full of sores" is somewhat more technical than the English one; literally, ulcerated, one which a medical writer like St. Luke would use to express a generally ulcerous state of the whole body. The description led, in course of time, to the application of the leper's name to those who suffered from leprosy, as producing an analogous condition, and so we get the terms, lazar, lazar-house, lazaretto. In the Italian lazzaroni the idea of the beggary is prominent without that of the sores.

Verses 20, 21. - And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. In striking contrast to the life of the rich man, the Master, with a few touches, paints the life of the beggar Lazarus. This giving a name to a personage in the parable occurs nowhere else in the evangelists' reports of our Lord's parabolic teaching. It probably was done in this case just to give us a hint, for it is nothing more, of the personal character of the poor sufferer who in the end was so blessed. The object of the parable, as we shall see, did not include any detailed account of the beggar-man's inner life; just this name is given him to show us why, when he died, he found himself at once in bliss. Among the Jews the name very often describes the character of him who bears it. The Greek name Lazarus is derived from two Hebrew words, El-ezer ("God-help"), shortened by the rabbis into Leazar, whence Lazarus. He was, then, one of those happy ones whose confidence, in all his grief and misery, was in God alone. Well was his trust, as we shall see, justified. The gate at which he was daily laid was a stately portal (πυλών). Lazarus is represented as utterly unable to win his bread. He was a constant sufferer, covered with sores, wasting under the dominion of a loathsome, incurable disease. This representative of human suffering has taken a strange hold on the imagination of men. In many of the languages of Europe the name of the beggar of the parable appears in the terms "lazar," "lazar-house," and "lazaretto," "lazzaroni." Unable himself to walk, some pitying friend or friends among the poor - the poor are never backward in helping others poorer than themselves, thus setting a noble example to the rich - brought him and laid him daily close by the splendid gates of the palace of Dives. The crumbs signify the broken fragments which the servants of the rich man would contemptuously, perhaps pityingly, toss to the poor helpless beggar-man as he lay by the gate. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. These were the wild, homeless pariah dogs so common in all Eastern cities, who act as the street-scavengers, and are regarded as unclean. This mention of the dogs clustering round him does not suggest any contrast between the pitying animals and pitiless men, but simply adds additional colour to the picture of the utter helplessness of the diseased sufferer; there he lay, and as he lay, the rough homeless dogs would lick his unbandaged wounds as they passed on the forage. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus,.... By whom is designed, not any particular beggar in the times of Christ, that went by this name; though there were such persons in Israel, and in the times of our Lord; as blind Bartimaeus, and others: nor David, in the times of Saul, who was poor and needy; and who sometimes wanted bread, and at a certain time went to Abimelech for some: nor the godly poor in common, though the heirs of the heavenly kingdom are, generally speaking, the poor of this world; these receive Christ and his Gospel, and have their evil things here, and their good things hereafter; they are now slighted and neglected by men, but shall hereafter have a place in Abraham's bosom, and be for ever with the Lord: nor are the Gentiles intended; though they may be said to be poor and helpless, as they were without Christ, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, and without hope and God in the world; and were despised and rejected by the Jews, and not suffered to come into their temple, and were called and treated as dogs; though, as the Syrophenician woman pleaded, the dogs might eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table; and who, upon the breaking down of the middle wall of partition, were called by grace, and drawn to Christ, and were blessed with faithful Abraham, and made to sit down with him in the kingdom of heaven: but our Lord Jesus Christ himself is here meant; as appears from the cause and occasion of this parable, which was the derision of Christ by the covetous Pharisees, who, though high in the esteem of men, were an abomination to God; and from the scope and design of it, which is to represent the mean and despicable condition of Christ in this world, whilst the Pharisees, his enemies, lived in great pomp and splendour; and the exaltation of Christ hereafter, when they would be in the utmost distress; and also the infidelity of that people, who continued in their unbelief, notwithstanding the resurrection of Christ from the dead: the name Lazarus well agrees with him. The Syriac version calls him "Loozar", as if it signified one that was helpless, that had no help, but wanted it, and so a fit name for a beggar; and well suits with Christ, who looked, and there was none to help, Isaiah 63:5 nor did he receive any help from men; though rather, the word is the contraction of Eleazar, and so the Ethiopic version reads it here; and it is easy to observe, that he who is called R. Eleazar in the Babylonian Talmud, is in the Jerusalem called, times without number, , R. Lazar (h); and R. Liezer, is put for R. Eliezer: it is a rule given by one of the Jewish writers (i), that

"in the Jerusalem Talmud, wherever R. Eleazar is written without an "aleph", R. Lazar ben Azariah is intended.''

And Christ may very well be called by this name; since this was the name of one of his types, Eleazer the son of Aaron, and one of his ancestors, who is mentioned in his genealogy, Matthew 1:15 and especially as the name signifies, that the Lord was his helper: see Exodus 18:4. Help was promised him by God, and he expected it, and firmly believed he should have it, and accordingly he had it: God did help him in a day of salvation: and which was no indication of weakness in him, who is the mighty God, and mighty to save; but of the Father's regard to him as man, and mediator; and of the concern that each of the divine persons had for, and in man's salvation: and on account of his circumstances of life, he might be called a "poor man", as he is in 2 Corinthians 8:9 and frequently in prophecy; see Psalm 34:6 Zechariah 9:9 and though by assuming human nature, he did not cease to be God, or to lose the riches of his divine nature and perfections, yet his divine perfections, and the glory of them, were much hid and covered in his state of humiliation; and he was much the reverse of many of them in his human nature; in which he was exposed to much outward poverty and meanness: he was born of poor parents; had no liberal education; was brought up to a trade: had not a foot of ground to call his own, nor where to lay his head: and lived upon the ministrations of others to him; and when he died, had nothing to bequeath his mother, but left her to the care of a disciple: and he is further described, by his posture and situation,

which was laid at his gate; that is, at the "rich man's", as is expressed in the Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions: this was the place where beggars stood, or were laid, and asked alms; hence is that rule with the Jews (k), and in many other places the following phrase;

"if a man dies and leaves sons and daughters---if he leaves but a small substance, the daughters shall be taken care of, and the sons, , "shall beg at the gates."''

This denotes the rejection of Christ by the Jews; he came to them, and they received him not; he had no entrance into their hearts, and was admitted but into few of their houses; they put those that confessed him out of their synagogues; and caused him himself to depart out of some of their cities; they delivered him up unto the Gentiles that were without; and at last led him without the gate of Jerusalem, where he suffered:

full of sores; so Nahum Gamzu (l) is said to have his whole body, , "full of ulcers": sometimes the Jewish phrase, which answers to the word here used, is , "one plagued with ulcers" (m); and this by the commentators (n), is explained of a "leprous" person; so one of the names of the Messiah is with the Jews (o), which signifies "leprous", in proof of which, they produce Isaiah 53:4. "Surely he hath borne our griefs", &c. By these "sores" may be meant, sins; see Psalm 38:5. Christ was holy and righteous in himself, in his nature, life, and conversation; he was without both original, and actual sins, yet he was in the likeness of sinful flesh, and was reproached and calumniated by men as a sinner; and had really and actually all the sins of his people on him, by imputation; and was made even sin itself, for them; so that in this sense he might be said to be full of them, though in himself he was free from them: they may also intend the temptations of Satan, those fiery darts which were flung at him, and by which he suffered; as also the reproaches and persecutions of men, which attended him more or less, from the cradle to the cross; together with all his other sorrows and sufferings, being scourged, buffeted, and beaten, and wounded for our sins, and bruised for our transgressions; of which wounds and bruises he might be said to be full.

(h) T. Hieros. Biccurim, fol. 63. 3, 4. & 64. 1. & 65. 3, 4. & Sheviith, fol. 36. 3. & passim. (i) Juchasin, fol. 81. 1.((k) Misn. Bava Bathra, c. 9. sect. 1. & T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 140. 2. Piske Tosaph. in Cetubot, art. 138, 372. (l) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 21. 1.((m) Misn. Cetubot, c. 3. sect. 5. & 7. 10. (n) Maimon. & Bartenora in lb. (o) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 2.20, 21. laid—having to be carried and put down.

full of sores—open, running, "not closed, nor bound up, nor mollified with ointment" (Isa 1:6).16:19-31 Here the spiritual things are represented, in a description of the different state of good and bad, in this world and in the other. We are not told that the rich man got his estate by fraud, or oppression; but Christ shows, that a man may have a great deal of the wealth, pomp, and pleasure of this world, yet perish for ever under God's wrath and curse. The sin of this rich man was his providing for himself only. Here is a godly man, and one that will hereafter be happy for ever, in the depth of adversity and distress. It is often the lot of some of the dearest of God's saints and servants to be greatly afflicted in this world. We are not told that the rich man did him any harm, but we do not find that he had any care for him. Here is the different condition of this godly poor man, and this wicked rich man, at and after death. The rich man in hell lifted up his eyes, being in torment. It is not probable that there are discourses between glorified saints and damned sinners, but this dialogue shows the hopeless misery and fruitless desires, to which condemned spirits are brought. There is a day coming, when those who now hate and despise the people of God, would gladly receive kindness from them. But the damned in hell shall not have the least abatement of their torment. Sinners are now called upon to remember; but they do not, they will not, they find ways to avoid it. As wicked people have good things only in this life, and at death are for ever separated from all good, so godly people have evil things only in this life, and at death they are for ever put from them. In this world, blessed be God, there is no gulf between a state of nature and grace, we may pass from sin to God; but if we die in our sins, there is no coming out. The rich man had five brethren, and would have them stopped in their sinful course; their coming to that place of torment, would make his misery the worse, who had helped to show them the way thither. How many would now desire to recall or to undo what they have written or done! Those who would make the rich man's praying to Abraham justify praying to saints departed, go far to seek for proofs, when the mistake of a damned sinner is all they can find for an example. And surely there is no encouragement to follow the example, when all his prayers were made in vain. A messenger from the dead could say no more than what is said in the Scriptures. The same strength of corruption that breaks through the convictions of the written word, would triumph over a witness from the dead. Let us seek to the law and to the testimony, Isa 8:19,20, for that is the sure word of prophecy, upon which we may rest, 2Pe 1:19. Circumstances in every age show that no terrors, or arguments, can give true repentance without the special grace of God renewing the sinner's heart.
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